Namibia Photographic Safari, September 2012

September 23 - October 3, 2012

Namibia

About The Namibia Photographic Safari

In September 2012, Andy Biggs, Bill Atkinson and Kevin Raber will be leading a workshop to Namibia, Africa. All customers will be provided with a complete Phase One 60mp medium format camera system, and all you have to do is show up and the camera gear will be given to you for the duration of the trip.

The goal of this workshop is to photograph the breathtaking desert landscapes of Namibia in three unique and beautiful locations. This will be a flying safari with private aircraft, and we will maximize our time out on safari by flying from location to location. This will enable us to carry an adequate amount of camera baggage, as well as eliminating unnecessary long drives.

Highlights

– A complete Phase One IQ160 60mp camera system will be provided for you for the whole trip. All you have to do is show up!

– This private flying safari covers fascinating attractions in Namibia while enjoying much of the stunning landscape from the air.

– We will fly to three amazing destinations in southern, central and northern Namibia: Sossusvlei, Serra Cafema and the deserted mining town of Kolmanskop.

– The Namib Desert may well be the world's oldest desert. The apricot-colored dunes at Sossusvlei are some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Herds of mountain zebra, gemsbok and springbok roam the area.

– In all the parks you will have the opportunity to spend quality photographic time.

– Finish on a high note in the magnificent northern landscapes along the Serra Cafema mountain range near Angola.

Namibia

The Schedule

September 23 - Windhoek, Namibia

On arrival at Windhoek you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

The Olive Grove is situated close to the city center in a quiet, peaceful area. There are 9 en-suite rooms all featuring; direct dial telephone, private safe, multi-channel satellite television, and air conditioning.

One of Olive Grove's main features is the large veranda in front of every room, with tables and chairs for al fresco dining. The open air lounge, spa bath, plunge pool and tranquil garden all invite the visitor to unwind and relax under Namibia's open skies. The inside lounge is decorated with comfortable chairs and a fireplace in front of which to relax and read a magazine. A guest computer is available, for people to check their emails and stay in touch with family and friends back home.

Services and facilities available include; laundry service, plunge pool and tranquil garden, "honor" bar, dinner and lunch on request, spa bath on open air deck.

September 24 - Windhoek to Luderitz

Today you will be transferred to the airport by road for your private charter scenic flight to Luderitz. Upon arrival you will be transferred by road to your hotel. The coastal town of Luderitz is a small enclave within the Sperrgebiet (restricted Diamond Area). An optional excursion offers visitors the unique opportunity of entering the Diamond Area, to visit Bogenfels, the 55 m high rock arch which juts into the sea, the modern diamond mine and old ghost town at Elizabeth Bay and the seal colony at Atlas Bay. Visitors can also explore the ghost town of Pomona and the legendary valley of Maerchental (fairy-tale valley), where early prospectors collected diamonds by moonlight. Afternoon at leisure, walking the town of Luderitz.

PLEASE NOTE* There is a luggage limit of 66lbs (30kg) per person on the charter flight so please pre-pack your luggage accordingly in soft-sided bags. These restrictions should be strictly adhered to. As this is primarily a landscape photography trip, you will not need a large selection of lenses. Laundry service is available at all lodges and camps on this safari.

September 25 - Luderitz

Today you take an excursion to Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Today the ghost town's crumbling ruins bear little resemblance to its former glory. The former stately homes, their grandeur now scoured and demolished by the wind, are gradually being enveloped by the encroaching sand dunes. The mining company restored a number of the buildings and established a museum for viewing by tourists.

Namibia

September 26 - Luderitz to Sossusvlei

After an additional early morning shoot at Kolmanskop, you will take a private charter scenic flight to the Namib-Naukluft, where the tallest sand dunes in the world can be found. Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your lodge.

The Namib-Naukluft Park covers 19,215 square miles (50,000 km2) of desert savannah grasslands, gypsum and quartz plains, granite mountains, an estuarine lagoon, a canyon and huge, drifting apricot-colored dunes. The five main regions of the park are the Namib, Sandvis, Naukluft, Sesriem and Sossusvlei areas.

The Kuiseb River runs through the center of the park from east to west and acts as a natural boundary separating the northern grayish-white gravel plains from the southern deserts. Herds of mountain zebra, gemsbok, springbok and flocks of ostrich roam the region. Many small, fascinating creatures have uniquely adapted to this environment and help make this one of the most interesting deserts in the world. The dunes are home to numerous unique creatures, such as the translucent Palmato gecko, shovel-nosed lizard and Namib golden mole.

Sossusvlei, in the southern region, has the highest sand dunes in the world, exceeding 1,000 feet (300 m). The base of the second highest sand dune in the world can be closely approached by vehicle. The hike along the knife-edge rim to the top is strenuous, requiring 60–90 minutes of taking two steps up and sliding one step down. The view from the top into other valleys and of the mountains beyond is marvelous. Even up there, colorful beetles, ants and other desert critters roam about. Sunrise on these magnificent and colorful dunes is spectacular. Ballooning safaris are offered.

Kulala Desert Lodge is situated on the boundary of Sossusvlei. Each "Kulala" offers en suite facilities and a private veranda with stunning views of the famous Sossusvlei dunes. In addition, your own rooftop sleeping area allows you a unique opportunity to enjoy a night under the spectacular desert sky.

September 27 - Sossusvlei

Early entrance into Sossusvlei park for a sunrise at Dead Vlei.

September 28 - Sossusvlei

Full day of photography.

September 29 - Sossusvlei to Serra Cafema

Today morning you will take a scenic flight over the Namib Desert, Sossusvlei and the Atlantic Ocean. When you arrive in Serra Cafema you will be transferred to your camp.

This region is shared with the wonderful and colourful Himba people who are some of the last true nomadic people of Africa. The Kunene River is the only permanent source of water and creates an oasis along its banks surrounded by rugged mountains and sand dunes.

The Serra Cafema Camp is situated in the remote northern area of the Skeleton Coast . Spend the next three days exploring one of the planet's driest deserts. Activities include traversing the sand dunes in 4x4 Landrovers enjoying the breath-taking landscape scenes with Springbok, Ostrich and Oryx dotted here and there, and boating on the Kunene River where you can watch for the Kunene crocodiles.

Walking in the remote mountain and river valleys are also a highlight. Serra Cafema is often visited by the native Ovahimba families who live in the nearby vicinity, which gives you the opportunity to learn about their lifestyle and traditions. One of the highlights of Serra Cafema is the optional carefully guided quad-bike excursions that tread lightly on the dunes.

Serra Cafema Camp is set under big shady Albida trees overlooking the Kunene River and comprises 8 canvas and thatched chalets that are raised off the ground, each with its own en-suite bathroom. There is a small swimming pool, dining room and bar.

September 30 and October 1 - Serra Cafema

Full days of photography in and around the Serra Cafema area.

October 2 - Serra Cafema to Windhoek

Take a private charter flight back to Windhoek. Relax back at the Olive Grove Hotel for your last night in Namibia. Find time to process photographs and congregate for a farewell dinner.

October 3 - Windhoek back home.

Depart Windhoek for home.

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $15,900 per person (but not inclusive of airfare to Windhoek, Namibia). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals. The workshop will include a loaner Phase One system for the duration of the trip.

For an additional fee you can choose to have the both the safari *and* your flights to Namibia booked for you through the agency that we are working with. Please inquire if you would like a quote. We encourage this service if you are departing from North America, as we will all be able to arrive in Namibia on the same flight at the same time. It is our experience that this service eliminates many scheduling headaches, and the cost is at or slightly below the average market rate for such a flight.

If we have to cancel the trip for any reason you will receive a full refund of all monies paid to that date.

Please note: This trip is designed for photographers. Though non-photographer spouses are of course welcome, and alternate activities will be scheduled if possible, our primary emphasis will be traveling to the best locations for the best light, and this will often mean long days of both travel and shooting.

You should therefore only consider joining this expedition if you are a passionate photographer willing to put yourself out a bit. This is not a vacation sightseeing trip, but rather is a safari designed for those who'll go the extra mile (or kilometer) to get the images they've been dreaming about.

We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

What's Included?

- All Park fees
- All accommodations, based on double occupancy
- All meals inclusive of restaurant staff tips
- Services of guides and drivers
- Airport transfers to and from hotels
- Internal chartered aircraft in Namibia

What is Not Included?

- Additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff
- Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, insurance and airport taxes
- Alcoholic beverages and sodas
- Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
- Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary

What Do I Do Next?

Our groups are small, so space is limited. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they're spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to info@andybiggs.com.

Andy spends a few months each year in Africa, teaching workshops and sharing his enjoyment of the wildlife, landscapes and people of Africa. If you are interested in joining him on one of his trips, you can contact him at info@andybiggs.com, view his workshop schedule on this site, or visit his website at www.andybiggs.com.