Photo Safaris - Namibia 2020

Bill Gozansky in conjunction with Ultimate Safaris, an adventure tour operator based in Windhoek, Namibia, will be offering a photographic safari itinerary to Namibia in 2020. In a private or small group setting, learn field techniques of professional wildlife photography and capture amazing images of African landscapes and wildlife as you travel to one of the most unique areas in southwest Africa.

Designed to suit photographers of all levels, the photo safaris will enhance your photographic skills and introduce you to professional field techniques focused on capturing Namibia’s endless landscapes, incredible wildlife, and the stunning Himba people. Your African photo safari actually begins well before you board your plane to Africa. Bill will personally email you to discuss your photographic goals, equipment resources and knowledge of photography to help ensure that your photo safari is optimally structured to target the subject matter that interests you the most. It is our hope that the photo safaris will not only enable you to capture stunning images of Namibia, but will also provide you with an incredible experience of a lifetime.

To make a reservation or for more information regarding this photo safari, please contact Tristan Cowley at tristan@ultimatesafaris.na or Bill Gozansky at info@billgozansky.com.

Photo Safari Itinerary: Dates SEPTEMBER 15th THRU OCTOBER 1st
(Optional: 4-Day Pre-Trip Extension to Luderitz begins September 12th)

Day 1 (Sep 15) – Arrive Windhoek
Day 2 & 3 (Sep 16 & 17) – NamibRand Nature Reserve
Day 4 & 5 (Sep 18 & 19) – Namib Naukluft National Park
Day 6 (Sep 20) – Walvis Bay
Day 7 & 8 (Sep 21 & 22) – Damaraland
Day 9 & 10 (Sep 23 & 24) – Himba Experience | Grootberg Area
Day 11 & 12 (Sep 25 & 26) – Southern Etosha National Park Boundary
Day 13 & 14 (Sep 27 & 28) – East Etosha National Park Boundary
Day 15 & 16 (Sep 29 & 30) – Okonjima Nature Reserve
Day 17 (Oct 1) – Departure Windhoek Int’l Airport

OPTIONAL LUDERITZ EXTENTION (PRE-TRIP):
Day 1 (Sep 12) – Arrive Windhoek
Day 2, 3, & 4 (Sep 13, 14, 15) –
Kolmanskop | Elizabeth Bay | Luderitz
Day 5 (Sep 16) – NamibRand Nature Reserve per main itinerary

Day 1

After arrival at Windhoek International Hosea Kutako Airport, situated 40 km outside of Windhoek, you will be welcomed by your private Ultimate Safaris guide who will transfer you to the Galton House. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax from your international travels and settle into your charming accommodation. Dinner tonight at the guesthouse.

Accommodation:

Galton House – B/D

Windhoek Capital City: Windhoek, Namibia’s capital nestles among rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the east, the Auas Mountains to the south and the Khomas Hochland in the west. It is a meeting place between Africa and Europe, the modern and old. In the capital’s main street, well-preserved German colonial buildings are in sharp contrast with modern architectural styles, while Herero women in their traditional Victorian dresses mingle with executives dressed in the latest fashions. Centrally located within Namibia, Windhoek is an excellent starting point for an adventurous holiday for many visitors to the country and an ideal base from where to explore the rest of the country.

Day 2

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Drive down to NamibRand Nature Reserve, traversing the Great Escarpment and scenic Khomas Hochland Highlands. Sundowner drive on the NamibRand Nature Reserve, ending with sundowners at a viewpoint looking out over the spectacular “Chateau Plains”.

Photography Focus:

Remote Desert Landscape & Wildlife Photography

Accommodation:

Wolwedans Dunes Camp – B/L/D

NamibRand Nature Reserve: The breathtaking NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of the largest private nature reserves in Southern Africa, began as a conservation initiative in 1984 and now extends over 180,000 hectares of pristine Namib Desert, restoring land that was once used for Karakul sheep farming. The reserve shares a common border of nearly 100 km with the Namib-Naukluft National Park to the west, while the imposing Nubib mountain range forms a natural border to the east. The particular attraction of NamibRand is its diversity of different desert landscapes, representing virtually all facets of the Namib Desert with expansive sand and gravel plains and endless stretches of grass savannah alternate with majestic mountain ranges and vegetated dune belts of deep red sand. The variety of flora and fauna is as fascinating as the color nuances of the landscape, which change continuously as the day progress.

Day 3

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Full day of memorable activities, including a variety of scenic game drives amidst the dramatic scenery of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, as run by Wolwedans. Emphasis will be on early morning and late afternoon photo excursions in order to be able to take advantage of the light conditions. Program will be confirmed after discussion with your guide and group’s photographic interest.

Photography Focus:

Remote Desert Landscape & Wildlife Photography

Accommodation:

Wolwedans Dunes Camp – B/L/D

Day 4

Namib Naukluft National Park

Drive from the NamibRand Nature Reserve to Namib Naukluft Nature Reserve. Sundowner drive into the dunes with your guide.

Photography Focus:

Amazing Dune Landscape Photography

Accommodation:

Dead Valley Dune Lodge – B/L/D

Sossusvlei: This most frequently visited section of the massive 50,000 km² Namib Naukluft National Park has become known as Sossusvlei, famous for its towering apricot colored sand dunes which can be reached by following the Tsauchab River valley. Sossusvlei itself is actually a clay pan set amidst these star shaped dunes which stand up to 300 meters above the surrounding plains, ranking them among the tallest dunes on earth. The deathly white clay pan contrasts against the orange sands and forms the endpoint of the ephemeral Tsauchab River, within the interior of the Great Sand Sea. The river course rises south of the Naukluft Mountains in the Great Escarpment. It penetrates the sand sea for some 55 km before it finally peters out at Sossusvlei, about the same distance from the Atlantic Ocean. Until the encroaching dunes blocked its course around 60,000 years ago, the Tsauchab River once reached the sea; as ephemeral rivers still do in the northern half of the Namib. Sand-locked pans to the west show where the river previously flowed to before dunes shifted its endpoint to where it currently gathers at Sossusvlei. Roughly once a decade rainfall over the catchment area is sufficient to bring the river down in flood and fill the pan. On such occasions the mirror images of dunes and camel thorn trees around the pan are reflected in the water. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. Another, famous for its gnarled and ghostly camel thorn trees, is Deadvlei which can be reached on foot over 1 km of sand. Deadvlei’s striking camel thorn trees; dead for want of water, still stand erect as they once grew. They survived until about 900 years years ago when the sand sea finally blocked the river from occasionally flooding the pan.

Day 5

Namib Naukluft National Park

This will be a full day of photography as you rise early this morning for a magical excursion with your guide. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. Once you have explored to your hearts content you can enjoy a relaxing picnic breakfast under the shade of a camel thorn tree. Return to Lodge in the mid-afternoon for lunch and then return to the dunes to capture the late afternoon light.

Photography Focus:

Amazing Dune Landscape Photography

Accommodation:

Dead Valley Dune Lodge – B/L/D

Day 6

Walvis Bay

Drive to Walvis Bay, traveling via the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons through awesome and ever changing landscapes. Afternoon available to explore the lagoon and nearby salt works to see the interesting mix of pelicans, flamingos and other seabirds.

Photography Focus:

Coastal Landscape & Bird Photography

Accommodation:

Oyster Box Guesthouse – B/L/D

Day 7

Damaraland

Today’s journey takes you northeast and inland into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. If time allows this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of Twyfelfontein rock engravings (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Burnt Mountain, the Organ Pipes and the Damara Living Museum – if not there is plenty of time to do so tomorrow.

Photography Focus:

Landscape and Twyfelfontein Ancient Rock Engraving Photography

Accommodation:

Camp Onduli – B/L/D

Twyfelfontein: Strewn over a hillside amongst flat-topped mountains of red sandstone, Twyfelfontein’s boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2,500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa. The engravings show animals such as elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, rhinoceros, springbok, zebra and ostrich that once used to drink from a fountain at the bottom of the hill. In some cases footprints were engraved instead of hooves or paws. Stone tools and other artifacts found at Twyfelfontein suggest that hunter-gatherers occupied the site over a period of perhaps 7,000 years. These days a local guide accompanies visitors to showcase the rock art. The engravings lie along two circular routes, one an hour’s climb and the other 40 minutes longer. Twyfelfontein is one of Namibia’s key National Monuments and has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 8

Damaraland

Your guide will take you on a 4×4 expedition through ephemeral river valleys in search of desert elephants and other desert adapted wildlife. Afternoon at leisure, with the option to head out on a leisurely walk with your guide if desired.

Photography Focus:

Desert-Adapted Elephant, Twyfelfontein Ancient Rock Engravings, Boulder-Strewn Landscape, Desert Critter Photography

Accommodation:

Camp Onduli – B/L/D

Day 9

Grootberg Mountain 

We have the option this morning to head out in search of desert elephants once more before making our way to Grootberg Lodge, traversing the scenic Grootberg Mountain pass to get there. Option to head out on an interpretive walk with your guide this afternoon, enjoying the magnificent views from the top of the plateau.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife & Landscape Photography

Accommodation:

Grootberg Lodge – B/L/D

Day 10

Himba Experience

Your guide will take you to visit a local Himba settlement today, traversing rugged terrain to reach their location near the small town of Sesfontein in the remote Kaokoland region. You return to the lodge in the late afternoon, after a long yet rewarding day

Photography Focus:

Himba Cultural & Landscape Photography

Accommodation:

Grootberg Lodge – B/L/D

Himba: The Himba are semi-nomads who live in scattered settlements throughout the Kunene Region. They are a tall, slender and statuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly nature. The women especially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skins against the harsh desert climate. The homes of the Himba of Kaokoland are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The men build the structures, while the women mix the clay and do the plastering. A fire burns in the headman’s hut day and night, to keep away insects and provide light and heating. A family may move from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing for their goats and cattle. Men, women and children wear body adornments made from iron and shell beads. A Himba woman spends as much as three hours a day on her toilette. First she bathes, then she anoints herself with her own individually prepared mixture which not only protects her skin from the harsh desert sun, but also keeps insects away and prevents her body hair from falling out. She uses another mixture of butter fat, fresh herbs and black coals to rub on her hair, and ‘steams’ her clothes regularly over the permanent fire. Men, women and children adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, anklets and belts made from iron and shell beads.

Day 11

South Etosha National Park Boundary

Your journey takes you further northeast to reach the southern boundary of the Etosha National Park. Sundowner game drive on the private Ongava Game Reserve.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife, Landscape & Hide Photography

Accommodation:

Ongava (Andersson’s Camp) – B/L/D

Day 12

South Etosha National Park Boundary

Full day dedicated to game drives inside the Etosha National Park with your guide from the comfort of your specially modified safari vehicle.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife, Landscape & Hide Photography

Accommodation:

Ongava (Andersson’s Camp)  – B/L/D

Etosha National Park: Large enough to be classified as a saline desert in its own right, the Etosha Pan lies in the Owambo Basin, on the north-western edge of the Namibian Kalahari. Until three million years ago it formed part of huge, shallow lake that was reduced to a complex of salt pans when the major river that fed it, the Kunene, changed course and began to flow to the Atlantic instead. If the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world. Etosha is the largest of the pans, 4 760 km in extent, or about half the size of Lebanon. It is nowadays filled with water only when sufficient rain falls to the north in Angola to induce floods to flow southward along the Cuvelai drainage system.

Day 13

East Etosha National Park Boundary

You game drive your way east through the Etosha National Park today, stopping at active waterholes and for wildlife sightings along the way.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife, Landscape & Hide Photography

Accommodation:

Onguma (Etosha Aoba Lodge) – B/L/D

Etosha National Park Wildlife: Game-viewing centers around the numerous springs and waterholes where several different species can often be seen at one time. The Park boasts some 114 mammal and over 340 bird species. Wildlife that one might see includes elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger and warthog, as well as the endemic black-faced impala.

Day 14

East Etosha National Park Boundary

Option to either head into Etosha National Park again today, or spend time at the active Onkolo Hide on the private Onguma Game Reserve.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife & Hide Photography

Accommodation:

Onguma (Etosha Aoba Lodge) – B/L/D

Day 15

Okonjima Nature Reserve 

Today’s journey takes you south to Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation. Afternoon activity on the private Okonjima Nature Reserve.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife Photography – Leopard and Brown Hyena focus –  (Radio Tracking used. Some animals collared.)

Accommodation:

Okonjima Bush Camp – B/L/D

Day 16

Okonjima Nature Reserve

Today is spent on various activities with your lodge guide, early morning and evening photographic game drives. Opportunities to  learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation.

Photography Focus:

Wildlife Photography – Leopard and Brown Hyena focus –  (Radio Tracking used. Some animals collared.)

Accommodation:

Okonjima Bush Camp – B/L/D

Day 17

Okonjima Nature Reserve | Departure

[If you have late afternoon / evening flight out of Windhoek.] Option to enjoy one last AfriCat activity this morning before transfer you to the Windhoek Int’l Airport in time to check in for your Int’l flight home. This is officially the end of your Namibian safari. We hope to see you again!

Photography Focus:

Wildlife Photography

Accommodation:

Okonjima Bush Camp – B

2020 Prices - Main Itinerary

If 2 People* – $212,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $15,000) per person sharing
If 3 People* – $181,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $13,000) per person sharing
If 4 People* – $162,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $11,500) per person sharing

Single Supplement – $20,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $1,400)

Important Notes:
*We are trying to keep group size to 3 photographers for a small-group, intensive photographic experience. Please inquire as we may be able to accommodate an additional traveler under certain circumstances.
**Payment must be made to Ultimate Safaris in ZAR/NAD, thus payment will be subject to currency fluctuations based on your home currency exchange with ZAR/NAD and time of payment.
Rates subject to change based on specific dates of travel.

LUDERITZ PRE-TRIP EXTENSION:
Unique opportunity to photograph old diamond mining towns. Desert sands encroach on old buildings. Urban decay / architectural photography. This area is often on many photographer’s bucket list.

Sep 12:  Arrival | Windhoek
Ultimate Safaris meet and greet on arrival and transfer into town.
Accommodation:  Galton House – D

Sep 13:  Transfer to Eros Airport | Luderitz
Air Namibia flight to Lüderitz and transfer to Lüderitz Nest Hotel. Ultimate Safaris guide to meet on arrival at Lüderitz Airport. Afternoon at leisure with the option to explore the town on your own.
Accommodation:  Lüderitz Nest Hotel – B/L/D

Sep 14:  Lüderitz
Morning Elizabeth Bay Excursion (with Namib Offroad Excursions). Afternoon/Sunset Kolmanskop Excursion (with Ultimate Safaris guide).
Accommodation:  Lüderitz Nest Hotel – B/L/D

Sep 15:  Lüderitz
Morning Kolmanskop Excursion (with Ultimate Safaris guide). Afternoon at leisure with the option to explore Lüderitz town and iconic buildings. Option to explore the Peninsula with your guide if desired.
Accommodation:  Lüderitz Nest Hotel – B/L/D

Sep 16:  Breakfast at Lüderitz Nest Hotel before setting off for Wolwedans as per main program
Accommodation:  Lüderitz Nest Hotel – B

ESTIMATED 2020 PRICES FOR LUDERITZ EXTENSION:
If 2 People* – $35,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $2,350) per person sharing
If 3 People* – $29,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $2,000) per person sharing
If 4 People* – $25,000 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $1,650) per person sharing
Single Supplement – $1,500 ZAR/NAD (**Approx. USD $100)

Note: Extension Pricing includes Air Namibia Flight to Luderitz

Includes

  • Accommodation & meals as stated above.
  • Transportation in luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
  • Services of a registered and experienced safari guide.
  • Photography Guide and Field Instruction.
  • Entrance Fees and Excursions as described above.
  • Airport Transfers in Windhoek
  • Air Namibia commercial flight from Luderitz to Windhoek Int’l Airport
  • Mineral Water onboard Safari Vehicle and local beverages while staying at Wolwedans Dunes Camp – excluding premium brands.

Excludes

  • International Flights to and from Namibia and airport taxes.
  • Any meals not included in above itinerary.
  • Any entrance fees and excursions not included in above itinerary (e.g.: helicopter flight in Sossusvlei).
  • All beverages with the exception of mineral water onboard safari vehicle.
  • Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost)
  • Gratuities
  • Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines, etc.)
  • Entry Visa Fees
  • Travel and Medical Insurance (Recommended)
  • Bank Charges (as per bank or 3.5% commission for VISA/MASTERCARD and
    4.5% commission for AMEX)

Notes

  • Services subject to availability at the time of booking.
  • Rates subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond
    our control, e.g., fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.

To make a reservation or for more information regarding these photo safaris, please contact Tristan Cowley at tristan@ultimatesafaris.na or Bill Gozansky at info@billgozansky.com.