Namvic Tours and Safaris > Safari in Namibia > Photographic Safari in Namibia > Southern Namibia – Photographer’s paradise

Southern Namibia – Photographer’s paradise

Mariental - Fish River Canyon - Luderitz - Tiras Mountains - NamibRand Nature Reserve - Sossusvlei - Swakopmund - Spitzkoppe - Central Namibia

13 Days / 12 Nights

Overview

Southern Namibia has some of the most diverse and breath-taking landscapes in Africa. With unique geological formations like the Fish River Canyon dating back hundreds of millions of years, the beautifully ondulating sand dunes of the Namib and the abandoned diamond town of Kolmanskop, the south of Namibia is every photographer's dream.

Key

B&B: Bed and breakfast
FB: Dinner, bed, breakfast and lunch
FB+: Dinner, bed, breakfast, lunch and activities daily

Day 1: Kalahari Farmhouse Gondwana Collection Namibia, Mariental

Mariental

Situated in south central Namibia, fringing the Kalahari Desert, the city of Mariental lies along the TransNamib railway and serves as the Hardap Region’s commercial and administrative capital. It provides an important petrol stop before heading west to Sesriem to view the red-orange dunes of Sossusvlei. Mariental is located close to magnificent the Hardap Dam, which is the largest reservoir in Namibia. The Hardap Irrigation Scheme has breathed life into this arid terrain, which is now fertile with farmlands covered in citrus, melons, lucerne, wine and maize, and dotted with ostrich farms. The dam is a popular holiday resort which draws city slickers from Windhoek and offers an array of watersports, scenic walks, and abundant wildlife in a 20000-hectare nature reserve set on its western bank; where visitors can spot rhino, ostrich, antelope, springbok and a variety of bird species.

Overnight: Kalahari Farmhouse Gondwana Collection Namibia
Kalahari Farmhouse is located 53 km northeast of Mariental in Stampriet (Kalahari).

A lush secret-garden in the arid Kalahari. This intimate lodge has 11 chalets finished with colourful quilts, fireplaces and cosy farmhouse charm. Visit the adjacent Self-Sufficiency Centre, join a trip into the Gondwana Kalahari Park to watch the sunset over the fiery red dunes, and rest.

Notes: The Kalahari is known for its beautiful deep red sand – to get the best photos of this red sea, we highly recommend a sundowner game drive.

Included


Full Board

Day 2: Canyon Village Gondwana Collection Namibia, Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon


Carving out an epic rocky wonderland in the south of Namibia, the Fish River has created Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest canyon. Hot, dry and stony, the Fish River Canyon measures a whopping 160 kilometres in length, at times 27 kilometres in width and 550 metres in depth. The awe-inspiring natural beauty of this ancient geological marvel draws visitors from around the globe. For those looking for adventure, the intense 85 kilometre Fish River Hiking Trail through1.5 billion years of geological history will definitely thrill avid adventure enthusiasts, and for visitors looking to relax, head over to the canyon's southern end to enjoy a soak in the mineral waters of the renowned hot springs of Ai-Ais, or take in the spectacularly scenic views from Hobas Restcamp as well as numerous other viewpoints along its rim. Other popular activities include: scenic chartered flights, horse riding, nature drives and seasonal kayaking.

Overnight: Canyon Village Gondwana Collection Namibia


Canyon Village is located 20 km east of the Fish River Canyon on the C 37.
Suitable for a striking film set, Canyon Village lies at the foot of a sweeping rock face. Exhibiting authentic canyon character, the sprawling lodge explores the story of the south in murals, traditional Nama dress and even a donkey cart to convey baggage to rooms.

The Cape-Dutch cottages line the escarpment, sometimes referred to as a scene from a western film. Rooms are spacious and have twin beds and an en suite bathroom (showers only). All rooms have air-conditioners and complimentary tea and coffee.

Included


Full Board

Day 3: Canyon Village Gondwana Collection Namibia, Fish River Canyon

Notes: The Canyon Village is only ten minutes from the Fish River Canyon, allowing you to take multiple trips to the canyon throughout the day. As the sun moves, the shadows in the canyon change drastically, giving you different shots in the morning and evening. The surrounding landscapes are also very beautiful with a wide range of endemic plants and rare geological formations.

Included


Full Board

Day 4: Luderitz Nest Hotel, Luderitz

Luderitz

Sandwiched between the rugged and stark Atlantic Coast and the arid Namib Desert, the town of Luderitz is set in an incredibly unique geographical setting. This seaside town is something of an anomaly frozen in time – a piece of 19th-century Bavaria bordering the pinkish sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Lutheran churches, German bakeries, and colonial buildings boasting German art nouveau architecture are dotted about the settlement, while its windswept beaches are home to flamingos, ostriches, seals and penguins. The nearby ghost town of Kolmanskop, which has been taken over by the desert dunes, is one of the most fascinating area attractions, located approximately 10 kilometres from Luderitz central. Visitors can also take a trip to discover the wild desert-adapted horses located near the small town of Aus.

Overnight: Luderitz Nest Hotel

The Lüderitz Nest Hotel enjoys a superb on the rocks and sea location, with far reaching uninterrupted views. The hotel’s private tidal beach with walk-on jetty, unique in Namibia, allows the guest to get close-up to the sea. All rooms and suites have direct sea views. The outdoor sparkling residents pool with sun-loungers and parasols is surrounded by verdant gardens. Facilities include FREE Wi-Fi throughout, complementary full-buffet breakfasts as well as free secure parking. The hotel delivers a friendly service in a relaxed environment.
Since 1998, management and staff have hosted guests from around the world and very much look forward to welcoming your clients.

Notes: The Canyon Village is only ten minutes from the Fish River Canyon, allowing you to take multiple trips to the canyon throughout the day. As the sun moves, the shadows in the canyon change drastically, giving you different shots in the morning and evening. The surrounding landscapes are also very beautiful with a wide range of endemic plants and rare geological formations.

Included


Full Board

Day 5: Helmeringhausen Hotel, Tiras Mountains

Tiras Mountains

Situated in southwestern Namibia at the edge of the world-renowned Namib Desert, the Tiras Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for visitors who venture to this red granite wonderland and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this region. Namibian landscapes are synonymous with tranquility, serenity and endless open spaces and the magnificent Tiras Mountains encapsulate this quiet charm. Nature lovers flock here for an off-the-beaten-track experience in one of Namibia's most beautiful areas. Visitors can enjoy thrilling 4X4 mountain and dune tours, nature walks, game and bird viewing as well as excursions through quiver tree forests and to ancient rock paintings on granite rocks. Visitors can relax at one of the luxurious farm lodges after a wonderful day of activities, or get up close with nature while camping in this beautiful desert wilderness.

Overnight: Helmeringhausen Hotel

The Helmeringhausen Hotel lies in the tiny settlement of Helmeringhausen in Southern Namibia. It was established during the German colonial era as a farm by a member (Mr Hubert Hester) of the Schutztruppe/German Colonial Infantry. Later it became famous for its Karakul sheep breeding and currently cattle and goats are farmed here. The hotel forms part of the historic 11,000 ha Farm Helmeringhausen and is an ideal stop-over on the drive between Lüderitz and the Namib-Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei or Fish River Canyon.
Hotel Helmeringhausen boasts a warm, cozy restaurant with exquisite meals and a refreshing swimming pool. Enjoy a cold beer or a glass of Cape Wine in the well-stocked fully licensed restaurant, whilst you catch up on all the local news or exchange travel information with fellow guests. There is also a cozy lounge with comfortable sofas and inviting fireplace. A hearty buffet breakfast, fresh farm produce for lunch and a three-course, set dinner menu are served in the restaurant.

Notes: This morning head over to Kolmanskop and get a Photographer’s permit allowing you to explore the abandoned town, now taken over by the Namib sand. The short distance needed to be driven today allows you to take your time at this photographer’s jewel.

Included


Full Board

Day 6: Namibrand Family Hideout, NamibRand Nature Reserve

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Spanning an area of 172,200 hectares and encompassing four distinct ecosystems, the Namib Rand Reserve is among the largest privately owned game parks in Southern Africa. Founded to conserve the unique environment and wildlife species of the south-western Namib Desert, the park’s mix of dunes, mountains, rocky outcrops, sandy flats and gravel plains provides habitats for a diversity of mammals – including hyenas, jackals, foxes, antelopes and various wild cats – as well as a plethora of bird species, reptiles, insects, frogs and flora. Visitors can discover the mysterious ‘fairy circles’, which dot the landscape and sip on sundowners while watching the sunset over this unspoilt ancient landscape. Having been named Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, it is one of the least light-polluted areas in the world, so don't miss this excellent star gazing opportunity.

Overnight: Namibrand Family Hideout

Situated in Namibia, the Namibrand Family Hideout offers private and secluded camping sites.
There are two exclusive campsites which are entirely out of sight of each other and can accommodate up to 8 people with a maximum of 2 vehicles. The campsites are equipped with a private and well-appointed ablution block with a flush toilet. The facilities include solar lighting and solar hot water system. The campsites feature a braai area with a natural stone table, tap, and wash-up double sink.
The campsite also has a game-viewing water-hole, which attracts species such as the springbok, jackal, porcupine and a variety

Notes: In our opinion the Namib Rand is the most beautiful area in Namibia. The presence of both dunes and mountains with a rainbow of colours across both will make you want to stop every five minutes for ‘just one more photo’. Hike through the desert to really appreciate its beauty.

Included


Full Board

Day 7: Sesriem Campsite, Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei

Located in the scenic Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red dunes to make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa and a photographer's heaven. This awe-inspiring destination is possibly Namibia's premier attraction, with its unique dunes rising to almost 400 metres-some of the highest in the world. These iconic dunes come alive in morning and evening light and draw photography enthusiasts from around the globe. Sossusvlei is home to a variety desert wildlife including oryx, springbok, ostrich and a variety of reptiles. Visitors can climb 'Big Daddy', one of Sossusvlei’s tallest dunes; explore Deadvlei, a white, salt, claypan dotted with ancient trees; or for the more extravagant, scenic flights and hot air ballooning are on offer, followed by a once-in-a-lifetime champagne breakfast amidst these majestic dunes.

Overnight: Sesriem Campsite

At the entry to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down to 30 to 40 m, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Located perfectly at the entry to Sossusvlei inside the park gate is Sesriem Camping, right beside the gate into the desert and just a short drive from Sesriem Canyon where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length.
It is perfect for campers who want to experience the beauty of the Namib Desert with the sun setting over the Elim dune then the stars emerging until they fill the sky above you and the clicking of the desert barking Geckos and distant howl of the Jackal. Sit by the fire and imagine what you will.
After a good nights rest its up early (one hour before sunrise) for a drive to the sossusvlei wherer you can climb a sand dune and watch the colours change as the sun rises over the horizon slipping its morning warmth over the Namib desert dunes. Sesriem derives its name from the time when earlier pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs (riem) together to draw water from the pools. Accommodation at Sesriem is provided in 24 campsites. Facilities found there include a gas station, convenience store and a secure parking area.

Notes: Today, appreciate the changing landscapes of the Namib Rand as you head towards the infamous Sossusvlei. As you are staying inside the park you can head over to Elim Dune to catch the sun as it sets behind the nearby mountains.

Included


Full Board

Day 8: Sesriem Campsite, Sossusvlei

Notes: When heading to Sossusvlei it is essential you stay at Sesriem Campsite or Sossus Dune Lodge as this allows you to enter the park one hour before sunrise – giving you the best opportunities to photograph the tallest red dunes in the world partly bathed in sunlight while the other side still hides in shadow. This also allows you to see Deadvlei in the best possible light and before everyone else.
This afternoon explore the Sesriem Canyon and let your guide explain how the Tsauchab river created both the rock and the canyon that you are in.

Included


Full Board

Day 9: Meike’s Guest House, Swakopmund

Notes: This morning you can once again visit Sossusvlei and get that last perfect photo at sunrise. Then drive through the Namib desert via the Tropic of Capricorn, the Gaub Pass and the Kuiseb Canyon to arrive in the cool misty town of Swakopmund.

Included


Full Board and Activities

Day 10: Meike’s Guest House, Swakopmund

Notes: There is so much to do around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay you will not know where to start. We recommend taking a tour to Sandwich Harbour, where the dunes meet the Atlantic Ocean for incredible photo opportunities. Or simply explore the towns and visit Swakopmund’s beautiful architecture and Walvis Bay’s pretty promenade populated by seals, pelicans and hundreds of flamingos.

Included


Full Board and Activities

Day 11: Spitzkoppe Campsites, Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe

Situated in Namibia’s spectacularly scenic Namib Desert, between Usakos and Swakopmund, the Spitzkoppe are a group of bald granite peaks forming one of Namibia’s most recognizable and dramatic landmarks. These enormous towering domes provide a paradise for hikers and mountaineers, from beginners interested in guided historic walks to professional climbers eager to ascend some challenging slopes. Other popular activities include exploring the many bushmen rock paintings and camping in some of the area’s scenic secluded campsites or rustic tented camps.

Overnight: Spitzkoppe Campsites

The Spitzkoppe Campsites features campsites that are well spread out around the Spitzkoppe Mountain, each site containing its unique charm. The rugged desert mountain contributes to the beauty of these campsites - with its rock art, flora and fauna.
Spitzkoppe Campsites includes secluded campsites and selected sites feature toilets and braai facilities. There are also toilets and showers near to the reception area. Thatched bungalows come with 2 or 3 beds, basic furniture and an external shower and toilet. There is an on-site bar with cold drinks, and local guides are available for guided walks and hikes.

Notes: Camping is the way to go at Spitzkoppe. This spectacular mountain is photogenic from every angle, and if you look hard enough, you will most likely find bush paintings dating back thousands of years.

Included


Full Board

Day 12: Eden Chalets, Central Namibia

Central Namibia

Encompassing the bustling capital city of Windhoek, and the laidback seaside towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, Central Namibia features an array of towns, deserts and wildlife reserves. The landscape of this region is characterised by a plateau scattered with clusters of acacia and grasslands sandwiched between the arid Namib Desert to the west and the lush Kalahari to the east. Visitors can soak in the steaming waters of the Cross Barmen Hot Springs, viewing a wide variety of wildlife at the spectacularly scenic reserves and explore the discover the untouched beauty of the beautiful Erongo Mountains with the breathtakingly beautiful Spitzkoppe, which offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in Namibia.

Overnight: Eden Chalets

EDEN CHALETS boasts one of the largest collections of exotic parrots from across the globe which can be viewed and photographed at leisure and in your own time totally free of charge to our overnight and/or game drive visitors. The same applies to our lovely herd of Al pacas imported from Chile/Argentina as well as the rest of our large variety ducks, geese, turkeys, peacock game fowl etc. Ground squirrels, mongoose and other exotic game play and roam freely in the vicinity of the chalets. Wild birds also abound in the area.
Close to the lapa with built – in barbecue is a lovely pool where one can cool down during the hot summer days or just relax with a refreshing drink.

Notes: Take one last walk around Spitzkoppe then slowly make your way back to Windhoek and prepare for your flight home.

Included


Bed and Breakfast