Planet Namibia 2019

An unforgettable 13-night Namibian adventure

Exploring the spectacular landscapes and wildlife of this hauntingly beautiful country. Visit a ghost town, shoot the Milky Way, track desert-adapted wildlife, marvel at the dunes of Sossussvlei, search for big game in Etosha, and much more.

One date in 2019

  • May 4 – 17, 2019

Competitively priced

The safari cost will be fixed in mid 2018.  We anticipate a price of around £8,250 per person, sharing, flights not included, and a single supplement of £500.  If you wish to make a provisional booking (highly recommended, as our trips fill up quickly), we will take a £500 per person booking deposit.  If you decide to cancel your booking when we announce rates, your deposit will be refunded.

Fully escorted, small group

Maximum of six guests per safari, escorted by professional wildlife photographers Ann and Steve Toon, plus two of South Africa’s top wildlife photographers acting as guide/drivers.

Dead Vlei, Namib Desert, Namibia

Special features

  • Namibia’s stunning desert landscapes, including Dead Vlei and dunes
  • Desert-adapted wildlife, including palmato geckos, Namaqua chameleon
  • Big game in Etosha national park
  • Kolmanskop ghost town
  • Star trails and Milky Way nocturnal photography
  • Coastal wildlife including flamingoes, pelicans and seals

13 Night African Photo Safari

PLANET NAMIBIA - NEW FOR 2019!

New for 2019 we’re thrilled to be offering a fabulous two-week wildlife, landscape and starscape tour of one of Africa’s most photogenic wild places, a longtime personal favourite: Planet Namibia.

We say ‘Planet Namibia’, because anyone who has ever visited will know the complete otherworldliness of this unique and unspoiled African country’s wildlife and wild places. Supremely photogenic alien landscapes and lifeforms don’t quite do justice as descriptions for the surreal plantlife and trees, the vast sensuously-shaped dunescapes, the endless wild coastline, the fascinating desert-adapted wildlife, the shimmering mirage of game on Etosha pan, the darkness of the night skies and the picturesque decay of long-abandoned ghost-towns slowly being swallowed up by the sands of time. We’re planning to photograph as much of it as we can on this trip!

In addition to our own experience and knowledge of photographing in southern Africa and Namibia our six guests will be able to tap into the photographic expertise of two top South African photographic guides, who have bags of in-field experience and technical know-how. So there’ll be plenty of help on hand whether its nailing night-sky shots, making great dune landscapes or capturing dynamic wildlife images from macro critters to mega fauna.

Our tour through this premier southern African photo destination takes in the best photographic highlights this amazing country has to offer.  We’ll be shooting from vehicle, boat and on foot, and there’s even the option of aerial helicopter photography. Our road vehicles are customised 4x4s, and our accommodation has been picked to put us right in the heart of the action.

Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) with giraffe, Etosha National Park, Namibia, May 2013

Our accommodation

4 May – Windhoek:  River Crossing lodge is a welcoming, comfortable lodge just outside the capital city, with great views over the surrounding hills.

5 May – Keetmanshoop: Quiver tree lodge offers simple accommodation, but perfectly located, on site with the iconic quiver trees.

6,7 May – Luderitz/Kolmanskop: Nest Hotel is a relaxed, friendly sea-front hotel, and all rooms have views over the ocean.

8,9,10 May – Sossussvlei: Sossus Dune Lodge  is our base for exploring the Sossussvlei dune system. Inside the national park, it means we get vital early and late access.

11,12,13 May – Swakopmund:  Beach Hotel is situated just yards from the Atlantic Ocean, and is perfect for exploring the quirky ‘Bavarian’ charms of Swakopmund.

14,15,16 May – Etosha national park:  Okaukuejo camp is Etosha’s main rest camp, notable for its superb waterhole.

 

Sand dune, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Namaqua chameleon, Namib Desert

Our action-packed itinerary

Our safari starts in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, where we meet and greet and stay the night in a comfortable lodge just outside the city.  An early start in the morning and we head to the Keetmanshoop area of Southern Namibia, where we photograph the distinctive kokerboom aloes of the quiver tree forest in beautiful late afternoon light and then after dark against the spectacular Milky Way.

Next day we head to Luderitz, on the Atlantic coast, where we’ll spend two days photographing the world famous Kolmanskop diamond mining ghost town, putting our landscape, architectural and still life skills through their paces.

Next we head to Sossusvlei for a three night stay, to experience the red dunes, Dead Vlei, and desert wildlife. We’ll be doing more night photography, making the most of the incredible dark skies of the Namib. And there’s the option of a two hour helicopter flight over the desert for aerial landscape shots (additional cost).

Next, it’s the charismatic seaside town of Swakopmund, renowned for its pseudo-Bavarian architecture, sandwiched between the Atlantic ocean and the tall dunes of the Namib desert.  Swakop offers a remarkable diversity of wildlife opportunities: we’ll charter a boat in Walvis Bay to photograph birds such as pelicans, flying within touching distance, we’ll head into the Namib in search of distinctive desert-adapted critters, including palmato geckos, Namaqua chameleons, and sidewinder snakes, we’ll photograph big flocks of flamingoes in the shallow waters of Walvis Bay, and we’ll capture action shots of thousands of seals playing in the surf.

Last destination on our safari, but certainly not least, is Etosha, the jewel in the crown of Namibia’s national parks, where we focus on the vast open plains and abundant wildlife the area has to offer. We’ll look for elephant, lion, leopard, and rhino on game drives by day, and by night we’ll continue photographing the big game that visits the floodlit waterhole at camp.

After three nights in Etosha, we’ll drive back to Windhoek in time for afternoon international flights.

Quiver trees (Kokerboom), Namibia

Is this for you?

This safari is aimed at very keen photographers who will relish spending lots of time with great subjects and a variety of photographic genres, including wildlife, landscape, architecture, and the night sky.  We’ll enjoy superb opportunities for great images, memorable wildlife encounters and unforgettable scenery. To ensure the best possible photography, we’re strictly limiting numbers to six guests.  We, Ann and Steve, have been visiting Namibia for 20 years, and photographing wildlife and travel professionally for more than 15 years, but you won’t only have our expertise to draw upon. We’ve teamed up with a leading Southern African wildlife photography operator, and will have two South African guide/drivers who are themselves hugely experienced, multi-award winning photographers.

This is a specialist photo safari, and we’ll be spending lots of time in prime locations, concentrating on perfecting our shots.  The trip is open to non-photographing partners, but while they can enjoy the spectacular wildlife and scenery, they need to understand that the photography comes first, and they will need plenty of patience. We won’t be making concessions to non-photographers in organising our activities!

We’ve chosen accommodation that is best situated to put us in the heart of the best locations and opportunities. It’s comfortable, but not super-luxury.  If it’s five star lodges you want, then this isn’t the safari for you.  Again, we’ve put the photography first when choosing where we stay.

We’ll be getting up before dawn some days to ensure we’re in place for the best light, and spending a lot of time photographing, which can be tiring, so you’ll need a degree of stamina. Namibia is a big country, so there will be significant driving between locations – though always through amazing landscapes, and in vehicles that are well-equipped, with aircon, fridges, etc. You need to be fit enough to walk to locations such as Dead Vlei, across sand, carrying your own equipment.

We will be working with an experienced and very effective ground crew. But this is Africa, so we’re looking for guests who can take small hiccups in their stride – and understand that wildlife and weather is anything but predictable! We’re a small group so a good sense of humour, a relaxed attitude and boundless enthusiasm will ensure we have a great time and make lasting friends.

CHOBE - AN AFRICAN EDEN

Plains zebra, Etosha

The Uniquely Namibia itinerary has been planned to include a wide variety of subjects and photographic techniques in prime locations and you’ll have four highly experienced photographer guides to give you plenty of advice and help. You can expect to photograph the following during your two week trip:

  • Landscape photography: dunes, desert, coast
  • Milky Way and starscapes
  • Landscapes with star trails
  • Time lapse photography
  • Big game wildlife
  • Desert adapted wildlife (macro with telephoto lenses)
  • Marine wildlife (birds, seals)
  • Wildlife after dark
  • Optional helicopter aerial landscape photography (extra cost)
  • Photography from vehicle, boat, and on foot
  • Still life and architectural photography

CUSTOMISED PHOTO VEHICLES

Photo Vehicle

We will be using custom built 4×4 vehicles on this safari, ideally suited for the most discerning photographers working in the desert environment. Each vehicle will be limited to three guests, plus Ann or Steve and an award-winning South African photographer/driver.

Each vehicle is equipped with:

  • Air con
  • 6 reclining guest seats in the rear of the vehicle
  • A fridge for water and soft drinks
  • Pop-up roof for photography
  • Electric windows all round with custom camera mounts
  • Each row of seats has its own entrance door
  • Bean bags and custom camera mounts with gimbal heads for long telephoto lenses.
  • 220V and 12V for charging cameras
  • USB charging facilities
  • Free Wi-fi (where there is mobile coverage)

We hope to fix prices for our 2019 Namibia safari in mid 2018.  We anticipate a price of around £8,250 per person, sharing, flights not included, and a single supplement of £500.  If you wish to make a provisional booking (highly recommended, as our trips fill up quickly), we will take a £500 per person booking deposit.  If you decide to cancel your booking when we announce rates, your deposit will be refunded.

The cost includes:

  • 13 nights’ accommodation
  • Luxury 4×4 vehicles (aircon, charging facilities, fridge)
  • Free Wi-Fi in vehicles (when network coverage is available)
  • All meals
  • Private chartered bay cruise tour in Walvis Bay
  • All soft drinks, mineral water and snacks
  • Local beers and wines (except premium brands and or imported liquor)
  • All park fees

The cost excludes:

  • International flights

  • Visas (not required by British nationals or many other nationalities)

  • Laundry

  • (Optional) helicopter flight at Sossussvlei
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Gratuities

We’ll provide all the info you need about hotels, flights, etc, when you book.