Blog Gallery: Namibia Safari - April 2020

In August 2016 our family took a trip through Namibia. We were living in Angola at the time, so it was just a short plane ride away. I hope you will enjoy some travel photography from this country filled with amazing scenery as much as we did. If you love African animals and desert landscapes, you will love this story!

Note my favorite images are for sale as luxury fine art prints (sublimated aluminum metal and Lumachrome acrylic wall art) in my online photography gallery that you can access here.

You can also purchase directly from this page by clicking the 'Prints Available' link under the available images.

Windhoek, Namibia, Africa, tree trunk, leaves, abstract image, abstract photography, photo

Tree Abstract Image

At the hotel where we stayed in Windhoek, they had a back porch with some tree trunks. This one had a nice scattering of fallen leaves on top to make an abstract image.

red sands, Kalahari desert, Namibia, Africa, cold, desert, winter, San bush people, Botswana, Namibia deserts, photo

Kalahari desert

Our first stop was a full day's drive south from Windhoek to the Kalahari desert. Note it is cold in the desert in the winter time (that's August south of the equator)! The Kalahari desert is also home to the San bush people made famous in the movie "The Gods Must be Crazy", and it is found in both Namibia and Botswana. As the Kalahari is mostly in Botswana it is one of the smaller of the Namibia deserts.

wildlife, desert, oryx, Namibia, Africa, Fish River Canyon, African wildlife, desert landscape, landscape photography, desert landscape, photo

oryx desert landscape

From there we continued our way south to Fish River Canyon. It is amazing the amount of wildlife found in the desert. This is one of many oryx we saw on the trip, and I like this landscape photography image because it shows African wildlife in their natural desert landscape.

Namibia, Africa, Fish River Canyon, landscape photo, scenery, road, isolated, tourist itineraries, travel photography, landscape photography, desert landscape, photo

Fish River Canyon desert landscape

Here is a landscape photo of the scenery around Fish River Canyon. This is the road used to get to the park, which is very isolated and not on many tourist itineraries. Any time you go out to do some travel photography or landscape photography, always look for places that are not as popular in addition to the main sites.

Fish River Canyon, Namibia, Africa, landscape photo, Grand Canyon, landscape photography, photo

Fish Rive Canyon Landscape photo

Here you can see the canyon itself in this landscape photo. This is Africa's version of the Grand Canyon, except with essentially no visitors - great for landscape photography!

Fish River Canyon, Namibia, Africa, quiver tree, succulent plant, Namibia deserts, landscape photography, landscape photo, photo

quiver trees landscape photo

These trees, called Quiver Trees, are a type of succulent plant especially suited for life in the desert. They make for great landscape photography images and are found all over Namibia deserts.

Fish River Canyon, Namibia, Africa, Quiver Tree, starburst, desert sunset, photography tip, fluorescent filter, sunrise, silhouette, photo

quiver tree desert sunset

This silhouette image was taken near Fish River Canyon. I was watching the desert sunset and managed to get the sun as it set behind this Quiver Tree with a starburst. Photography tip - I used a fluorescent filter to add some additional color to the sky, something quite effective when shooting silhouettes at sunset or sunrise.

desert landscape, Namibia, Africa, sunset, quiver tree, photo

quiver tree desert landscape

Another desert landscape from southern Namibia. This shot was taken just after sunset when the sky was glowing pink. On the left is a young Quiver Tree, found only in Southern Africa.

Namibia desert horse, Africa, German settlers, natural landscape, wild horses, feral, desert landscape, Namib desert, photo

wild horses

When the German settlers left Namibia around 100 years ago, they left their horses. Amazingly, some of these horses were able to survive and created a population of wild horses living in the Namib desert. From a stop on the side of the road, you can see this animal in his natural desert landscape, such as seen in this landscape photo. They are provided food and water in the tough years to keep the population from disappearing. There are few groups of wild horses around the world, so it was definitely a highlight of the trip to see some in Namibia. Of course, since they were left by humans and descended from domesticated horses, they are actually feral horses, rather than wild horses. But it was still cool!

wild horses, Namibia, Africa, closeup, eye, Namib desert, wildlife images, photo

wild horse close up

To be honest, these wild horses in Namibia were not very scared of people. I guess visitors have a tendency to feel sorry for them and give them food to help survive in the demanding Namib desert. At the rest stop on the side of the road, this horse was looking for handouts. I didn't give him any, but he was calm enough to allow me to get this closeup shot of his eye. Being eye to eye with a wild horse was an unexpected surprise and became one of my favorite wildlife images from the trip.

Namibia, Africa, road, lonely, desert, sand, landscape photo, highway, Namibia deserts, landscape photography, desert landscape, photo

Highway desert landscape

Lots of lonely roads through Namibia deserts. You can drive all day and see almost no people, houses, or trees! Here is one landscape photo that typifies the desert scenery, with the wind blowing sand from the Namib desert across the highway - what an opportunity for landscape photography!

Namibia, Africa, Luderitz, penguins, desert ocean, Namibia desert, penguin image, photo

penguin image

In Namibia, the desert landscape runs right up to the ocean. And if you go far enough south, you will find penguins. Of all the animals living in the Namibia desert, this is one of the most surprising. This image was taken outside of Luderitz in Southern Namibia.

image, Luderitz, Namibia, Africa, colonial houses, color, photography tip, photo


This image is of a row of colonial houses in Luderitz, in Southern Namibia. Who says Germans don't like color? Photograph tip - always look for colorful subjects!

Luderitz, Kolmanskop, Namibia, Africa, abandoned diamond mining town, picturesque, old houses, desert, reclaimed territory, ghost town, Namib desert, desert image, travel photography, photo

ghost town 1

Near Luderitz lies an old, abandoned diamond mining town called Kolmanskop. It was abandoned and become a ghost town about 100 years ago when the Germans left Namibia. This is a picturesque ghost town where you can wander through the old houses, dance hall, etc and see how the Namib desert has reclaimed its territory as the wind has blown the sand dunes back into the buildings. I can't image how much effort the families that lived here had to make to keep the sand out of their house while living there! This is another unexpected desert image, which makes for good travel photography.

Kolmanskop, Namibia, color, image, sand, doorway, ghost town, photo

ghost town 2

This house in the ghost town of Kolmanskop was interesting in that every room had been painted a different color. From this angle, I could get the colors of several rooms in the same image.

Soussusvlei, Namibia, desert, wildlife, giraffe, Namib desert, sand dunes, landscape photo, landscape photography, desert landscape, photo

giraffe desert landscape

One of the more famous sections of the Namib Desert, Soussusvlei, has giant red sand dunes and even some wildlife such as this giraffe that manage to survive. Landscape photos like this that show the wildlife and its environment can help give a sense of place, making the viewer wonder how this giraffe can survive in this harsh environment. This is where wildlife and landscape photography collide!

Sossusvlei, Namibia, Africa, sand dunes, light and shadow, famous photographer, Art Wolfe, sunrise, Namib desert, Dead Vlei, photo

Namib desert dunes

I left the lodge before dawn to make the Sossusvlei park in the Namib desert as soon as it opened to ensure the light was good. I was headed to Dead Vlei (seen in another image below), but I did stop to take this shot with the rising sun casting light on the left side of the sand dune, while the right side is still in the shadow. The trees give some scale as the dunes are massive, some reaching 1000 ft high. I first saw an image like this taken by the great Art Wolfe.

Sossusvlei park, Namibia, Africa, Dead Vlei, sand dunes, ancient oasis, water, trees, preserved, alien landscape, with salt flat, dead trees, blue sky, landscape photography, Namib desert, sunrise, photo

Deadvlei Tree

Inside of the Sossusvlei National Park, there is a special place called Dead Vlei. Surrounded by red sand dunes, this is the remnants of an ancient oasis. The water that used to be here supported numerous trees, which died and were preserved in the desert air as the place dried up. Now it is a desert landscape of white salt flats, dead trees, red sand dunes, and blue sky. This is truly a spectacular place for landscape photography, surrounded by the Namib desert. Also not too many people around at sunrise.

Sossusvlei, Namibia, Africa, dead vlei, sand dunes, trees, white salt pan, Art Wolfe, Daniel Kordan, landscape photography, famous photographers, , photo

dead vlei landscape

Dead Vlei is quite a ways inside the Sossusvlei park, so I drove straight there, passing many people who stopped along the way. I had to put the truck in 4WD to get through a sandy section and then hike a short distance over some sand dunes to reach the magical spot. No trip to Namibia is complete without visiting Dead Vlei for some of the best landscape photography this planet has to offer! The famous photographer Daniel Kordan has some great images from Dead Vlei.

Sossusvlei, Namibia, Africa, lost tourist, old cars, Namib desert, desert landscape, Namibia desert, photo

Namib desert cars

This is what happens to tourists that get lost in the Namib desert! Stay on the road, bring a map and lots of water! No, there is not much cell phone service in the middle of nowhere! Don't become part of the desert landscape.

Namibia, Africa, ocean sunset, fish, oyster, silhouette, pier, coast, Swakopmund, landscape photography, photo

ocean sunset

As you can imagine, many of the settlements in Namibia are found along the ocean, which is where we headed next. If you can't farm, fish! This is an image of an ocean sunset and silhouette of a pier on the coast, in a town called Swakopmund. We did try the oysters, though I'm not a huge oyster fan. Silhouettes can be used in many different ways, including landscape photography as seen here.

coast, rare sight, hotel, purple flower, green leaves, Namibia deserts, Africa, Swakopmund , photo

Swakopmund Flower

As the climate is often better along the coast, here was a rare sight at our hotel of a purple flower and green leaves! You don't see too many patches of green or flowers in the Namibia deserts!

Namibia, Africa, Skeleton Coast, shipwreck, Zeila Shipwreck, landscape photo, photo

skeleton coast shipwreck

This part of Namibia is called the Skeleton Coast due to the large number of shipwrecks found here. This one, the Zeila Shipwreck, was an Angolan fishing vessel that broke down and was never repaired of recovered. It makes for an interesting landscape photo. No actual skeletons along the Skeleton Coast that I am aware of!

image of jackal, Cape Cross Seal Colony, Namibia, Africa, landscape, photo

image of jackal

This jackal is standing up on a rocky outcrop to look for food, surveying the desert landscape. He is at the Cape Cross Seal Colony on the coast, and he is looking for baby seals that he can find unattended. There are hundreds of seals, and it's easy for a young one to get lost in the commotion. This is another example of using the environment in wildlife photography to give a sense of place.

Namibia, Africa, wildlife, desert, elephants, Damaraland, young elephant, Namibia desert, photo

Namibia desert elephant

Namibia has a wide variety of wildlife, much of which has adapted to life in the desert. There are small groups of elephants in Damaraland that manage to survive very harsh conditions. This young elephant is digging in the dry dirt with his foot to try to find something to eat.

rock hyrax, Namibia, Africa, Damaraland, desert, jump, photography tip, wildlife photography, wildlife image, photo

Jump wildlife image

This little guy, called a rock hyrax, is well suited for life in the Namib desert. They live on and around these massive rocks, jumping back and forth and hiding in the cracks. I watched a group of about 20 make this same jump, one after the other, as they all moved to a different place. Photography tip - In wildlife photography, it is important to know how the animals you are looking to film behave so you know where to be and when to be there.

Damaraland, Twyfelfontein, Namibia, Africa, petroglyphs, caves paintings, hunter gatherers, African animals, rock drawings, photo

rock drawings

In Damaraland, there is a location called Twyfelfontein that has lots of petroglyphs (like cave paintings) from several millennia of human settlement. This is one image taken of dozens of sites where thousands of years ago hunter gatherers drew pictures of the African animals around them.

Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, animal, water holes, elephants, reflection, wildlife image, photo

elephant wildlife image

In Etosha National Park, since the land is so dry, much of the animal activity occurs around water holes. Here you can see a couple of elephants play fighting near the water hole along with their reflection.

rhinos, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, water hole, night, horn cut off, poaching, African animals, wildlife image, photo

Rhino wildlife image

We only saw rhinos at night, so the image quality is not very good, but you can see two of them at a water hole next to our hotel in Etosha National Park. Notice the rhino on the right has had his horn cut off to prevent poaching, which unfortunately is a scourge on African animals in general.

young lions, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, inexperienced hunters, impatient, giraffe, prey, ambush, lion hunting, photo

lion hunting

We watched a group of young lions hunting for over an hour as they planned an ambush on the nearby game. There were more than 5 lions involved, but all inexperienced hunters. This one lion got impatient with waiting and took off running with no chance of catching his prey. There were lions in the grass to the left of this image that were in a much better location, but this one lion scared off all the animals. Live and learn young one! So even though the lion is too young to actually take down the giraffe, it still counts as an iconic image of a lion hunting!

water hole, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, dozens of elephants, baby elephant, mother, desert, photo

Baby Elephant

At this watering hole there were dozens of elephants quenching their thirst from the desert air. It was fun watching this little baby elephant play around and fall down, all the while staying very close to his mother.

water hole, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, young male lion, wildlife, herd of zebra, watching, landscape photo, image of lion, photo

Image of lion and zebra

At another water hole, this young male lion got up from resting and walked across the open plain. All the while the hole is surrounded by wildlife of all kinds. Here you can see a herd of zebra watching the lion walk, making sure he isn't interested in them! Fortunately for them this lion was not hungry, but it made for a good landscape photo of the local wildlife.

Etosha National Park, Namibia, zebra, let out, coddling couple, photography tip, human behavior, wildlife image, image of zebra, photo

image of zebra

I liked the imagery of this third zebra feeling left out of the coddling couple on the right. Photography tip - capturing photos of animals that are exhibiting (or seemingly exhibiting) human behavior / emotions, it can make for an interesting wildlife image.

elephant, Etosha National Park, Namibia, African safaris, image of elephant, telephoto lens, photo

image of elephant on road

We waited and watched this elephant walking down the road inside the park. Notice he is throwing dust over his back to help keep clean and cool in the afternoon sun. In Namibia it is common to do self-drive safaris where you just rent a car and go, no guide required. This is not true of most African safaris.

photography tips, Etosha National Park, Namibia, zebra, Africa, wildlife photography, image of zebra, photo

image of zebra playing

Here is a pair of zebra playing in the road in Etosha NP. Needless to say, I stopped and watched/shot instead of just driving through. One of the most important tips for wildlife photography is patience. You never know when the subject will move just right.

image of lion, vertical, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, telephoto lens, photo

Image of lion vertical

This young male lion was lounging around a water hole. His mane was not yet fully formed, but we appreciated the mohawk he was sporting! Don't worry, this was shot with a long lens as is ofter the case in wildlife photography when it is not possible to get close to the subject.

image of lion, landscape image, young lion, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, telephoto lens, photo

image of lion landscape

Another image of the same lion. Wildlife images can include the environment to show a sense of place, or focus on the subject, like this one. It doesn't show the environment, but it conveys much more the strength of the lion being close up. How often can we get this close to lions in the real world?

baby elephant, Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa, image of baby elephant, photo

image of baby elephant

This baby elephant was playing a little ways off from the herd near a water hole. He was full of energy and fun to watch as he ran around, flapping his ears and giving his parents a hard time. Not so different from humans, really. The Smithsonian chose this image as a 'photo of the week' in one of their contests.

cheetah, Namibia, Africa, Africat Foundation, big cat conservation, cheetah image, photo

cheetah image

This is one of a few cheetahs under the care of the AfriCat Foundation in central Namibia, which was our next stop after Etosha. They work in the conservation of big cats that are threatened by humans, eventually releasing them into the wild on their preserve, where they will continue to hunt their own food.

Africat Foundation, Okonjima, Namibia, Africa, safari, cheetah, killed, young kudu, protecting large cats, cheetahs hunting, photo

cheetah hunting

We took this special trip with the AfriCat Foundation at their Okonjima park north of Windhoek. Normally young children are not allowed on the cat safaris for safety reasons, but instead of walking they arranged a jeep for us to take us to see where some cheetah and recently killed a young kudu, so we could watch from a safe distance. Although we didn't get to witness the cheetahs hunting, it was still interesting to watch them eat and fend off the jackals that wanted to share in the kill.

leopard, AfriCat Foundation, Namibia, Africa, big cat conservation, image of leopard, photo

image of leopard 1

We spent a full day looking for one of the elusive leopards that live in the AfriCat park. These animals hunt and feed themselves, and their range can extend outside of the safety of the park fence, so they are truely wild, even if mostly protected from humans. They do have radio collars, so to find them you drive around with a radio receiver, and when you are close and pointing the receiver in the right direction, it will beep. However, leopards are still very difficult to find, even when you are staring straight at them! I like this image of the leopard because it shows how they blend in the grass.

leopard, hidden, grass, radio collar, camouflage, Africat Foundation, Okonjima, Windhoek, Namibia, Africa, large cats, image of leopard, photo

image of leopard 2

Another image of a leopard hidden in the grass. This is why I don't go out on foot!

Joe's Beerhouse, lager, beer, Windhoek, Namibia, Africa, game meat, oryx, kudu, zebra, restaurant, namibia beer, photo

Namibia Beer

What better way to end a trip than having a print of cold German lager at Joe's Beerhouse in Windhoek? This is a great restaurant that also serves all kinds of game meat such as oryx, kudu, zebra, etc. Vegetarians not invited!

I hope you enjoyed this trip through Namibia. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to take an African safari. You will get some great wildlife images of African animals, landscape photos of the Namib desert,
and it is often significantly cheaper than East African safaris because fewer people know about them.

Note my favorite images are for sale as luxury fine art prints (sublimated aluminum metal and Lumachrome acrylic wall art) in my online photography gallery that you can access here.

You can also purchase directly from this page by clicking the 'Prints Available' link under the available images.

Posted in Travel, Wildlife, Africa.

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