Our Namibia photo safari begins in Windhoek, the country's contemporary capital whose eclectic skyline is peppered with German castles, glass skyscrapers
Day 2–4: Kulala Private Reserve—Sossusvlei Sand Dunes
After breakfast, a mid-morning flight by light aircraft lands us at Little Kulala, a luxury desert retreat within the private 90,000-acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve at the edge of Namibia’s great sand sea. The word
While wildlife is sparsely distributed in this austere landscape, we have a chance to capture photos of desert species including oryx, ostrich, springbok, spotted and brown hyena, aardwolf and bat-eared fox. The rare dune lark’s entire range is confined to this habitat. We discover the desert’s subtle magic on short walks and safari drives, plus there is an opportunity to soar in an early-morning hot air balloon flight over the dunes, a thrilling chance for photographers to capture dramatic aerial views of this wondrous landscape in the rosy glow of sunrise.
Days 5–7: Palmwag Concession—Skeleton Coast
Fly north toward Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, whose evocative name references the dried bones of wrecked ships that lay half-buried on beaches battered by fierce Atlantic storms. Our destination, Hoanib Skeleton Coast, is a hospitable outpost amid one of Africa’s last great wildernesses. Set in one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth, the low-impact camp enjoys a scenic location at the confluence of two tributaries of the dry Hoanib River in the northern part of the private million-acre Palmwag Concession, next to Skeleton Coast National Park. Few safari locales offer the level of isolation found here in one of the most remote regions of the Kaokoveld.
We spend three days immersed in these rugged mountains, vast plains, dune fields and dry riverbeds, with one excursion to the coast itself. A range of activities is designed to maximize photography opportunities, and we explore via 4x4 drives and hides for wildlife viewing. Our bewitching environs are inhabited by a remarkable array of desert-adapted plants and animals, with surprising photo subjects at every turn. Almost miraculously, a multitude of species thrives in the stark inland environment, including Namibia’s largest population of desert elephant. With cameras poised, we hope for sightings of giraffe and lion, oryx, springbok
Days 8–10: Ongava Private Reserve—Etosha National Park
Transfer by light aircraft to the Ongava Reserve on the border of Etosha National Park. The Etosha Salt Pan is the remnant of a huge lake that existed here two million years ago. Bare and dry today, the depression offers Namibia’s best wildlife photography opportunities, with elephant, black and white rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok, oryx, kudu and the diminutive dik-dik drawn to its life-sustaining waterholes. Birdlife is abundant, and we may see ostrich and raptors. We stay on the private reserve adjacent to the park, far from any other accommodations. From camp we take guided walks (safety permitting) and night drives on the reserve, venturing into the park by day to
Day 11: Windhoek / Depart
Our grand Namibia photo safari concludes today as we fly from Ongava back to Windhoek to connect with flights onward.