Photography with Todd Gustafson
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June 19 – July 14, 2018
$19,475 per person
Single room supplement $2,475
International flights not included.
Namibia is a place of great photographic opportunity. Its scenic beauty is unique. The otherworldly landscapes of Damaraland, the Skeleton Coast, and huge red dunes of Sossusvlei, offer photographers endless opportunities. Here we can get eye to eye with amazing sites and indigenous tribal people while wildlife abounds on the Skeleton coast and Etosha National parks. Colors, shapes, textures and patterns emerge as we trek across the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei in search photographic vantage points. On an early morning balloon ride we get undreamed views as well as a champagne brunch. Namibia’s remote Skeleton Coast is the site of hundreds of shipwrecks as well as the amazing Cape Cross Fur Seal colony of 80,000 barking, squawking, playing, nursing, swimming, fighting Cape fur seals. Next stop is scenic Damaraland, home of 6,000 year old Bushman rock etchings. On the way we will visit with nomadic Himba tribal people wearing traditional ornaments over ocher-colored skin, then the Herero with distinctively European influenced dresses. Our last destination is Etosha, Namibia’s legendary game park. Enjoy the sheer number of animal species and their intriguing behaviors. We will have access to the park at the earliest and latest times of the day for dramatic action in spectacular light!
DAY 1 – DEPARTURE
Depart the United States.
DAY 2 – UPINGTON, SOUTH AFRICA
On arrival at Upington, you will be met by your guide and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest and relax before you start your adventure. Welcome dinner is included. Overnight at Protea Hotel by Marriott.
DAY 3 – KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK, BOTSWANA
After breakfast depart Upington for Kgalagadi to Rooiputs Lodge, where you will spend the next five nights. Have a picnic lunch en route prepared by your guide. The Rooiputs private concession area is located on the Botswana side, 25 km north of Two Rivers (Twee Rivieren). Situated on the predator-rich Nossob Valley, the lodge is perched along a mature red sand dune, overlooking a busy waterhole. The dry riverbeds show predators and antelopes o at a premium and provide excellent photographic opportunities. Sixty species of mammals have been recorded in the park, including the majestic gemsbok, blue wildebeest, springbok, red hartebeest, eland, and steenbok. Predators are the area’s big attraction and include the black-maned Kalahari lion, leopard, brown and spotted hyenas, jackal, and wildcat. The area is one of Africa’s best parks for cheetahs, which thrive by hunting in the fossil river valleys and the surrounding Kgalagadi dunes. Eighty well-established waterholes along the Auob and Nossob Rivers attract large numbers of desert plains game and predators, and their proximity to the game drive roads make them an ideal close-up vantage point for photographers. Overnight at Rooiputs Lodge.
DAY 4 – 8 – KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK, BOTSWANA
Explore Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with game drives. Overnight at Rooiputs Lodge.
DAY 9 – KEETMANSHOOP, NAMIBIA
After breakfast, drive to Rietfontein border to reach the lodge in Namibia. There are strict times involved for border crossings and your guide will be making arrangements to meet these requirements. Have a picnic lunch en route and continue to Keetmanshoop, arriving in the afternoon. The drive will take approximately six hours. After you check into your lodge and have time to rest, this afternoon you’ll
visit the Quivertree Forest and photograph these unique trees during sunset. Overnight at Quivertree Forest Rest Camp.
DAY 10 – KEETMANSHOOP
This morning when it is still dark, travel to Giant’s Playground to photograph the rock formations during sunrise. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast, and then enjoy free time until lunch. In the afternoon, you can go back to Giant’s Playground or to Quivertree Forest or choose to rest before you travel to Sossusvlei the next day. Overnight at Quivertree Forest Rest Camp.
DAY 11 – SOSSUSVLEI
After breakfast depart for Sossusvlei, where you will spend the next three nights. The Sossusvlei, Namibia’s famous scenic highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular dunes reach a height of 300 meters, making them the highest in the world. The dunes of the Namib Desert have developed over a period of many millions of years. Vast quantities of sand were deposited into the Atlantic Ocean by the Orange River.This material was subsequently moved northwards by the Benguela current to be dumped back onto the land by the surf. The coastal sand was then continuously shifted further inland by the wind. Wind permanently reshapes the patterns of the Namib dunes. It timelessly forces the grains of sand on the at windward slope upward to the crest of the dune. Here they fall down in the wind shade. The leeward slope is therefore always considerably steeper than the windward side. The clay ground of the Sossusvlei is almost always dry. Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in this area (every 10 years on average), does the vlei fill with water. As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time. After lunch at the lodge, have free time to rest and relax. This afternoon drive through the reserve to get your first glimpse of the dunes before exploring the area in depth during the upcoming days. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge.
DAY 12 – SOSSUSVLEI
Early this morning enjoy a hot air balloon safari followed by a Champagne breakfast. Return to hotel for lunch and rest. Spend the afternoon exploring the reserve and enjoy sunset photography at the dunes from the lodge. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge.
DAY 13 – SOSSUSVLEI
Depart very early this morning to reach Dead Vlei before sunrise. Have a picnic breakfast at the site and continue the day exploring the reserve. Return to the lodge for lunch. Continue exploring the dunes in the afternoon. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge.
DAY 14 – SWAKOPMUND
After breakfast depart for Walvis Bay. The drive will take about 4.5 hours and you will arrive in time for lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon visit Walvis Lagoon and the salt pans of Walvis Bay for birding photography. Continue with the transfer to Swakopmund, another 45 minutes. Upon arrival check in at the lodge. This evening a feast awaits you: the famous seafood platter at Europa Hof Hotel’s restaurant. Overnight at The Stiltz.
DAY 15 – CAPE CROSS
After breakfast, your guide will give you a brief orientation to the city in your vehicle and then drop you off at a central location for a self-guided walking tour. The appearance of the town, with its 30,000 inhabitants, is characterized by numerous colonial buildings, with the Woermann House from 1905 as a landmark. The former trading house in Bismarck Street with its 25-meter-high Damara Tower and its courtyard bordered by arcades today houses the city library and an art gallery. A further landmark of Swakopmund is the old 21-meter- high lighthouse. It started operating in 1910. The museum for local history next door was only built in the 1950s. Finish the morning at the local craft market for some shopping opportunities and then walk to the hotel. Lunch at a local restaurant, then drive along the Skeleton Coast, admiring the stunning, dune-lined coast to Cape Cross. En route, stop at a shipwreck on the coast. Arrive at the lodge late in the afternoon with the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Cape Cross Lodge.
DAY 16 – CAPE CROSS
After breakfast, visit the seal colony at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve for your morning shoot. The coastline of Southern Africa is the only place in the world where you can find the Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus. The seals fight, mate, reproduce, and fish in the reserve, home to the world’s largest breeding colony of these animals. Lunch at the lodge, with free time before and after to go through your pictures before heading out to the seal colony again for your afternoon shoot. Overnight at Cape Cross Lodge.
DAY 17 – DAMARALAND
After breakfast travel to Damaraland. During the drive, stop at a Himba and Herero village to meet with the locals and have some opportunities for portraits. Picnic lunch en route. Time permitting, visit the prehistoric rock engravings of Twyfelfontein this afternoon. With more than 2,500 engravings likely originating from the San people, the site has been designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Overnight at Mowani Mountain Camp. (BLD)
DAY 18 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and start the journey to Etosha, traveling via Grootberg Pass. Along the way, stop at a Himba settlement. Picnic lunch en route. Check in upon arrival to Etosha, and late in the afternoon enjoy your first game drive within the park. Overnight at Okaukuejo Waterhole Chalet.
DAY 19 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Explore Etosha National Park with game drives. A visit to Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of Namibia. Etosha, which was declared a game reserve by the German colonial administration back in 1907, covers an area of more than 22,000 square kilometers. In its center lies a vast salt pan surrounded by grasslands and thorn savannah, Mopane bushland in the west, and dry forest in the northeast. About 2 million years ago, this area was an enormous lake, fed by the Kunene River. However, the lake slowly dried up when the river changed its course. The pan is almost always dry. However, in the southern parts there are numerous waterholes scattered throughout this area and supporting the life for countless game. Almost all African game species are represented in Etosha, including the Big Five: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, and leopard. Based on an animal count done in 2005, there are about 250 lions, 300 rhinos, 3,000 giraffes, 12,000 zebras, 4,000 wildebeests, 5,500 oryx antelopes, and more than 2,500 elephants. Springboks are especially numerous; at least 20,000 of them roam the reserve. Often they can be seen in enormous herds of several hundred animals. Overnight at Okaukuejo Waterhole Chalet.
DAY 20 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Explore Etosha National Park with game drives. Overnight at Halali Camp.
DAY 21 – 22 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Explore Etosha National Park with game drives. Overnight at Namutoni Camp.
DAY 23 – ONGUMA GAME RESERVE
Today’s journey takes you back into the local area around Namutoni, then out of the park and into the private Onguma Game Reserve to reach the “old-world safari-style” Onguma Bush Camp, your base for the next two nights. Explore the various waterholes in the vicinity before leaving the park, with the option to return this afternoon if desired. Have time to relax on the main deck, which overlooks the camp’s waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night. Overnight at Onguma Bush Camp.
DAY 24 – ONGUMA GAME RESERVE
Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park. Return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. Return after sunset with enough time to freshen up for dinner and an evening observing game at the camp’s floodlit waterhole. Overnight at Onguma Bush Camp.
DAY 25 – WINDHOEK
After a leisurely breakfast, head back south to Windhoek. Lunch will be at a local restaurant en route. Have the afternoon to rest and get ready for departure. Attend a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Windhoek. Overnight at Hilton Hotel.
DAY 26 – WINDHOEK/DEPARTURE
After a hearty breakfast, you have time to sort out all your camera equipment before your transfer to the Windhoek International Airport.
DAY 27 – ARRIVAL
Arrive back in the United States.
The Fine Print
Price includes all transportation within Namibia, accommodations, meals, activities and excursions mentioned in the itinerary, bottled water during the program including lunch and dinners, English speaking guide throughout the program.
Price does not include international airfare, visa fees, any beverages throughout the trip (except for bottled water), and any personal extras such as phone calls, minibar, and laundry.
A $1,000 per person non-refundable deposit is necessary to confirm a booking. Final payments are due no later than 95 days prior to departure. Cancellations received less than 95 days prior to departure are not refundable.
Travel/trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended. For more information call Travel Insured at 800-243-3174 or visit www.travelinsured.com. Holbrook Travel’s agency number is 15849.
Highlights of Namibia Photo Gallery