A Namibia & South Africa Photo Tour – by Mike Dexter
The Namib Desert is incredible. Malamala is out of this world and Londolozi is absolutely wonderful. The end.
The images from this private photo tour, as you will see below, paint a far better picture of the experience than I can with words. However, just so that we are on the same page I’ll provide a bit of background and scene setting information.
The story begins, as so many do, with good wine, great food and the promise of adventure. Let’s be clear from the outset that by ‘adventure’ I do not mean living off the land or fending for ourselves in the African wilderness, our destinations were handpicked for their photographic potential and high level comfort, in that order. All the same there was certainly a scent of adventure in the air as we discussed the next 12 days and all they held in store.
Our first stop on our photo safari was the red dunes of the Namib Desert in Namibia where we stayed at the wonderful Little Kulala lodge. The focus of this first chapter was the unique otherworldly landscapes that the desert environment has to offer and quite honestly I am going to let the images do the talking here…
From the dust, dunes and dramatic landscapes of Namibia we headed east all the way to the far side of southern Africa where the world renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve lay in wait. Our first port of call was Malamala, rated one of the best game viewing destinations in Africa, most well known for its leopards and on this front it did not disappoint. Nor did it disappoint on any fronts come to think of it as not only were we fortunate enough to view and photograph all of the usual suspects but a very relaxed cheetah (rare to see in this part of the world) and a pack of wild dogs (hunting in, in front of, and all around the camp) also put in an appearance. We even had a pair of mating leopards join us for a bush breakfast one morning!
Although we had a couple of great lion sightings at Malamala it was the next destination on our photo tour, Londolozi, that they really put on a show. Londolozi is Malamala’s direct neighbour and as such shares in the excellent game viewing in the area. On top of that our camp, Tree Camp, boasts a level of comfort that is difficult to beat. Unquestionably the highlight of this, our final destination, was a lion sighting on the final morning game drive. We had followed their tracks zigzagging on and off the reserve for days but despite the best efforts of our guide and tracker we were constantly one step behind. Just as we were starting to give up hope, and with the end of the photo safari mere hours away, there they were, 5 lionesses and 12 cubs moving through wispy grass in perfect morning light. We followed and photographed them for the next hour, a more fitting end to an epic photo safari I cannot imagine.