Photographing Namibia 

Photographing the plains and mountains at Namib Desert LodgeNamib Naukluft Park

Namibia has a lot more to offer than only Etosha National Park, and Namibia was listed 6th out of 52 destinations to visit in 2014 by the New York Times!

Hence we have also started to visit Namibia’s other top photographic attractions such as Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon, the Petrified Dunes, Solitaire, Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop, Damaraland, the Namib Wild Horses and even Oranjemund.

Click on any image below to see a short slide-show of the southern Namibian circuit...

 Canyon Lodge Sunset


Kalahari Sunset


Fish River Canyon



Namib Wild Horses

Petrified Dunes

Canyon Roadhouse

Sesriem Canyon

Quiver Trees

Photographing Namibia – the Southern Circuit

When visiting Africa on a photo safari you have two main choices to make; do you want:

A)   a specialised photo safari to a single location and country


B)   would you like to combine parks and / or countries and do an extended photo tour?

In the past we did only specialized (big-game) photo safaris to places like Etosha or the Kgalagadi but at the end of 2013 we decided to do an extended photo tour. We started off in the Kgalagadi and stayed at camps on both the South African and Botswana sides of the park and then we did the Gondwana Collection southern-circuit in Namibia.

This southern circuit allows you to visit four different desserts:

1. Kalahari Desert,

2. Namib Desert,

3. Succulent Karoo Desert and

4. Nama Karoo Desert.

It was an amazing photo tour and Namibia is the perfect country to do an extended photo tour as they have an excellent infrastructure with regular gas (petrol) stations, tar roads leading to most popular destinations and their gravel roads tend to be in much better condition than the tar roads in South Africa!  

gravel road leading to Klein Aus Vista in Namibiagravel road leading to Klein Aus Vista

The Gondwana Collection of lodges are ideally situated and can be accessed from South Africa or Botswana.  

Please note that the Gondwana lodges are ‘affordable accommodation establishments’ and not 'luxury lodges' and Tripadvisor ranks each Gondwana lodge as 3-star. We, however, found their food...

Dessert time at Desert Horse InnDessert time at Desert Horse Inn


Dinner menu being presented at Desert Horse InnDinner menu being presented at Desert Horse Inn

and some chalets...

Inside view of our chalet at Canyon Lodge in NamibiaInside view of our chalet at Canyon Lodge

to be between 4 and 5-star! We have stayed in many luxury and 5-star lodges, including the world-famous Sabi Sands reserve on the western Kruger National Park border and we found the food and service at the Gondwana lodges to be as good as, if not better than, some of these ‘luxury’ lodges - yet at a fraction of the cost!

In addition to the already low rates, people residing in SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries, can apply for a Gondwana card where they can get a 40% discount on accommodation and 25% discount on meals – this is an unbeatable bargain! 

The only reason these lodges are not rated at least 4-star is that some don't have a swimming pool (but some have 2 pools), air-con and/or bar fridges. Here is a summary of what the Gondwana southern circuit lodges have:

Don't get too caught up with what the lodges do and don't have - we enjoyed all of them and made the most of what they had. They all served excellent food, provided great service and are ideally situated near the prime tourist attractions.

The entrance to Kalahari FarmhouseThe entrance to Kalahari Farmhouse

Anyway, back to our extended photo tour and photographing Namibia!

After spending 10 days in the Kgalagadi we exited the park at Mata Mata gate and headed for the Kalahari Anib Lodge but we first stopped off at their Kalahari Farmhouse to have a drink.

We slept one night at Kalahari Anib lodge and went on a game drive through the Gondwana Kalahari Park and the next day headed west to Namib Desert Lodge for two nights. From this lodge you can access Solitaire, Sossusvlei and Sesriem.

They have just built the new Dune Star Camp and we went on a game drive through the Gondwana Namib Park to look at the views from the camp and they were spectacular!

wild hose near Desert Horse Inn in namibiawild hose near Desert Horse Inn

We then headed south to Klein Aus Vista - Desert Horse Inn where we stayed 4 nights. After seeing their new Eagles Nest Chalets we wanted to stay there but they were understandably full. Being based here provided us with easy access to the Namib wild (feral) horses and Kolmanskop, as well as some amazing scenery on the Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park.

Next we headed south-east for Canyon Lodge and spent three wonderful nights there. We saw the magnificent Fish River Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the USA and we visited the Canyon Roadhouse to photograph old cars that rivaled the famous old desert cars at Solitaire!

HDR image of Eagles nest Rock chalet in NamibiaHDR image of Eagles nest Rock chalet

We had lunch at their sister lodge Canyon Village, visited the Canyon Mountain Camp and went on a self-drive on the Gondwana Canyon Park where we photographed the unusual Quiver trees and some wildlife like the rare Hartmann's mountain zebra.

(You'll notice when arriving that most of the signs say Cañon or Canon instead of Canyon.)

the sign to Canyon lodge in Namibiathe sign to Canyon lodge in Namibia

The extended photo tour was then over – two weeks of photographing Namibia with amazing scenery, unusual photo subjects, exquisite lodges, excellent food and great service.   

If you would like more details of the trip you can read our trip report or click on the lodge links above that will take you to separate lodge pages providing details of the rooms, meals and activities.

If you would like to stopover in Windhoek, then our safari stopovers page will provide our recommendations.

A pit stop along the wayA pit stop along the way

You could of course do the trip the other way around and start from Canyon Lodge if you are coming from Cape Town - you would then enter Namibia at the Noordoewer border post instead of Mata Mata or you could do any other combination of lodges and sights to suit your schedule. This is just a suggestion and worked great for us being nature photographers.

We had such an enjoyable time photographing Namibia by visiting these Gondwana lodges and cannot wait to do the Gondwana Collection northern-circuit in Namibia!

Luderitz harbour with its colourful boatscolourful boats in Luderitz harbour

2020 Update

At the end of 2019 we visited Oranjemund, situated in the far south-western corner of Namibia, which is well-worth visiting. It has been a diamond-mining town with restricted access for about 80 years but it is now open to the public! 

One of the most unusual aspects of the town are the gemsbok that roam the streets...

gemsbok that roam the streets of Oranjemundgemsbok that roam the streets

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