Southern Africa From the Cape to Namibia *
Photo Explorer Tours:
Special Tours for Special Photographers
International airfare is not included. Information on air ticket consolidators will be provided.
Photos © Dennis Cox/WorldViews
Southern Africa Tour
This tour features Namibia's many dramatic landscapes including Sossusvlei and Swakopmund, Cape Cross seal colony, visit to the Himba people, as well as two full days on a private wildlife safari in Etosha, Namaqualand's profusion of spring wildflowers, the Fish River Canyon, West Coast fishing villages, Cape Winelands, and the many wondrous photo opportunities around Cape Town. Participants will travel in air-conditioned van(s), with four to six per van, allowing numerous spontaneous stops for photography.
Optional pre-tour package: 2 nights at City Lodge including arrival transfers.
Estimated Per Person Sharing: R1450 Per person Single:
The City Lodge Hotel is a centrally located 3 star hotel at the gateway to the vibrant and dynamic V&A Waterfront, within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town's City centre. 15 minutes from Cape Town International Airport. A nautical theme runs through the hotel.
Or see Cape Town Rentals below for stay of five or more
Arrive in Cape Town. Orientation and tour begins.
Nestled at the foot of the famous Table Mountain, Cape Town is a vibrant and exciting city boasting spectacular scenery and numerous natural attractions, making it one of the most alluring cities in the world. Cape Town, with all the infrastructure of a first world country, is a favorite with international visitors as it acts as a gateway to Africa, is wonderfully cosmopolitan and is steeped in history and culture.
First of three nights at the Amblewood Guest House B& B in scenic Hout Bay.
The Amblewood is owned by retired professional advertising photographer Trevor Kruger and his wife June and has a wonderful view from the front pool deck overlooking beautiful Hout Bay. It's the perfect place to begin a Southern Africa photo journey.
Day 2 & 3 - Cape Town
Photo excursions around Cape Town including the Cape Peninsula.
The Cape Peninsula extends south of Cape Town to Cape Point with its light houses and Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Photo opportunities enroute include the famous St. James Victorian Bathing Boxes, Kalk Bay fishing boats, Boulder Beach Penguin Colony, and Simon's Town Historic Mile. A trip by cable car to the top of Table Mountain (weather permitting), the colorful Bo Kaap Malay neighborhood, Chapmans Peak Drive, The Castle, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and a sunset shoot at Bloubergstrand with its spectacular view of Table Mountain across Table Bay make for a full agenda of photo opportuinities during these two days.
Day 4 - Winelands touring and photo ops in and around Stellenbosch
The area comprises wonderfully photogenic rugged mountains, fertile valleys, orchards and vineyards dotted with historic villages and gracious houses, built in typical Cape Dutch style. The wines produced in this region have become world famous and wine tasting at the numerous award-winning wine estates has become a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. Stellenbosch is the centre of the country's wine industry and one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The town's rich heritage is reflected in beautiful architecture and abundant vineyards. Nearby, the Franschhoek Valley with its French heritage features numerous arts and crafts shops.
River Manor, B&B
Set in the enchanting oak-lined avenue across from the Eerste Rivier, River Manor offers traditional Southern African hospitality and personalised service. River Manor, a national monument, boasts 16 spacious en-suite bedrooms, each one furnished with colonial charm and a touch of African eclecticism. Décor in the rest of the manor is delightful. Modern conveniences are combined with age-old antiques, skillfully blending the past with the present. The village centre, dotted with street cafes, restaurants, galleries and museums, is a mere two-minute stroll away.
Day 5 - West Coast
Photo ops near Paternoster include West coast fishing villages, birds, flowers, seascapes
This picturesque fishing town, is one of the oldest coastal towns along the West Coast and is famous for its crayfish. There are many white-washed fishermen's cottages dotted along a long, white beach. In the town some of the atmosphere of a fishing community of a bygone era is preserved. An all year round destination famous for its strong traditional fisherman's architecture .... endless pristine sandy beaches .... whales and dolphins frolicking in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean .... breathtaking sunsets .... the booming foghorn in the mist and when the first spring rains fall, the millions of indigenous flowers which open and densely carpet the earth in bright bursts of color.It is home to more than 250 species of birds with seabirds like the Oystercatcher using this coastline as their breeding ground There is a variety of small mammals with an occasional sighting of the strandwolf. An abundance sea delights are available on the beach as the fishermen come in with their daily catch . In season you will find the locals offering "crawlies" crayfish and delicious seafood from the boats and in specialty restaurants.
Paternoster Hotel, Dinner, B&B
Day 6 & 7 - Namaqualand
Photo opportunities including flowers, small towns, landscapes.
Lamberts Bay is also well known for The Bird Island where thousands of Gannets, penguins, comorants and other bird species have made the island their nesting and breeding ground. The Bird Island has a secure lookout point for observing the breeding and nesting habits.
Also in the Kamieskroon area: Leliefontein - first Methodist missionary in Namaqualand and South Africa, started in 1808. The church and the parsonage are national monuments. Bethelsklip - rock formation where Rev. Barnabas Shaw held the first church service in 1816. Bowesdorp-ruins - first Dutch Reformed Church in Namaqualand. Traditional huts at Leliefontein, Nourivier and Rooifontein. Quiver tree houses - built with panels of the quiver tree bark at Rooifontein, Kamassies and Nourivier. Mica mine at Tweerivier (no longer in operation). Interesting bird life. Springbok, Nababeep, O'Okiep and copper mines.
Kamieskroon Hotel, Dinner, B&B
Day 8 - Fish River Canyon
Meet Namibian guide at the border.
The Nature Reserve at Fish River Canyon features dazzling blue skies arched over the yellow blooms of quiver trees on vast barren plains bordering the second largest canyon on earth. The charm of 1.120 square kilometer Gondwana Cañon Park consists in the stark beauty of the Nama Karoo. The Fish River Canyon in the lower course of the ephemeral river with the same name is one of southern Namibia's main attractions. It cuts through the seemingly enormous scenery of the Nama Karoo which is criss-crossed by the courses of other ephemeral rivers, lined by vegetation. Characteristic plants are euphorbia, quiver trees and small shrubs. Between the main lookout point at Hobas and the hot springs at Ai-Ais in the south the canyon is at its most impressive.
Canon Lodge, Dinner
Built amongst impressive granite boulders near the Fish River Canyon, Canon Lodge lies approximately 20km from the main viewpoint and close to the main road. The lodge consists of 30 bungalows, built with natural rock walls and thatch roofs, and offering comfortable twin accommodation with en-suite shower/WC. A restored farmhouse with magnificent views from its terrace serves as the restaurant and bar, and a farm pool, about 600m away in a secluded spot, offers relaxation. Activities include horse riding, sundowner walks and drives, and day hikes into the canyon
Day 9 - Southern Namiba
Early morning exploration of Fish River Canyon. Drive north through Southern Namiba
Quiver Tree Forestsin the area are worth a visit. All the quiver tree groves are located in an area in which large chunks of greyish black dolerite rock are stacked upon one another to form veritable sculpture galleries. At farm Gariganus the site has been named 'Giants' Playground'.
Helmeringshause Hotel, Dinner, B&B
This small country hotel, situated in the south of Namibia, offers eight double rooms with en-suite shower or bath and 1 single room with en-suite shower. Guests can enjoy the country-style ambience and German hospitality of the hosts. Visits can also be arranged to the open-air agricultural museum, which is situated next door to the hotel.
Day 10 - Sossusvlei
Arrive mid afternoon at Sossusvlei. Sunset photo ops of dunes. Optional hot air balloon flight.
Sossusvlei is one of Namibia's most impressive sights. The famous clay pan is enclosed by the endless red and yellow sand sea of the Dune Namib. For photographers the desert landscape offers the most amazing contrasts, colours and shapes in the early morning and late afternoon light. Climbing a dune should definitely be part of a visit. Sossusvlei can only be reached from the national park's entrance gate at Sesriem. Sesriem Canyon, a gorge of about 2 km in length, is also in the vicinity of Sesriem. 'Ses rieme', or six thongs of an ox wagon and team were once tied together to scoop water from the bottom of the gorge.
Sossuvlei Lodge, Dinner B&B
Sossusvlei Lodge is located in the Namib Desert, at the entrance gate to the famous Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon. This unique resort lies amongst endless sand dunes and multi-coloured mountain ranges and offers 45 canvas-covered bungalows reminiscent of Bedouin tents, equipped with en-suite facilities and double beds. Guests can enjoy a drink around the sparkling swimming pool or in the cosy bar, while superb cuisine is offered in the uniquely painted restaurant or on the terrace. Activities include guided excursions to Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon, sundowner nature drives, walking trails, hot-air ballooning and scenic flights as the lodge has it's own air-strip.
Day 11 - Sossusvlei
Sunrise excursion to the vlei and dunes.
Sossusvlei Lodge, Dinner B&B
Day 12 - Swakopmund
Drive to Swakopmund via Welwitchia plains and moon landscape.
Pension Rapmund, B&B
Hotel Pension Rapmund is ideal for your visit at the coast in Swakopmund. Family Rapmund has established the Hotel Pension in 1969. All 25 Rooms have there own bathrooms and heating facilities. The pension is three minutes away from the centre of town and from the beach, the museum, library, heated indoor swimming pool and aquarium. Family Rapmund would like you to enjoy your stay at the Hotel Pension with the excellent service and hospitality.
Day 13 - Swakopmund
Sandwich harbour tour
The Turnstone Tour to Sandwich Bay begins when you are collected from your hotel for an early morning drive along a beautiful dune chain running next to the sea all the way to Walvis Bay. This is an opportunity for a detailed look at the formation of 'the world's oldest desert' - its origins, its composition and its movements. Stops at various points of interest on the way to Walvis Bay, include 'Bird Rock' (a guano island inhabited by 200 000 birds) and the Lagoon itself. The Lagoons at Walvis and at Sandwich Bay have been designated as 'Wetlands of International Importance', while the 'Bird Paradise' at Walvis Bay is also a favourite nesting and feeding site for thousands of visiting and resident birds. Flamingo, Plover, Pelican, Avocet, Turnstone and a huge variety of waders can all be seen between the two lagoons, with numbers peaking at around November time.
Leaving Walvis Bay behind, head for the lower reaches of the Kuiseb Delta. This unique ecosystem is dotted with archeological sites, 450 year-old animal tracks, wind blown graves and magnificent dunes. There is evidence of ancient and recent gathering, harvesting and trading by the Topnaar, a community descended from the !Khoi group, some of Namibia's oldest indigenous people. The Nara fruit - a natural desert 'crop' on which the survival of the Topnaar is based - grow abundantly in this area.
Turning south, begin the approach to Sandwich Bay, through a kaleidoscope of desert and seascapes. There are barren salt pans and vegetation covered hummock dunes, home to the secretive wild life that inhabits this stretch of the coast. Springbok, Ostrich, Jackal and Brown Hyena live in this maze of small dunes. Peregrine Falcons, Pale Chanting Goshawks and Black-breasted Snake Eagles can sometimes be seen, along with small mammals - such as gerbils, three-striped mice and Cape Foxes - and a fascinating world of plants, insects and reptiles. We'll probably be able to track some down for a close up view of geckos, lizards and harmless snakes - all uniquely adapted to survive in the burning sands of the desert.
The next section of the journey is as dramatic as the landscape, and it soon becomes clear why Sandwich Bay is often described as inaccessible! Spring tides and shifting dunes ensure an unpredictable route, but as you approach the towering, wind-sculptured sandcastles at the edge of Sandwich Harbour, there is a sense of entering a different world. All that is left of the old whaling station and its community of traders and fishermen, is the freshwater lagoon which brought them there in the first place, a solitary deserted building and the strange greenery of this unique coastal wetland. This is the setting for your picnic - a large hamper full of homemade cakes, savouries, salads, fruit and drinks - after which we suggest a stroll around the lagoon or a more energetic scramble up the dunes. Bird enthusiasts usually have plenty to look at: 40 000 birds - 34 different species - have been recorded in this area during recent surveys. But a less well-known fact is that Sandwich Bay is also a marine sanctuary, where seals, dolphins and even whales can sometimes be seen. The drive home is a chance for reflection, a last look at the haunting desert landscapes.
Pension Rapmund, B&B
Day 14 - Kaokoland
Light air transfer from Swakop Airport to Opuwo - including stopover at Cape Cross seal colony for excursion. Continue flight over riverbeds in search of desert elephant. Arrive at Opuwo Country Lodge. Excursion to see the Himba.
Opuwo Country Lodge, B&B
Opuwo is the gateway to the Kaokoveld region in the northwestern part of Namibia. The remote area south of the Kunene river is the home of the Himba people, who have kept their ethnic individuality and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoland. The hotel provides comfortable luxury accommodation with air conditioning and will be ideal base from where to explore Kaokoland. Accommodation: 28 rooms and 12 standard and swimming pool.A guided excursion to an authentic Himba village can be undertaken.
Day 15 - Etosha
Excursion to see the Himba people.
Transfer to airport for light air transfer to Mokuti Lodge for dinner and first of three nights lodging.
The Etosha National Park in Northern Namibia is one of the world's finest game parks. Covering 22 270 square kilometres, Etosha is famed for its numerous waterholes at which you can view a wide diversity of game, including blue wildebeest, lion, elephant, zebra, springbok and oryx to name a few. The most spectacular feature of the park is the vast, shallow salt pan, which lies its centre, filling with water during the rainy season attracting a variety of wildlife and numerous species of birdlife.
Mokuti Lodge, Dinner, B&B, game drives in private safari vehicle
Mokuti Lodge is situated on a 4,000 ha game park on the eastern edge of the Etosha National Park. The 106 Standard and Luxury thatched chalets have air conditioning, en-suite shower or bath and television. The exotic gardens include a large swimming pool, pool bar, tennis courts and separate children's playgrounds. Fine dining can be enjoyed in two restaurants or under the African sky around a fire in the boma - entertained by the resident tribal dancers and singers. The lodge offers a large variety of activities including trail blazing on foot or horseback, a visit to the Ontouka Reptile Park, a bush-style exercise circuit and bushveld cycle track as well as game viewing in an open safari vehicle.
Day 16 - Etosha
Full day PRIVATE game viewing.
Mokuti Lodge, Dinner, B&B, game drives.
Day 17 - Windhoek
Light air transfer to Eros airport, Windhoek. Transfer to Hilltop House B&B.
Day 18 - Windhoek
Light air transfer to Eros airport, Windhoek. Transfer to guesthouse.
Hilltop House, B&B
Day 19 - Windhoek
Transfer to Windhoek airport for flight to Johannesburg departing at 1:20 PM arriving at 3:20 PM.
Namibia for photography....
Namibia, the thirstland wilderness, offers a selection of the finest photographic opportunities. This land of contrast and beauty is ideally suited to the professional and amateur alike. Whether the passion is for images of people, nature or landscapes, Namibia has it all and more. This destination features a wide range of photo subjects and the superb weather provides excellent light variations. This ensures the visitor can exercise creative styles or simply record the unique beauty of the land, its inhabitants and its abundant nature.
To capture prized images guests in Namibia can travel by land or air. The country is ideally suited to both, with a good road infrastructure and a selection of aircraft for charter. Vehicles utilised for guided travel are all air-conditioned and feature sliding windows for use where wildlife may be shy or present a danger. Itineraries are tailor made to include the specific subject interests of photographers.
Cities - from the contrasts of the historic and modern of the capital Windhoek to the ghost towns of the southern Namib where the desert is reclaiming its ground from once vibrant mining towns.
People - from the colourful Herero people and stylish city dwellers to the nomadic Himba and elusive Bushmen. Namibia is home to many different ethnic groups and the people of Namibia are not averse to being photographed provided permission is asked. Varying lifestyles and dwellings in urban and remote settings create interesting backdrops.
Plant life - from tiny succulent species to towering acacia and the ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis, moringa, pachypodium, euphorbia and lichen are but a few of those worthy of mention. An unexpected plethora of species abounds in this harsh land.
Wildlife - from the desert dwelling elephants of Damaraland to the rare black rhinoceros of Etosha National Park and the desert adapted gemsbok (oryx gazella) of the Namib to the thousands of Cape Fur Seals of the Atlantic Coast, Namibia is home to unrivalled abundance and variety.
Bird life - from the regal fish eagle to the comical hornbill and the small but plentiful sociable weaver over 660 species have been recorded in this country. Fourteen endemic species are resident and a multitude of seasonal migrants visit the rivers and coastlines.
Landscapes - from mountains to plains and sand dunes to canyons the ever-changing landscapes have been shaped over millions of years by seismic and climatic conditions
Photo Explorer Tours DENNIS COX LLC
2506 Country Village, Ann Arbor MI 48103-6500 USA
Phone 800-315-4462 or 734-996-1440
May all your journeys be care free,
And may all your days be filled with wonder.
NOTICE: The photographs on this website are legally protected by United States and international copyright laws and may NOT be used for reproduction in any manner without the explicit authorization of Dennis Cox.