12 Day Namibia Photography Tour
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. Here are the highlights that you can expect to capture with your camera.
The Quiver Tree Forest
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.
This incredible landscape photography destination is the perfect extension to our Namibia Wildlife Photography Tour, during which you can photograph the stunning wildlife of this special part of the world at the Erindi Private Game Reserve.
Combine the two tours for a memorable trip into this remarkable country of spectacular scenery, exceptional wildlife and a cultural experience like no other. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Day 1: Arrival
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 - Day 2: Spitzkoppe
We’ll begin our journey from Windhoek to 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 one night 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 travelling.
Day 3 - Day 3: Walvis Bay
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 and check out to go to Walvis Bay. 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. We’ll spend one night in Iris Boutique Hotel located in Walvis Bay.
Day 4 - Day 4: Sossusvlei National Park
On day four, we’ll move towards one of Namibia’s most spectacular landmarks – the Sossusvlei National Park – where we’ll make our base at the environmentally-sensitive Dead Valley 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.
Day 5 - Day 5: Deadvlei
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.
Day 6 - Day 6: Sossusvlei & Deadvlei
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 7 - Day 7: Kolmanskop
On day seven, we’ll leave the Dead Valley Lodge, 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 8 - Day 8: Kolmanskop
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 9 - Day 9: Quiver Tree Forest Camp
We’ll be moving to Keetmanshop, 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 10 - Day 10: Quiver Tree Forest Camp
On day ten, 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 11 - Day 11: Windhoek
After breakfast on day eleven, we’ll pack up and head back to Windhoek. The journey will take approximately 6 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.
Day 12 - Day 12: Departure
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.
June 14-25, 2023 - Guided by Raymond Hoffman
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour will always dependent on weather, as the weather can be highly unpredictable.
Raymond is an award-winning photographer with a worldwide reputation. Known for his magnificent landscape photos, his career took off in 2011, when he was voted as ‘Best Nature Photographer’ by one of Europe’s largest online photo communities.
One of his photos was even elected as one of the best photos in the 10 years history of the organization. Raymond’s work has featured in various publications, from books to newspapers and magazines, and he actively takes on assignments for publishers and advertising agencies.
These days he works as a nature photographer, mostly leading expert tours across the stunning nordic nations. He is an ambassador for the Lucroit filter system, and has won awards in a range of international photography contests.