Namibia is home to some of Africa’s most breathtaking landscapes, with desolate salt pans, remote red deserts and savannahs teeming with wildlife. A photography tour is the perfect way to capture the country’s untouched natural wonders, and with our expert photography guides by your side, you won’t leave disappointed.
This photography tour will see you reach the very tip of the African continent, travel far into the Namibian Desert, stand at the foot of dead trees that have become 1000-year-old monuments to the stubbornness of nature, explore a once-thriving mining town now abandoned and half-buried by sand, and venture deep into one of the most exclusive natural parks in the world.
The itinerary for the trip is changeable to an extent depending on the weather conditions. So first of all, here are the highlights you can expect to capture with your camera.
Quiver “Trees” aren’t actually trees at all, just very big plants. Still, their remarkable silhouette makes for a great picture, especially against the backdrop of night sky illuminated by stars. The Quiver Tree Forest near our accommodation has two locations that we will spend our time in, both within a five minute drive, and are easy get around.
A few minutes inland from our accommodation in Luderitz is Kolmanskop, a now-abandoned town that was once home to one of the largest diamond rushes in human history. In the early 20th century, prospectors from Germany discovered diamonds here and quickly set up an settlement in the middle of the desert as they searched. But in the space of a few decades their treasure began to run dry and the mining companies withdrew from the area. The only thing the Germans left behind was this spectacularly preserved town in the most unusual of locations.
As a group we have paid a fee for a photographic permit, giving us access to the town outside of normal visiting hours. The fee is included in the tour price.
The two mesmerising salt pans of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei lie in the Tsauchab Dune Valley, which is part of the Namib Naukluft National Park. Thousands of years ago the Tsauchab river began to slice through the sand dunes as it sought the Atlantic Ocean - but they didn’t quite make it. The result is an impressive wetland set among what are some of planet Earth’s tallest dunes.
The now lifeless plains of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei offer incredible photo opportunities for those brave enough to venture out onto the flats. The remains of trees, jutting out from the baking sand, provide eerie silhouettes and a point of reference against an endless horizon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Iurie Belegurschi is an award winning fine art nature and landscape photographer. He was born in Moldova, but moved to Reykjavik in Iceland in 2006 to study tourism and hospitality. Iurie is the leading photography guide and workshop instructor in Iceland, and his tours are much sought after both by locals and international clients. In addition to running photography tours, his unique and jaw-dropping landscape photos have been published worldwide in books, calendars, ad campaigns, commercials and even found their way to highly esteemed newspapers such as The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Sun, The Huffington Post and The Telegraph to mention just a few. Iurie’s two main passions in life are photography and travelling. He is a big fan of winterscapes and night photography, with the latter being his most desired activity.
Daniel was born in Moscow area. In his childhood he graduated the art school. After that, he is studied in Moscow institute of Physics and Technology and became an optics physicist. During the study he gain experience not only in physics, but also in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer in Russian mountains. Right after graduation he became a guide of photo-workshops and chief editor of “Continent expedition” magazine. This magazine is about travel and adventures all over the world. He has got several awards in photography: Golden Turtle’ 13 Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest 2013 and 2014 finalist, Best of Russia’13 and ’14 winner, best photographer’13 finalist and others. He is spending most of his time in Norway, Lofoten islands and in Tuscany at villa Gaia, guiding groups of photographers.
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip.
If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.