Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Quiver Tree Forest, Kolmanskop, and Etosha
Namibia boasts some of the most spectacular and varied landscapes on the planet. Situated along the far western edge of southern Africa, her extensive coastline is bathed by cold Atlantic Ocean currents. Raucous colonies of sea lions can be found here, as well as the wooden “bones” of shipwrecks lost in the region’s frequent dense fogs. A bit inland, onshore winds push desert sands upwards into the highest (and oldest!) dunes on Earth, a harsh environment that nevertheless contains a wealth of extraordinary desert-adapted plants and animals. Rich opportunity for wildlife spotting also exists in Etosha National Park—home to many Africa’s most iconic species, including elephant, zebra, giraffe, lion, and even rhino. Farther afield, other rare landscapes, such as the bizarre Quiver Tree Forest and the ghost town of Kolmanskoop, provide additional unique photo opportunities.
You’ll be led on this varied 12-day safari by Muench Workshops pro Kevin Pepper. Kevin has been leading safaris in Africa for almost a decade and is extremely well-versed in the region. Together with local guides, he has designed an itinerary that will take you from coast to dunes, and from game parks to ghost towns, covering the very best that Namibia has to offer. You’ll be traveling on foot, in custom-designed game-viewing vehicles, and even by helicopter, and staying in comfortable and exclusive accommodations throughout. Days will be long and productive, and with only 6 guests, you can expect plenty of instruction in the field and during our signature image reviews.
Ready for a desert adventure like no other?
April 3–14, 2021
Itinerary and General Information
About the Wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
April 3, 2021: Arrive at any time today in Windhoek (airport code WDH), where one of our representatives will greet you and transfer you to our hotel in Windhoek. Tonight we will have a short introductory meeting, a question and answer session, and a group dinner.
April 4, 2021: This morning we will transfer from our hotel to Windhoek’s local Eros Airport to catch our private charter flight to Keetmanshoop. After checking into our hotel and having a meal, we will set out for a sunset/nighttime sky shoot in the quiver tree forest.
April 5, 2021: We will be up before the sun today in order to capture the Milky Way on its horizontal axis above the quiver tree forest. Then, after breakfast, we will make the short ride to the lovely coastal village of Lüderitz and spend the afternoon and evening photographing the famous Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Our drive today is approximately three hours, with plenty of photo stops along the way. The houses of Kolmanskop are being slowly overtaken by the desert and make very compelling photo subjects.
April 6, 2021: This morning you will be treated to a fascinating excursion into the Sperrgebiet restricted area to visit the historic sight of Elizabeth Bay. In the afternoon we will explore the town and visit notable buildings such as the Felsenkirche, and Goerke Haul. Afterwards, we will head back to Luderitz for a relaxing dinner, and then we’ll conduct an image review. This is a good opportunity for us to look at images from our first visit to Kolmonskop, and to make revisions to settings before tomorrow’s final photoshoot at the abandoned ghost town.
April 7–9, 2021: After a final sunrise photo shoot at Kolmanskop, we’ll drive north into the Namib Desert traversing through the spectacular scenery of the Tiras Mountain Conservancy and a section of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. The drive is approximately three hours with photo stops along the way, and our destination is the Sossus Dune Lodge in Namib Naukluft National Park. For the next three days we will explore the remarkable Namib Desert with our guides. Namib Naukluft National Park is home to the largest sand dunes in the world, as well as famous Deadvlei with its dancing dead camelthorn trees.
April 10, 2021: This morning we will take a sunrise helicopter flight out over the dunes to get images from a different perspective. Following that adventure, we will drive along the coastal road into the Skeleton Coast National Park to reach our lodge, passing through the towns of Swakopmund and Henties Bay and stopping at shipwreck remnants. Cape Cross is the location of giant colony of Cape fur seals and we will spend the late afternoon photographing these fascinating creatures.
April 11, 2021: This morning we will embark on a memorable 4x4 excursion, traversing the Kuiseb River Delta and impeding mudflats to reach Sandwich Harbour, whose wetlands are of international importance. The journey will transport you between the crashing waves of the ocean and the ancient sand dunes of the Namib Desert. In the afternoon we will photograph flamingos gathered at low tide, and then we’ll gather ourselves for an image review session at our hotel.
April 12, 2021: Our journey will take us northeast and inland today, towards the private Ongava Reserve on the southern boundary of Etosha National Park. In the afternoon you will be treated to your first game drive and sundowners on the private Ongava Game Reserve. We will then return to camp for dinner and some time in the photography blind at the watering hole.
April 13, 2021: Today is a full day dedicated to game drives inside the Etosha National Park. We have added an extra guide and vehicle to today’s drive so that each participant has a row to themselves.
April 14, 2021: After an early breakfast we will set off on our journey back to Windhoek, passing through small towns and farming communities, and making a stop at a local market. We’ll be transferred to the Windhoek International Airport (WDH) in time for our onward international flights. Flights can be scheduled for any time after 5:00 PM—if this necessitates an extra night stay, we’d be happy to arrange that for you.
All meals and lodging during the workshop
Ground and internal air transportation during the workshop
Gratuities for camp staff and guides
Photographic guiding and instruction from Kevin
Image reviews and post-processing instruction
Fun, inspiration, and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Travel from your home to Windhoek Namibia (Airport Code: WDH), and back. Passport and visa fees, if any. Any meals and accommodations before or after the workshop dates. Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Laundry, items of a personal nature. Alcoholic beverages. Anything not specifically listed as included.
Your non-refundable deposit of $3,995 will hold your place on this workshop. Further non-refundable payment of $5,000 is due on September 1, 2020. Final non-refundable balance payment of $4,000 is due by January 1, 2021. All payments are non-refundable and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation. All of our other standard terms and conditions apply.
Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just ask us.
Namibia has everything a nature photographer could ask for: classic African megafauna in Etosha National Park, enormous flocks of wading flamingos at Walvis Bay, one of the largest seal colonies in the world at Cape Cross, the Quiver Tree Forest, the tallest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei, and of course the iconic desert ghost town at Kolmanskop. Come join us in this extraordinary destination!
Images here are by Kevin Pepper and Richard Bernabe.