Namibia Photo Tour – Wildlife and Portraiture Photography
I have had the privilege to travelling around the globe with my guests. Each photo tour, each guest, each experience is as inspiring as the last as I am able to assist in making my guests travel dreams and photographic visions come alive.
From the 4th to the 10th May 2017, I accompanied a guest, and good friend, Astrid to Namibia where we explored the varied landscapes, wildlife and culture that Skeleton Coast and Serra Cafema had to offer. Leading a private tour is not only important to me as I get to give the client in a holistic experience of the destination, but also assist them to achieve a portfolio that strongly shows their visions and interpretation of what they experienced.
Please take a few moments to read Astrid’s account of her Private Namibia Photo Tour, and gaze upon the wondrous array of image’s that portray her passion for what she beheld.
– Marius Coetzee
When it was suggested that I embark on another trip to Namibia, this time to the Coastal Region / Skeleton Coast I was reluctant as I had previously witnessed Namibia within the more “touristy” type of terrain. It was with this in mind that Marius Coetzee from Oryx Photography, suggested that I revisit Namibia and cover the more secluded land together with visiting and photographing the Himba people in particular on a more individual basis. This seemed very appealing to me as I have embarked on many photographic trips and was finally recognising that I preferred the much smaller groups as well as the mix of wildlife photography coupled with portraiture of the different tribes of Africa.
We set off in the searing heat from Windhoek via Doro Nawas to the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp which is located in a broad valley in the northern part of the private Palmwag Concession. It is one of the most remote areas of the Kaokoveld and only accessible by light aircraft. Nora Dawas was an eye opener to say the least. A bustling little “airport” in the middle of nowhere. The arrivals and departure lounges made of shade cloth and ablutions with a view. A tastefully laid table of cold water, juices and a snack was always evident and most welcome in the heat. Meeting and greeting people from all around the globe on this little dirtroad airstrip was an amazing feeling. No cell phones, no wifi, no communication with the outside world just anticipation of what exciting sightings were ahead in this remote, arid, dry desert land.
My time at Hoanib Skeleton Coast in Namibia was filled with quality time with the lone desert adapted lioness. We spent time with all the desert adapted elephants and soaked up the dry air, smell and dust. Punctures and vehicles getting bogged down in the riverbeds was a reality and it was a true adventure. We saw many giraffe and little ones suckling as well as kicking up golden dust in the sunset. All was surreal.
A short flight to and from the Skeleton Coast was amazing to witness the vastness of the area and dune banks. Sliding down the “laughing dune” from a great height was both exhilarating and hilarious….all in the name of photography. We had the most exquisite lunch prepared by the camps chef on the shores of the Atlantic Coast …. amazing to think it was a lot further up than our West Coast here in South Africa.
We flew again via the hub in Nora Dawas to Serra Cafema which is one of the remotest camps in all of Southern Africa. It is on Namibias northernmost border and perched on the Kunene River bordering Angola. It is here that we found the Himba people who continue their nomadic, traditional way of life.
I was a little nervous at first entering and exiting the camp area via these enormous dunes, but I soon acclimatised. We visited 3 Himba villages and were privileged enough to spend time interacting and photographing whilst they continued with their everyday life activities. The giggles, smiles, welcome and fun we had photographing and sitting on the ground with them absorbing their way of life is indescribable and every time I look at my images I get this wonderful, happy feeling and smile with fondness on our time there.
Serra Cafema in Nambia was not without adventure. I was informed to be up at 3am on our last morning there…leave 4am sharp for the dunes to photograph Oryx…well, hopefully! We drove in our open land cruiser huddled up in the crisp morning air and eventually I had the feeling of being surrounded by dunes. It was pitch black dark, illuminated by full moon. We stopped for coffee and witnessed the moon set….it was surreal. We continued on our journey and prior to sunrise we reached our destination. A peak so high as to witness the entire dune bank….what a feeling, what a sight! We watched the sun rise to the sounds of Toto’s “Africa” shooting images as the sun reflected on the dunes….a perfect ending to a perfect trip!
For more information on Astrid and her images from her travels, please take a look at the following links:
Astrid’s website: www.astridsteviewinberg.com