Last year I was the lucky winner of the Wilderness photo contest. The incredible award, an 8-night, all-expenses-paid trip to any of the Wilderness camps for my wife and I, meaning we had quite a choice to make! As a wildlife photographer I also run photo safaris in Africa, and therefore frequently visit Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Thus our choice was almost immediate – Namibia! We decided to divide our trip between Sossusvlei, Hoanib Skeleton Coast and Damaraland.
We landed in Windhoek on October 17, and were swiftly transferred onto a local flight to Little Kulala. We spent the next two days admiring the local landscape, red dunes, moving around oryx antelopes, listening to barking geckos and of course visiting the famous Dead Vlei in the early morning and late afternoon.
Wilderness Little Kulala
The valley was still full of visitors (despite it being off season) but thanks to my local guide, we managed to be onsite before crowds arrived and admire its special character in peace and quiet.
On our next stop we visited the fantastic Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. Its setting and the local landscape immediately felt incredible, and the local guide Moses was one of the best I have ever had pleasure working with during safaris. We successfully tracked desert-adapted animals such as lions, giraffes and elephants. The daily routine of the Angolan giraffes called for these graceful mammals to leave the transitional Hoanib River bed in the evening, before returning back to feed early in the morning. I immediately pictured the photo shot of a tower of giraffes in the dunes, which I managed to snap on the third morning. We also saw a puff adder on the dunes and managed to find a colourful web-footed gecko. However, the highlight was a several hours’-long trip to the Skeleton Coast, which passed through amazing rocky habitats and pale yellow dunes.
The visit to the colony of Cape fur seals in Möwe Bay, with a fantastic lunch on the Atlantic Coast afterwards, crowned the amazing day trip
Our last stop was Desert Rhino Camp in Damaraland – another fantastic camp, with its friendly atmosphere and very cosy character. Its rocky desert, table top mountains and red colour hues revealed yet another completely different character from the previous two places we had visited. We spent our days tracking black rhinos, observing giraffes gracefully moving on the rocky surface and finding sociable meerkats. We even managed to see giraffes feeding on endemic Welwitschia mirabilis, the peculiar plant only known to grow in some places in the Namib. Plants such as Euphorbias or Boscia albitrunca quickly became our favourite decoration of the red, rocky desert.
The amazing visit to the Namib showed us the very diverse character of this desert and allowed us to observe the savannah animals that had adapted to harsh, local environments. That said, we were also able to see some new plants and wildlife typical of the semi-arid and desert environments. The camps we stayed at were simply fantastic – each one with its own character and charm and very friendly staff. The local guiding was also top tier. On the last morning, our guide dropped us off at the parking spot some 45 minutes from the camp, where we picked up our rental vehicle to continue the self-drive portion of our Namibia trip and the visit to Etosha. Thank you to Vicky and the management of Wilderness for this amazing opportunity and taking care of us during the trip.
When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.