Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Quiver Tree Forest, Kolmanskop, and Etosha
April 3–14, 2023
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.
We’ve been leading safaris in Africa for at least a decade and both are extremely well-versed in the region. Together with local guides, we have 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 8 guests, you can expect plenty of instruction in the field and during our signature image reviews.
Ready for a desert adventure like no other?
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.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
April 4, 2023: 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, 2023: 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, 2023: 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, 2023: 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 Dead Valley 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, 2023: This morning we will take an optional sunrise helicopter flight (Your Expense) 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 Walvis Bay. Here we will stay one night to photograph the enormous flocks of flamingos at sunset and again the following morning.
April 11, 2023: After breakfast and our morning flamingo shoot in the lagoon, we’ll drive up the Atlantic coast through the towns of Swakopmund and Henties Bay. After a brief stop to photograph a beached shipwreck, we’ll soon arrive at Cape Cross, the location of a giant colony of Cape fur seals, the largest such colony in the world. Here we will photograph tens of thousands of seals until the sun drops over the Atlantic Ocean. We will spend the night in the oceanfront Cape Cross Lodge.
April 12, 2023: Our journey will take us northeast and inland today, towards Etosha National Park. In the afternoon you will be treated to your first game drive and sundowners in the park. We will then return to camp for dinner.
April 13, 2023: 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, 2023: 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.
Safari Camp Life—What To Expect
In short, you'll feel like you're in a luxury hotel! We've hand picked our camps for comfort, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great food and convenience to our main objective, the wildlife. We also place a huge value on isolation and exclusivity. You won't find us in areas where there are dozens of other vehicles at a sighting—rather, you'll feel like you own the land, and the animals are there just for you! Typical tented accommodations feature twin beds or queen bed, high thread-count linens, storage for clothing, sitting area, verandah, and of course en suite bathrooms, with toilets, hot water and showers. They are enormous in size, bright, open, and airy.
Our days start early, before sunrise. We'll have a quick coffee or tea, maybe a cookie, and off on our first game drive of the day. The animals are just starting to stir as the day starts, and we want to be there, and in the best light. We'll stay out for a few to several hours, depending on the sightings. After a mid-drive coffee break, we'll continue on until mid to late morning. We typically have breakfast in the field, so as to maximize our game-viewing and photographing time. Back in camp, it's time for offloading cards, one-on-one instruction, or just taking time to relax and do nothing. Read a book, take a walk, or take a nap and recharge. Of course there will be lunch, and then In the mid to late afternoon, we'll again head out for another game drive, chasing the best sightings. Enjoying your favorite drink while watching and photographing the sunset is a popular activity. Arrive back at camp after sundown, enjoy a hot shower if you like, and then join us by the campfire or in the living area for cocktails followed by dinner.
Food in our camps is superb—you'll be served foods that you know as well as local specialties—and of course any dietary needs can be accommodated.
We've arranged for the best safari vehicles—custom Land Cruisers which feature ample room for you and your gear, and great visibility. And only one photographer per row of seats (note that front seat next to driver counts as a row). All of our camps feature optional daily laundry service (but not on days we travel in between camps).
Why a Muench Workshops Safari?
We know you have choices, and yes, you can find other safaris where you'll spend less. We aim to give you the best possible experience, maximizing your time and minimizing the hassle, while providing the best photographic experience and instruction available anywhere.
Photography and Safari Guiding: We've personally chosen only the best local safari guides for this photographic safari.
Details Matter: Our itinerary is carefully set to bring you the all the best that a region offers. We're in areas that are not overly crowded with other safari vehicles, and we get off-road when possible, close to the action and our subjects.
Photography Instruction: This is a workshop, not just a tour. You will work hard on this safari, with instruction in the field and in camp. Many evenings feature critiques and post-processing instruction after dinner, and during the daytime, we offer one-on-one instruction as needed. You'll come away with a wealth of new knowledge on how to create great images, and how to best process those images in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Years of Experience—Happy Repeat Customers: We've been leading, guiding, and teaching photographers for a long time, and many of our customers come back on our workshops again and again. If you'd like to speak to someone who has been with us on a workshop or safari, just let us know—we'd be happy to arrange a phone call.
Moderate: You must be able to get in and out of the custom land cruisers, and ride for several hours on possibly bumpy terrain. Optional hikes in sand up to 2 miles.
Arrive Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), Windhoek, Namibia anytime on April 3, 2023. Flights out can be made after 4:00 PM on April 14, 2023.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $1,000 supplement.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All permits and park fees
- Internal flights during the workshop
- All transportation during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- Guided camping with custom meals and comfortable tents
- English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Beer, wine, standard cocktails
- Travel to and from Windhoek, Namibia.
- While not expected, we do reserve the right to add a surcharge for possible fuel cost increases. This can happen even right up until the time of the expedition, but we try to get as much notice as possible.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical (required).
- Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $1,000 supplement.
- Your non-refundable deposit of $4,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
- Further non-refundable payment of $5,000 is due by September 1, 2022.
- The non-refundable balance is due not later than December 1, 2022.
- In addition to our standard Terms and Conditions, for this workshop all payments are non-refundable, and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation.
- Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.
“A fantastic experience I will never forget. Learned a lot--that's what I really like about the Muench trips. Frankly, I really only want to do photo workshops with the Muench group. ”
“I LOVED our holiday in Namibia and grateful to you for all you did to make it such a lovely trip. I'm very grateful for all the time and patience you both provided me as I stumble through learning photography. ”
“The workshop not only met my expectations but exceeded them. The Muench Workshops instructors gave good direction in both photography and editing and tailored it to my ability plus taking it one level up. Both had a good feel for my abilities. The instruction was perfect. The sequence of photo shoots culminated at the Eagle Festival and we were well prepared to be on our own. I learned some night photography and improved my action shots. ”