Dates 2020 year:
24 March – 4 April (guided by Daniel Kordan)
Day 1, 24 March 2020
Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! On this day, you’ll arrive at Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, where you’ll be met by your guides and transferred to your accommodation at Windhoek Country Lodge. When selecting your flights, please arrange to arrive during the day anytime before 5pm.
There will be some time for you to check in to your hotel, relax and to explore the capital city of Namibia in the heart of the country’s central highlands at your own leisure before we meet as a group for a welcome dinner at 7pm in the hotel restaurant. Over a delicious meal, you’ll have the chance to get to know your fellow travellers a little bit better as your guides go over the itinerary and plan for the days ahead. They’ll give you the low-down on what you can expect and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions before the workshop begins.
Day 2, 25 March
We’ll begin our journey from Windhoek to Keetmanshoop. Located at the main crossroads of southern Namibia, this small town in the Karas Region of southern Namibia is known as the gateway to a large quiver tree forest, where thousands of these spectacular branched aloe succulents stand tall, making for the perfect subjects for photography in this arid and rocky landscape.
Over the next two nights, we’ll make our base at the Quiver Tree Forest Camp, where we’ll be well situated to make trips out for astrophotography with the indigenous quiver trees reaching up mysteriously towards the starry night sky. If it is clear overhead, then we will spend our nights capturing these iconic seemingly upside-down trees framed by a background of stars and the beautiful arch of the Milky Way.
Day 3, 26 March
On day three, we’ll get up early before dawn for a sunrise session. Our aim will be to catch the first rays of golden light glimmering through the quiver tree branches, making for an enchanting morning scene. Thereafter, we’ll return to the Quiver Tree Forest Camp for breakfast, after which there will be some time to relax and review our pictures.
After lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with your photo guides for a series of discussions and post processing master classes, before you head off for a sunset session back at the Quiver Tree Forest. The desert scenery changes immensely with the moving angles of light and it will be a delight to see how the atmosphere transforms the mood and overall aesthetic of your images.
Dinner will be followed by another long and exciting night as you hunker down beneath the glittering fabric of the sky for star trail, Milky Way and astrophotography, using Namibia’s iconic quiver trees to form an astonishing foreground within the vast and exceptional landscape.
Day 4, 27 March
On day four, we’ll leave the Quiver Tree Forest, continuing on our way towards the ghost town of Kolmanskop by the coast of southern Namibia. This once-prosperous diamond mining community is now a skeleton of its former self, battling the advance of the sand dunes as they blow slowly across the barren wilderness. Here amongst the windswept houses while the sun sets, we’ll capture the enigmatic ambience of an era long gone, swallowed by sand and abandoned to the desert.
We’ll spend the next two nights at the secluded seaside Lüderitz Nest Hotel with extraordinary views of the bay, where we’ll savour delicious dinners brimming with locally caught seafood, cold beers and crisp white wine as we enjoy the sea breeze drifting in from the open windows of the restaurant.
Depending on the conditions in the evening, there may be the opportunity to travel into the desert for a night photography session beneath the stars at an abandoned railway station – another wonderful chance to practice your astrophotography skills beneath Namibia’s dark sky.
Day 5, 28 March
We’ll continue exploring the dilapidated township of Kolmanskop, capturing the morning sunlight as it flows through the east-facing windows of each building. The fascinating rooms with sand seeping into every crevice make for a plethora of stunning photographic opportunities.
After breakfast, there will be some time to relax back at the hotel. You can spend the day at your leisure, swimming in the sparkling ocean, sunbathing by the pool or exploring the Bavarian-styled city of Lüderitz with its colonial German buildings, as well as the surroundings.
In the afternoon, we’ll make our way back to Kolmanskop, ready for another glorious sunset session within the abandoned mining town. Getting the right composition in these sand-filled buildings can be challenging, so we’ll make sure to be back in time for the golden hour to scout for new angles and to capture the perfect shots. There is a lot to photograph in the town and it’s surprising how quickly time can pass when you are immersed in the shadows cast upon the walls by the fading light.
Day 6, 7, 8 – 29-31 March
On day six, we’ll move on from Lüderitz, journeying towards one of Namibia’s most spectacular landmarks – the Sossusvlei National Park – where we’ll make our base at the environmentally-sensitive Sossus Dune Lodge for the next three nights. Nestled against the low-lying mountains of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, our accommodation offers magnificent views of the sand dunes and an unforgettable desert experience.
We’ll spend our mornings in the spectacular white clay pan of Deadvlei, also known as the ‘Dead Marsh’ of the desert. Bordered by sand dunes within this extraordinary basin are the skeletal remains of ancient trees up to 900 years old. They make for surreal compositions, whether alone or in groups. We’ll have a special permit allowing us to enter the National Park before the gates are opened, meaning that we’ll have the area to ourselves as we capture the unique shapes and abstract details of Deadvlei during each sunrise. Of course, the light will change as the time passes, so our compositions will vary throughout the day.
Aside from Deadvlei, we’ll spend some time exploring the area surrounding the salt and clay pan of Sossusvlei, where the sand dunes are the only things separating you from the Atlantic Ocean. Our highlights will include:
- Solitary dead trees entrenched at the base of breathtaking, gargantuan red sand dunes. They make for a stark contrast against the desolate backdrop when illuminated by warm, golden light.
- Desert wildlife. Though seemingly barren, the Sossusvlei provides a perfect habitat for native animals. We’ll spend our days discovering and photographing the large antelope species known as oryx, as they evade cheetahs and leopards hunting them amongst the sand dunes.
- An optional scenic helicopter flight over the majestic Sossusvlei. There is nothing more breathtaking than soaring over the oldest desert in the world as you capture the scenery below. You’ll be treated to incredible aerial views of the point where magnificent sand dunes meet the vast expanse of the Atlantic ocean.
- Astrophotography beneath Namibia’s starry skies. Sossusvlei has some of the darkest night skies on Earth, making it the perfect spot for practicing star trails and shooting the Milky Way. In order to stay back after dark at Sossusvlei, we’ll need a special permit. Please note that the park rules may change in the lead-up to our arrival, so unfortunately we are unable to guarantee that we’ll have access for photography at night. In the event that we are unable to obtain access, then we will fill our evenings with masterclass post processing sessions delivered by our guides.
Day 9, 1 April
This day sees us continuing our adventure in Namibia towards the incredible granite peaks of Spitzkoppe. Rising gradually from the haze of the desert floor, these mountainous structures are among the country’s most recognisable landmarks. Millions of years of weathering have resulted in a remarkable array of geological shapes throughout this area, including striking boulders and arched rock formations reaching into the blue depths of the sky. It’s a veritable playground for photographers and we’ll spend our time here capturing the magical landscape from sunrise to sunset, as well as beneath a blanket of glittering stars in the night sky.
We’ll spend the next two nights staying at the charming chalets of the Spitzkoppen Lodge, set amidst vast stretches of untouched sand and granite boulders at the foot of the spectacular mountains. Nestled in volcanic rocks, the lodge offers an amazing swimming pool in which you can relax after a long day of shooting.
Day 10, 2 April
We’ll rise for an early morning sunrise session at the peaks of Spitzkoppe, scouting the area for interesting compositions before the first mesmerising rays of light shimmer over the rugged landscape. Thereafter, we’ll return to the Lodge for a delicious breakfast followed by a number of post processing masterclasses.
In the afternoon, there will be some time to relax and to take in the tranquility of the desert ambience, before we head back out once again for an afternoon shoot at the Spitzkoppe peaks. Although the morning light is breathtaking, sunset amongst the mountain’s magnificent rock formations is especially beautiful. We’ll stay out late for the opportunity to photograph the granite landscapes, rock arches and massive boulders beneath an incredible, starry night sky.
Day 11, 3 April
After breakfast on day eleven, we’ll pack up and head back to Windhoek. The journey will take approximately 3 hours, though we’ll make several stops along the way to stretch our legs and to document the surrounding scenery.
On arrival to the capital city of Namibia, we’ll check in to our accommodation at the Windhoek Hotel. There will be some time to relax and to explore the city at your leisure, before we meet in the evening for our final dinner as a group. Over a delicious meal, you’ll have the chance to consolidate your friendships and to engage in discussion with your guides about any further queries that you may have in relation to photography.
For those with a spirit for adventure, we have a wildlife extension photography tour in the protected area of the Erindi Private Game Reserve which may be added onto the end of this itinerary. The reserve is home to about 20,000 animals including various rare and endangered species.
Day 12, 4 April
This will be your final day in Namibia. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport for your flight home or onwards to your next destination – no doubt with a host of new photography skills underneath your belt and memory cards filled with images from a spectacular photography adventure in the Sub-Saharan deserts of Namibia.
Included in the price:
- Two Professional photo guides.
- Professional driver services
- Professional licensed local guide services
- Transportation in a spacious, comfortable bus offering ample room for you and your photography gear, all transfers included
- Accommodation in most amazing Namibia hotels. Rooms with private bathrooms.
- All national parks entrance fees
Full board (all meals included!)
Price: 8900 USD
Not included in the price:
– Visas (if applicable)
– Single supplement 1500 USD
What to bring
– DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release
– A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 16-35. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes
– A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
– A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm
Full list of recommended wear will be sent to participants.