Deadvlei, Namibia

Namibia Photo Safari – May 2025

26th May (9 days)
Fully Booked
Price: €3750

This is a unique opportunity to join me at a special reduced price on a scouting trip to plan a Namibia photo safari, tour and workshop. Photograph the stunning desert dunes, stark wilderness and fascinating culture and wildlife.

Details

Date: 26th May 2025 (9 days) – Exact dates might vary by a day or two, due to accommodation booking.

Price: €3750 (Special low price as this is a scouting trip)

Group size: Max 6

Accommodation Included: Yes. 8 nights accommodation, single occupancy

Photography Level: Suitable for all levels from beginner to advanced.

Fitness Level: Moderate

The exact itinerary may change, but will be roughly like this:

Day 1: Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, Kalahari Namibia         

Kalahari Namibia

Spreading across Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, the Kalahari meaning ‘the great thirst’ is an exceptionally beautiful living desert. The landscape is characterised by a large semi-arid sandy savannah draped over a gently rolling inland sea of sand covering most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. It is also the last bastion of the indigenous San people with the modern world having enveloped all the other areas they once roamed. The Namibian portion is made up of red sands covered in thin, wispy, mostly golden grass and dotted with acacia trees and wide-ranging wildlife including gemsbok, impala, jackals and cheetah.

Activities

Cheetah Excursion with Sundowner

Cheetah Excursion with Sundowner

This activity allows one the opportunity to come up close to the cheetah, great for taking photos. The guides will provide interesting facts about this incredible cat and the history of the cheetahs in their care

In association with CCF (cheetah conservation fund), bagatelle are the custodians of the cheetahs, which are kept in a 12 hectare enclosure. Unable to fend for themselves, the three orphans namely, Ralf, Etosha, and Tuano are fed and cared lovingly by them here at bagatelle.

After this, a sundowner on the dune will await you, with refreshments and a Namibian snack, while enjoying a breath taking sunset in the Kalahari.


Day 2: Quivertree Forest Rest Camp, Keetmanshoop       

Morning Bushman Walk

A relaxing walk with the Bushman (San), sharing with you their ancient survival skills and secrets from their forefathers.

Arriving at the traditional Bushman village, you will meet the family who will present you with how they used to store water in ostrich eggs, plants for medicinal use, setting up traps, the making of ostrich and bead jewellery, etc. This is really an experience, always to remember.

The guide will do the necessary translation in English, as the Bushman will be speaking in their language.

Keetmanshoop

Set on the Trans-Namib Railway in the ǁKaras region of southern Namibia, the town of Keetmanshoop is known as the capital of southern Namibia. Founded in 1860, the quaint oasis is a living slice of history. German colonial architecture is dotted around the town and the local museum, housed in an old church, provides interesting insight into the town’s heritage. Just a short drive out of town, the Quiver Tree Forest is a sea of spikes and twisted trunks, while the neighbouring ‘Giant’s Playground’ is an evocative expanse of strange rock formations. Both offer superb opportunities for photography, particularly at sunset.

Activities

Morning Bushman Walk Bagatelle Before Departure

Quivertree forest and giants playground

Quivertree Forest Rest Camp – Night Photography

 


Day 3: Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn Gondwana Collection Namibia, Aus    

Aus

Perched above the plains of the Namib Desert in the rocky Aus Mountains, the small village of Aus lies at the heart of phenomenal botanic diversity. Aus serves as an excellent base from which to see the area’s major attraction: the feral horses of the Namib Desert, which run wild and free in the sparsely vegetated plains. The best place for viewings is at the water trough at Garub, which lies just twenty kilometres away from Aus. Visitors can gain insight into the Succulent Karoo by visiting beautiful Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park, home to the most biodiverse desert in the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to camp under the famously clear Namibian night sky and experience the desert landscape on horseback.


Day 4: Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn Gondwana Collection Namibia, Aus    

Activities

Kolmanskuppe Ghost Town Tours

Amateur Photographers Permit

This permit allows you in the area from sunrise to sunset. You are welcome to join any of the scheduled tours. Once you obtain this permit you will be provided with the gate access code. Please note Kolmanskop is situated in the restricted diamond area and Tsau//Khaeb National Park (former Sperrgebiet), therefore NO night photography is allowed.

 


Day 5: Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem       

Sesriem

As there is no accommodation at Sossusvlei, visitors to this desert wilderness are likely to end up staying at Sesriem, 65 kilometres away, where camps and lodges serve as a base from which to explore the dunes. Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon.)


Day 6: Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem      

This morning you have the opportunity to visit Sossusvlei, Deadvlei & Sesriem Canyon on your own (at own cost). See the rays of sunshine paint the mountains of sand into a variety of apricot, red and orange, contrasted against a crisp blue skyline, provoke your senses, and award you the opportunity to capture this awesome landscape on camera.

Sossusvlei (Entrance fees: approximately NAD 150.00 per person + approximately NAD 50.00 per vehicle)

The Sossusvlei is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 325 metres, the highest in the world. Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in this area, does the vlei fill with water. As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time. The Dead Pan is a large ghostly expanse of dried white Clay, punctuated by Skeletons of ancient camelthorn trees, about 600 years old. The dunes of the Namib Desert have developed over a period of many millions of years. It is thought that the vast quantities of sand were deposited into the Atlantic Ocean by the Orange River. This material was subsequently moved northwards by the Benguela current to be dumped back onto the land by the surf. The coastal dunes developed as a result of this and were shifted further and further inland by the wind. Wind continuously reshapes the patterns of the huge dunes of the Namib Desert. The last 5 km are only negotiable with 4×4 vehicles. Should you not have one, there are 4×4 Shuttles available if you don’t want to hike there.


Day 7: Beach Hotel Swakopmund, Swakopmund   

Swakopmund

Set along Namibia’s spectacularly scenic coast, the seaside town of Swakopmund is known for its wide-open avenues, colonial architecture, and its surrounding otherworldly desert terrain. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort town, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, adventure options, laid-back atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it a very popular Namibian destination. Visitors can look forward to a number of exciting activities including: quad biking, horse riding, paragliding, fishing, sightseeing and fascinating desert tours.


Day 8: Beach Hotel Swakopmund, Swakopmund   

Sandwich Harbour 4×4 Scenic Excursion/Private (Full Day) 10h00 – 16h30

  • Due to weather conditions and tides it is not always possible to reach the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon by vehicle along the beach. We then drive to the top of the dune overlooking Sandwich Harbour. Please advise your clients accordingly to avoid disappointment.

All tours include fresh oysters, snacks, sparkling wine, light drinks, cool drinks, bottled water and permits.

  • Please advise in advance if guests need any physical assistance. We do cater for persons with disabilities.
  • We specifically also cater for vegetarians, vegans and persons with gluten sensitivities or other allergies. Please advise at time of booking.
  • Please advise at time of booking if a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, is being celebrated on board.

Sandwich Harbour, part of the Namib Naukluft Park, is a place many have heard of but very few have ever visited. Giant sand dunes run straight into the ocean, creating breath taking sceneries and unique landscapes, just waiting to be discovered!

Our tour starts every morning at 10:00 at the Sandwich Harbour 4×4 office at the Waterfront in Walvis Bay. After a short break at the Walvis Bay Lagoon to see masses of flamingos, the drive takes us to one of five RAMSAR sites (Ramsar site no. 742) in Namibia: A tidal lagoon consisting of adjacent intertidal areas, mudflats exposed at low tide, and sandbars serving as roosting sites. The site supports varying numbers of wetland birds (37,000 to 79,000 individuals); some species such as flamingos occur in impressive numbers. Eleven endangered bird species are regularly observed. Human activities consist of recreation and salt production. From here we proceed to the Kuiseb river delta, a dry riverbed where the odd springbok may still be seen. As this is part of our Kuiseb Delta Concession area, we are the only activity operator allowed in this area.

Here we especially look for some of the area’s smaller creatures, such as the fog-basking beetle, dancing spider (‘white lady of the Namib’), golden mole, shovel-snouted lizard and palmato gecko. If weather and tides allow, we will drive along the beach right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands and the second RAMSAR site (Ramsar site no. 743) for the day. Sandwich Harbour boasts two distinct wetlands and associated mudflats. One is aquifer-fed and supports typical emergent vegetation, but is slowly disappearing due to natural causes. The second, under tidal influence, consists of mudflats and raised shingle bars. Wedged between the sea and the Namib Dunes, it is one of Namibia’s most important coastal wetlands, supporting eight endangered species among the large numbers of wading birds. Several archaeological sites dating back 1,000 years exist within the site. Human activities have included fishing, guano collection, and hunting.

If our vehicles cannot drive all along the beach to get to Sandwich Harbour because of high tide, you will get a chance to see the lagoon area from one of our many beautiful lookout spots and will have the time to walk and explore. We have lots of time to stop along the way for photography.

When it becomes time to enjoy something to eat, your guide simply finds a suitable place to stop and serves a light lunch including a selection of oysters and snacks, salad, bread, and fresh fruit with sparkling wine, beers and cooldrinks. We usually do this on top of a high dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in between the dunes or on the beach. A folding table, chairs and a tablecloth come out, and we are ready to serve! The route homewards will take us past the area’s typical fauna and flora. Animals which have developed ways to adapt to the desert include the black-backed jackal, springbok, oryx, brown hyena and ostrich.

We will be back at the Walvis Bay Waterfront at around 17:00

Joining us on this photo tour will be Corinna Bekker.

Corinna Bekker was born and grew up in Windhoek, Namibia and has dedicated over two decades to the travel industry. Before moving to Ireland, she specialised in crafting ‘once in a lifetime’ tours to Namibia, Botswana, and Victoria Falls for travel enthusiasts arriving from all over the world.

Exploring these diverse regions firsthand herself, revealed their breathtaking beauty, rich in vibrant colours, and sparked her passion for nature and wildlife photography.

Now settled in the Republic of Ireland, Corinna is eager to share her expertise while personally guiding travellers on a safe and awe-inspiring journey through Namibia, drawing on her intimate knowledge of the region.

Corinna and I are teaming up to invite like-minded photographers to join us on an unforgettable trip, offering a unique opportunity to explore and capture the spectacular scenery that Namibia has to offer.

Meeting time and place will be arranged once exact dates and accommodation have all been confirmed.

The accommodation for this workshop includes 8 nights, single occupancy in several locations. See itinerary for more details.

Equipment needed:

  • DSLR camera / mirrorless / bridge or similar
  • Sturdy tripod
  • Graduated neutral density filters
  • Walking shoes / boots
  • Wellingtons
  • Spare batteries
  • Namibia 4×4 Hire – Group HD: 4×4 Toyota Hilux 2.4 GD6 automatic – Zero Excess
  • Travel Documents
  • Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch – Savannah Chalet & Garden Room (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast)
  • Cheetah Feeding & Sundowner Drive
  • Morning Bushman Walk
  • Quivertree Forest Rest Camp – Standard Room (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast)
  • Quivertree Forest Rest Camp – Night Photography
  • Quivertree Forest Rest Camp – Entrance fee to Quivertree forest and giants playground
  • Klein Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn & Campsite – Standard Room (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast)
  • Kolmanskuppe Ghost Tours – Kolmanskoppe Amateur Photographers Permit
  • Sossus Dune Lodge – Dune Chalet  (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast)
  • Beach Hotel Swakopmund – Standard Room (Bed and Breakfast)
  • Optional activities and excursions
  • Drinks and meals (unless otherwise stated)
  • Personal expenses (Telephone call, souvenirs etc.)
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Park Fees ( Sossusvlei) 

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Should you have any questions about this or any other workshop please fill out this form and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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