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A photographer’s guide to Namibia

Dedvlei
The camel thorn trees of Deadvlei

I have traveled all over this globe to witness nature in all its glory. My goal is to capture images that convey the emotion I felt the moment I clicked the shutter. I do this for my family and friends back home that are not lucky enough to do what I do for a living. I want them to experience the world through my eyes.

Very few photo destinations offer that emotion and amazement at every stop along the way. Namibia is one of those locations where the beauty that surrounds me is apparent every day of the trip – enormous sand dunes that seem to touch the sky – intimate wildlife encounters – buildings that are being swallowed up by the sands of time – night skies that reveal more stars and planets that are visible to the naked eye.

Here are some of my favorite destinations on my photographic journies through Namibia.

Namib Desert

Dunes of Sossuvlei, Namibia
Dunes of Sossuvlei, Namibia

The swirling desert sands, pink granite mountains, and famous desert dunes have some of the world’s best scenery to explore. Watching the sun dance on the curls of the dune edges creates a stunning visual. And while you can explore this by the ground, a helicopter flight early in the morning and late in the day with the doors off offers some of the world’s most incredible opportunities for abstract dune photography.

Kolmonskop

The abandoned diamond-mining town of Kolmonskop is the holy grail for enthusiasts of abandoned sites. This once-thriving town pulled more diamonds out of the earth than anywhere. Now, sand slowly creeps through the windows and doors, building dunes from the inside out. Nature is gradually reclaiming the town.

Early morning and late evening light cast stunning, three-dimensional shadows on these surreal structures. I never get tired of visiting this location. Each visit brings a unique light and perspective to this amazing location.

Kolmonskop
Abandoned building in Kolmonskop

Deadvlei

Deadvlei is a magical and otherworldly place. The first couple of times I visited Deadvlei, I did what every photographer did. I went right for the Frans Lanting photo of the orange dunes behind silhouettes of the dead camel thorn trees.

As my photography matured, I started to admire how the sun painted the landscape with its winding shapes that seemed to draw the eye through the clay pan. The ethereal beauty that unfolds is mesmerizing. But it takes patience, and the photographic gift is one that you will surely never forget.

Dead camel thorn tree at Deadvlei

Quiver Tree Forest

The Quiver Tree forest is home to alien-looking trees scattered in a lunar landscape. Until I visited Quiver Tree, I had no idea that you could see soo many stars with the naked eye. And the camera’s view is even more spectacular. Photographing these unusual trees as a foreground element, framed by some of the darkest skies on the planet, is breathtaking.

Milky Way over Quiver Tree forest in Namibia
The Milky Way over the Quiver Tree Forest in Namibia

Etosha National Park

Game drives in Etosha and nighttime game viewing in Etosha National Park is all about quality over quantity. Game drives are not like they are in east Africa. During the day, you have to work to find your target species, but the reward is being able to capture them in a stunning desert landscape. At night, if you are at the right resort, you can sit and safely admire the animals. There is nothing quite like listening to the sounds of rhinos and elephants walking, breathing, and drinking at the watering hole under the silence of the night skies.

Himba Tribe

I have photographed people all over Africa, Asia, and Canada. Visting the indigenous Himba tribe remains one of my favorite times behind the camera, capturing and enjoying their dancing, singing, and culture. Getting to know these people on a personal level is what makes the experience special. Their beauty and personalities seem to emanate from my images of them. This is the photoshoot I look forward to the most when I arrive in Namibia.

Join me on a Namibia photo workshop

The Muench team and I usually go to Nambia every year and would love for you to join us. Check out our Namibia photo workshops here.

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