Sample Trip

20 Night Photographic Namibian Adventure

“Self-drive lodge-based safari for photographers keen to explore the magic of Namibia!”
Budget level: Mid-Range
When to Go
All year
20 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge and Canvas, Self drive
Damaraland, Etosha National Park & Surrounds, Kaokoland, Namib-Naukluft, Northern Namibia Safaris, Sossusvlei, Southern Namib & Kalahari, Southern Namibia, Swakopmund, Windhoek

Namibia is photographer’s heaven!

With some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in the world and covering the whole of the country, there is no better place for adventurous photographers keen to explore whilst self-driving between lodges. One of the very BEST trips on offer in the whole of Namibia!

Itinerary in Brief

Arrive into Windhoek early morning, pick up your wheels for the next three weeks and head south!

The first day is a fairly short drive into the Kalahari which lies in the south-eastern section of Namibia. Arrive in time for a glorious sunset over the red dunes and after a hearty meal tuck into bed, for a well-deserved sleep to get over the worst of the jetlag…. The next morning head south past Mariental and Keetmanshoop to the small town of Aus. Spent two nights in this fascinating and diverse terrain exploring the coastal town of Lüderitz and the famous photographers’ location that is the ghost town of Kolmanskop. Also spend time photographing Namibia’s Wild Horses in their now natural habitat.

Then start the journey north and head into the Namib Desert with first stopover the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Spend the afternoon exploring the area and capturing the very special sunset from the red dunes of NamibRand, one of our favourite places! The next morning head further north destination Sossusvlei and the new Dead Valley Lodge inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Being inside the Park allow photographers that extra hour to be in position for those magical moments amongst the highest sand dunes in the world! Spending three nights here allows sufficient time to capture the dunes, Deadvlei and Sesriem Canyon. There will also be time to do a helicopter flip or hot air balloon flight over the Dunes, highly recommended!

On the last morning take the scenic route through some of the best jaw dropping scenery in Namibia, all the way to the Atlantic Coast and the town of Swakopmund. Spend two days at Desert Breeze our favourite place in Swakop and enjoy the many activities on offer in the area. Then head north east to the famous Spitzkoppe and the magical Spitzkoppe Lodge. Late afternoon and early morning ‘sun events’ amongst the boulders and arches will be a must! The next stop is Twyfelfontein and the glorious Camp Kipwe. Explore the area and the many rock paintings from earlier years before heading further north into Kaokoland. The legendary Etendeka Mountain Campwill be home for the next two nights, while you explore the area for desert adapted animals including elephant, giraffe and rhino. One of the best experiences of the tour!

The last section of the tour takes you to the famous Etosha National Park in the far north of Namibia. Stay the first night on a private reserve bordering the Park in the south west and get straight into some serious wildlife photography from the waterhole hide at Hobatere Lodge. The next morning enter Etosha NP in the west and drive all along the Park towards Okaukuejo in the central area, stopping at all the famous waterholes along the way. This is the place for that EPIC shot with 8 animal species in one photo! Spend two nights at Okaukuejo Camp in a ‘waterhole chalet’ which allows you to watch the animals come drink all night long from your own veranda! Watching elephant and multiple rhino drinking at the same time at the floodlit waterhole is a MUST do for all travellers. Following on from Okaukuejo continue the drive east through the Park exploring all the small roads as you go, ending late afternoon at the east gate of the Park and making the short drive to Onguma Tented Camp for a fabulous stay for the night.

Start making your way south towards Windhoek, but not before a two-night stopover at Erindi. Erindi is a private game reserve and boasts high densities of wildlife of most species. Being private night drives are also possible and it provide photographers a great opportunity for close encounters with large animals such as lion to capture those shots that might have been elusive on the rest of the trip.

After an early start on the last morning do the short drive to Windhoek Airport to catch the international flight home, after what will have been one of the most memorable trips of your lifetime!

Detailed Itinerary

Night 1: Kalahari - Kalahari Anib Lodge

Kalahari Anib Lodge lays near Mariental and provides an ideal overnight stop travelling between Windhoek and southern Namibia. The Lodge is surrounded by yellow grass and dark green acacias are accentuated against burnt-orange sand and the blue of an infinite sky.

Each of the tastefully designed en-suite rooms is equipped with cosy beds, air conditioning and mosquito nets. The private terrace has an inviting basket chair overlooking the open Kalahari terrain.

The communal area offers seats around the fireplace, a bar and two swimming pools with sun loungers. The open-plan dining area has the design of a modern barn and the floor to ceiling windows enables guests to experience the magnificent landscape up close.

Explore the Kalahari on a morning or sunset drive and watch this earthly show in vibrant colour atop a red Kalahari dune. Enjoy your sundowner drink within the beauty of this special landscape where gemsbok flourish and sociable weavers build gargantuan nests atop camelthorn trees.

Guests can explore the area on own initiative on different hiking trails or by electric fat-bikes – both perfect ways to getting acquainted with the Kalahari Desert!

Nights 2 & 3: Southern Namib - Klein-Aus Vista Eagle's Nest

A mere seven-kilometre drive from the Klein Aus Desert Horse Inn, the Eagle’s Nest chalets are private self-catering retreats, each built individually, combining natural elements and boulders into their interiors in a rustic and luxurious blend. You may just want to stay here forever…

Choose whether to cook in the kitchen, on the fire, or to eat in the Desert Horse Inn restaurant; take-away breakfast or barbecue packs are available on request. Eagle’s Nest is an attractive base for those who appreciate boundless space, choices, a sense of the land, privacy, innovation, the out-of-the-ordinary and the spectacular.

Lüderitz is just 120 km away and the ghost town of Kolmanskop only 115 km (tar road). Klein-Aus Vista is the ideal starting point for a trip to both places. Twenty km from Aus, on the way to or back from Lüderitz, visit the Garub water hole where the wild horses and several other animals of the desert plains can be found. The Wild Horses of the Namib have roamed this harsh habitat since 1915 and are an experience one should not miss.

Night 4: NamibRand - Greenfire Desert Lodge

Situated on a private 20 000-hectare wilderness reserve alongside the NamibRand Nature Reserve, the Desert Lodge is unique in that it offers a game viewing experience as well as comfortable accommodation whilst also providing a convenient stop-over between the Sossusvlei Dunes and the attractions of further south – Fish River Canyon and Lüderitz.

The comfortable Greenfire Desert Lodge, in southern Namibia, 150km south of Sossusvlei, is the perfect sanctuary for self-drive guests or smaller groups of travellers. Within the Greenfire philosophy of offering a unique experience at a realistic price, you are encouraged you to spend a few days in this desert Eden – game viewing, relaxing, and simply enjoying the remoteness.

The lodge itself offers six spacious, comfortably appointed en-suite rooms and a generous central lounge/dining area – all built of local stone to ensure warmth in winter and cool in summer. All rooms have a splendid west facing view over the surrounding desert. A terrace and sparkling swimming pool complete the package.

During your stay you will have the opportunity to enjoy walks as well as open vehicle drives both during the day and at night, the ranger will show off the multitude of desert adapted fauna and flora that inhabit the reserve. Animals encountered during your stay are in a totally wild and natural environment, some migratory and some permanent residents.

Meals are freshly prepared and are served either on the terrace or in the dining area – depending on weather conditions. The package includes meals, a game walk, and an extensive afternoon / night drive on the reserve.

Being on the C14, just 100 km south of Sesriem or roughly 200km north of Aus, Greenfire Desert Lodge is easily accessible in two-wheel drive vehicles and is just off of the regular “tourist route” – the ideal stop-over.

Nights 5, 6 & 7: Sossusvlei - Dead Valley Lodge

The Dead Valley Lodge, which is situated in the middle of the Namib-Naukluft Park, is perfectly adapted to the desert environment thanks to the combination of the typical safari style and warm, modern design, creating a unique, simply stunning charm. Due to its open character, it almost seems as if this lodge belongs here and blends in seamlessly with the desert landscape.

Also the 20 spacious luxury tent chalets are kept in the same style. They are all cosy, homely and arranged in muted desert colours. Luxurious double beds on warm plank floors await you here, with access to your own charming terrace, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the seemingly endless horizons.

In the main building of the lodge you are welcomed by an attractive lounge area, its cosy sofas, armchairs and seating invite you to make yourself comfortable, let your gaze wander over the endless expanses and simply enjoy the moment. As there are no walls, doors or windows and the entire area is only roofed over, there are no unnecessary obstacles that could disturb your view.

To enjoy the day as intensely as the evening, you can take part on game drives through the rugged beauty of the desert, visiting Sossusvlei and the impressive Sesriem Canyon. A special highlight is a balloon ride where you can enjoy the beauty of this place to the fullest – this view can hardly be surpassed. Or you can simply relax at the lodge’s swimming pool and enjoy this wonderful place to its best.

Nights 8 & 9: Swakopmund - Desert Breeze

Desert Breeze Lodge lays above the ephemeral Swakop River overlooking a vast and sensuous apricot dune sea, offering the ultimate desert experience! A short drive (3.2 km) from central Swakopmund, its spectacular location provides peace and tranquillity away from the bustling town, and the privilege of savouring the ancient Namib Desert. The lodge is perfect for travellers who want to stay in natural surroundings, yet also close to Swakopmund for convenience.

The lodge offers 12 en-suite, luxury bungalows and one exquisite three-roomed villa, each with a private balcony from where to admire the breath-taking view of the dunes. Each bungalow and the villa are equipped with wireless internet, mini bar, a fireplace and coffee and tea making facilities, as well as digital safes.

Activities include tours to the coast and the desert and vary from dune boarding, guided nature walks or quad biking, to boat cruises in search of whales and other marine life, or day trips to Sandwich Harbour.

The fabulous restaurants of Swakopmund are just a short drive away for a ‘night on the town’ for travellers that have been in the desert for a while…

Night 10: Brandberg - Spitzkoppe Lodge

Spitzkoppe Lodge is situated on the northern periphery of the Spitzkoppe inselberg, between huge granite boulders, which were created more than 150 million years ago. The lodge has breathtaking views onto the Brandberg and Erongo Mountains. Far off the well-trodden tourist trails this family owned lodge invites to indulge in the pleasure of a friendly service in a relaxed ambiance within a region rich of archaeological heritage and with cultural and spiritual significance to the San.

The lodge consists of 15 spacious, tastefully furnished chalets, each with private bathroom and outside viewing deck, which connects the guest with the vast stretches of untouched sand and boulders beyond. The main area provides a lounge, bar and a dining room all with floor to ceiling glass windows to enable 360° views onto the granite boulders. The natural rock pool opens into the uninterrupted vastness of the Erongo Mountains. In the evenings a fire pit invites guests to witness the unique starry sky, which is worth a visit alone.

Activities focus on the diverse and biologically interesting landscape and include visits of archaeological sites with ancient bushmen paintings. Apart from that the lodge offers rock climbing, hiking trails, horseback riding, biking tours, photographic tours and birding walks to see the diverse birdlife of the Spitzkoppe area.

And of course, there is the unique photo opportunities with the right light very special!

Nights 11 & 12: Damaraland - Camp Kipwe

The eco-friendly Camp Kipwe is nestled into rock formations offering panoramic views over the Aba Huab valley, which extends between the dry rivers Ugab and Huab.

Nine bungalows are scattered at the foot of an imposing granite formation providing a unique ambience of privacy and space. Endless views of Damaraland and breath-taking sunsets complete this unique scenery. The thatched-roof main building offers opportunities to refresh in the swimming pool nestled in the rocks and share the exciting experiences of the day with a cool sundowner drink.

Explore the surrounding space an early morning game drive in search of elusive desert elephants, go on a hike with a local guide in the ancient surroundings of the Aba Huab River or visit Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site.

Nights 13 & 14: Kaokoland - Etendeka Mountain Lodge

Nestled in the rugged nature of the Grootberg mountains, Etendeka Mountain Camp takes you back to the basics. For those who are willing to give up superfluous luxury and dare to step out of your accustomed comfort zone, a breathtaking experience will await you!

The basalt formations and mountains created by ancient lava flows that surround Etendeka Mountain Camp in north-western Namibia provide dramatic views and an almost unreal landscape that you will probably never get tired of.

Ten discreet Meru tents are cleverly embedded in the nature around the main building of the solar-powered camp. The focus here is on environmentally friendly accommodations that respect nature and the possibility of finding access to the pristine environment.

The main building of the camp, which is also decorated in a rustic, warm style, includes a bar with the same fantastic views. Here the hot midday hours can be perfectly spent in the cool shade and in the evening, it invites you to have cool drinks and share exciting stories of the adventures of the day. To make relaxation even more perfect, there is also a swimming pool with comfortable deckchairs for the sun lovers amongst you.

As already mentioned, Etendeka Mountain Camp is all about experiencing nature, so it offers various leisure activities to explore the surrounding nature and animal kingdom. Besides the sunset walk, which you can even experience privately without a guide, and the stargazing after sunset, the guided morning walk is probably the absolute highlight. Professionally trained guides lead this hike and will give you the opportunity to get to know and understand fascinating details of nature. As there are no game fences anywhere in this area, a hike is even more exciting as you never know what animals you will see today.

For those who want to cover a little more distance, there is also the possibility to go on a game drive. Here, the focus is more on tracking the native animals.

Night 15: Etosha West - Hobatere Lodge

A unique location at the gateway to western Etosha providing personalised service, excellent food, inviting chalets in the middle of the wild, with all the large game around.

Hobatere Lodge is strategically located 65 km north of Kamanjab on the western border of Etosha National Park. Situated in a concession area of 8,808 ha which is home to a wide selection of game, including elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, eland and Hartmann’s zebra. The lodge is very focused on conservation aiming to increase benefits for the local community and wildlife of the area.

Guests are accommodated in 12 chalets all equipped with a shower, toilet and washbasin, as well as a writing desk, small coffee and tea station and a small deck in front of the unit.

The lodge’s main area provides a restaurant, a lounge and bar area including an outside veranda with seating allowing for viewing of the waterhole. Guests can also find a swimming pool with sun lounges for relaxing under the Namibian sun on those hot summer days!

Activities centre around day or night game drives, bird watching and guided walks, affording guests ample opportunity to view the abundance of wildlife and endemic species in the area. The lodge also has a hide overlooking a nearby waterhole and a sundeck with panoramic views, which is floodlit for part of the night.

The unique location of Hobatere, being the getaway into the Western Etosha Park, allows for an exclusive wildlife experience. Being located in Damaraland, guests can also visit a number of key attractions including Twyfelfontein, Brandberg, Hoanib River and Opuwo.

Nights 16 & 17: Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Camp

Famous for its floodlit waterhole Okaukuejo Rest Camp is also the administrative centre of Etosha. Most visitors travel though this camp with its characteristic stone tower and Etosha Ecological Institute is also situated within the camp.

Okaukuejo offers a wide range of accommodation as well as all the necessities such as a petrol station and a shop. The restaurant and bar offer refreshments and delicious meals, while the swimming pool offers relief on hot days. The waterhole is a hub of animal activity starting in the early hours of the morning. Especially during winter a large diversity of game congregate in close proximity to the camp to quench their thirst.

After sunset floodlights illuminate the waterhole. This is the best time and place to see the endangered black rhino. This archaic mammal can often be seen drinking alongside lion and elephant. The number and interaction of the animals is the major drawcard of Okaukuejo Camp. Many visitors spend long hours at night watching the spectacle in anticipation of what will happen next, just one of the best experiences in Africa! It is not uncommon to have eight or more rhino at the waterhole at the same time, not to mention large herds of elephant.

The camp can be very busy at times, but it is located inside the Park in a great location and the floodlit waterhole is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!

Night 18: Etosha East - Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Private Game Reserve lays in the east of Etosha National Park, bordering Fisher’s Pan. The Reserve stretches over more than 34,000 hectares of protected land and offers opportunities to experience the African wildlife in all its beauty and diversity.

Onguma Tented Camp consist of just seven tents all designed to provide a private and exclusive stay. Textures such as stone, suede, linen and steel create a setting that is sleek and modern, but also inherently of the earth. A waterhole, approximately 60 meters from the lodge gives you the chance to witness most of the big game up close, very special indeed!

The reserve is inhabited by a diversity of around thirty different mammal species such as kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, zebra, as well as predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard. The latest addition to the already abundant wildlife at Onguma Game Reserve is a family of black rhinos!

Nights 19 & 20: Erindi - Old Traders Lodge

The Erindi Private Game Reserve, a 70,700-hectare protected nature reserve with a remarkable biodiversity, is located in central Namibia. In the midst of this secluded idyll, Erindi Old Traders Lodges is a true paradise to calm down and become part of an exciting safari experience.

51 luxurious and spacious suites, all furnished in the classic safari style, await you here skilfully embedded in nature. The rooms and the colonial-style restaurant on the viewing platform overlook a bustling waterhole.

For an exciting and at the same time relaxing leisure time, you can enjoy the viewing platform and the spacious swimming pool, as well as other activities such as various game drives by day and night. The guided bush walks are perfect for those who want a little more physical exercise. Here you have the possibility to visit cheetahs or the San villages of the locals.

For the really adventurous, there are other activities waiting for you, such as the search for the unusual Pangolins, the leopard project presentation, private photography safaris or a drone safari!

Love photography? Let us show you the magic of Namibia!

Contact SAFARI FRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!