Namibia Photographic Safari
April 9 – April 20, 2006
In April 2006, Michael Reichmann and Andy Biggs will be co-leading a small and very exclusive group to Namibia, Africa. The goal of this safari is to photograph the breathtaking desert landscapes of Namibia, along with the Himba people and wildlife. This will be a 10-day flying safari, and we will maximize our time out on safari by flying from location to location. This will enable us to carry a large amount of camera baggage, as well as eliminating unnecessary long drives. Two chartered aircraft are dedicated to our use during this trip.
This trip will provide extremely comfortable accommodations, along with the best guides in the industry.
Before reading further, please be aware that because of the exotic and remote locations that will be visited, and the use of two private chartered aircraft for the full nine days in-country, along our use of the highest quality accomodations, this is of necessity an expensive workshop – possibly one of the most expensive ever offered. But, there probably has never been an opportunity like this for the passionate landscape and nature photographer.
– This private flying safari covers fascinating attractions in Namibia while enjoying much of the stunning landscape from the air.
– You fly over the Namib Desert dunes, up over Sossusvlei and along the Atlantic Ocean.
– 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 Serra Cafema Area.
– The Kunene Area of the Skeleton Coast has breathtaking landscape scenes in the Hartmann Valley and is the optimal place for bird watching. The area is inhabited by the native Himba tribe.
This expedition / workshop is being lead by Michael Reichmann and Andy Biggs.
Michael is the publisher and primary author of this site. He has been a photographer and photographic educator for more than 30 years, and has taught workshops and seminars as well as conducted photographic expeditions in recent years to Antarctica, Iceland, Bangladesh, Tanzania, China, Costa Rica and many locations throughout North America. Michael is a Contributing Editor to Photo Techniques and American Photo magazines, and his work is found in both private and public collections worldwide.
Andy Biggs is a professional African nature and wildlife photographer, who spends up to 3 months each year in Africa.
Please note that much of the text below is taken from information provided by the guide company that we will be using. Needless to say, Michael and Andy will be ensuring that our primary focus will be on landscape and wildlife photography, with alternate activities when possible for non-photographer spouses.
APRIL 9, 2006 – Cape Town/Luderitz
Today you will take your private charter 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.
APR 10 - Luderitz
Today you take a full day excursion to Kolmanskop Ghost Town and Elizabeth Bay 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.
APR 11 - Luderitz/Oranjemund/Woldwedans
Today you will take a private charter scenic flight to Oranjemund continuing up the coast to Wolwedans in the Namib Rand Reserve. Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your lodge.
The NamibRand Nature Reserve, situated in the pristine Namib Desert, is the largest private nature reserve in Southern Africa . It is a world of immense solitude, wind-sculpted orange dunes and jagged mountains. The Namib is known as the "living desert" because of the diversity of life existing in seemingly inhospitable conditions. In this dry place, an intriguing array of desert-adapted animals and plants are nourished by condensation from the sea mists off the distant Atlantic Ocean . Once the hunting ground of the Spotted Hyena, Wolwedans takes its name from the African for "where the wolves dance". The very words conjure up an aura of mystery! Set against a backdrop of unparalleled beauty, this magnificent desert scenery includes vast desert plains, dry riverbeds, sand dunes and rugged mountains.
Activities are many and varied. At Wolwedans you will be introduced to the exciting facets of NamibRand's unique desert habitat and learn about the geology, the flora and the desert's fascinating creatures. Accompanied by experienced guides, scenic drives in open 4x4 land rovers or nature walks with resident field-guides, will reveal the wonders of the desert - as do picnics in the wild, sundowners on the dunes and dinners by candlelight. A hot air balloon ride is optionally scheduled for an entirely different perspective of this incredible landscape.
While this is not a game-rich area, you will find springbok, gemsbok, zebra, baboon, oryx, ostrich and more, which eke out their existence under the arid desert conditions. Across this diverse canvas of contrasting landscapes traverse an exciting variety of large and small desert creatures - as wild and ancient as their habitat.
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge is superbly situated in the heart of NamibRand Nature Reserve nestled amidst the dunes, accommodating a maximum of 16 guests in a totally unspoiled setting. The entire lodge is constructed on wooden platforms and overlooks panoramic vistas in all directions, capturing the ambience of the desert. Each of the eight spacious and comfortable chalets is furnished with a distinct natural charm and feature a private verandah and an en-suite bathroom. The front section of each chalet can be opened allowing for magnificent 180-degree views over stretches of untouched sand.
The "lapa" area where guests meet for "sundowners", dinner and breakfast opens out onto a verandah with more superb views of the surroundings. A spacious deck with a fireplace provides a wonderful atmosphere for relaxing and stargazing.
APR 12 - Wolwedans
Full day of photographic activities in the desert.
APR 13 - Wolwedans/ Namib Naukluft - Sossusvlei
Today you will take a private charter transfer to the 50,000 square kilometer (19,000 square mile) Namib-Naukluft National Park southwest of the Naukluft Mountains .
Kulala Desert Lodge is situated on the boundary of Sossusvlei. Each "Kulala" offers ensuite 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.
Activities include Sossusvlei drives into the desert, walking trails, balloon safaris, horse rides and a visit to an ancient bushman site. Accommodation: Kulala Desert Lodge.
APR 14 - Namib Naukluft - Sossusvlei
Full day of activities.
Accommodation: Kulala Desert Lodge
APR 15 - Sossusvlei/Kunene
Early this morning you will take a balloon safari over the dunes. Afterwards you will depart on your private charter flight to Kunene. You will take a scenic flight over the Namib Desert, Sossusvlei and the Atlantic Ocean , with a fuel stop in Swakopmund. 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 your 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.
APR 16 - Kunene / Serra Cafema
Exploring and more photographic opportunities
APR 17 - Kunene / Serra Cafema
Exploring and more photographic opportunities
APR 18 - Kunene/Windhoek
Today you will take your private charter flight to Windhoek. Flight back to Cape Town to visit the glorious wine country, or on to another destination (optional).
Chris Sanderson who will be filming this workshop / expedition for The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.
Naturally, we will need your consent to be filmed. Once you have registered for the Workshop we will be sending you a Release Form. This will signify your permission to be included in the filming that will be done during the workshop. We will, of course, be providing you with complimentary copies of whatever video or print material comes out of this. Of course this will provide you with a professional quality video record of this trip, something that no other workshop can provide.
Finally, I want to assure you that the filming of the workshop will in no way interfere with the workshop and the time that we spend together. Chris is an experienced filmmaker and will be shooting in an unobtrusive documentary style. Of course, as an experienced cinematographer and director Chris will be available as another resource person to all Workshop members. If you have problem with being filmed during the workshop please ask me for more information, or consider taking an alternative workshop.
The Luminous Landscape Inc., Michael Reichmann, Andy Biggs, our instructors, guides, and cooperating agents aim to provide every participant a safe, educational, and enjoyable experience. We act solely as agents for you regarding accommodations, special activities, and travel, by any means, and assume no liability for any act, error, omission, injury, loss, delay, mishap, or damage to persons or property arising from any cause during the course of the workshop or in transit thereto. We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in the services to be provided. We reserve the right to change our arrangements should conditions necessitate, or to cancel any aspect of the workshop due to exceptional circumstances. In the event that we deem it necessary to cancel the workshop we will provide a full refund which the participant acknowledges as full and final settlement.
As there is always an element of risk in any adventure associated with the outdoors, participants must read this form carefully. This liability release will certify that the participant is physically fit and capable of participating in outdoor photography exercises in field locations, and is fully and completely aware of any associated risks created by field locations and weather.
By joining this workshop I acknowledge that I have read the above information concerning responsibility and release The Luminous Landscape Inc., Michael Reichmann, Andy Biggs, their guides, instructors and any cooperating agent from any liability. The Luminous Landscape Inc., Michael Reichmann and Andy Biggs will assume no liability for injury, illness, or loss of personal property or expenses thereof associated with workshop participation.
The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $14,495 per person (but not including airfare to and from your home and Capetown, South Africa). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography or not. This fee includes all in-country ground, river and air transportation, as well as hotel accommodations (double occupancy), and all meals and alcoholic beverages. Accommodations are two persons to a room. Simply fly into Cape Town, and we'll take care of the rest.
A deposit of U.S. $4,495 (per person) will be required when you register. A further payment of $5,000 will be due on September 1, 2005 and the balance of $5,000 will be due no later than December 15, 2005. If you need to cancel before September 1, you'll get a full refund (less $750). After December 15 if you need to cancel you'll receive back all of your money paid to that date, except $750, but the refund will be possible only if a replacement for you can be found.
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 an expedition designed for those who'll go the extra mile (or kilometer) to get the images they've been dreaming about.
SORRY – SOLD OUT
If you'd like to be added to the workshop waitlist for future announcements prior to public listing, please drop me a line, with the word WORKSHOP in the title.
All photographs on this page are Copyright darwinwiggett.com