Come face to face with your wild side

Wild Namibia Tour 2014

Where: Windhoek, Namibia
When: Two workshop dates:

 May 25 - June 6, 2014 Sold out: wait list only

 June 8 - June 20, 2014 Sold out: wait list only
Instructors: Ian Plant and Richard Bernabe

Local photo guide: Vincent Grafhorst
Cost: $5495 (includes shared double occupancy lodging, transport during workshop, instruction and guiding, and all meals)

Single Lodging Supplement: $1000

Deposit: $1000

Maximum Class Size: 15   
Highlights: Stunning desert and mountain landscapes, massive red sand dunes, and some of the best wildlife shooting on the planet. We'll get a chance to photograph lions, elephants, zebras, Cape fur seals, flamingos, and much more!


To register, or if you have any questions, please email Richard Bernabe (bernabephoto@gmail.com). A $1000.00 deposit will be required with the balance to be redeemed no later than 90 days before the workshop. Please see our Deposit and Cancellation Policy below.

Free eBook!  
Places we'll visit

There are a number of stunning locations we will visit on our tour of Namibia, including a mix of areas with landscape and wildlife opportunities. There's no shortage of things to do! The photos on this page should give you a great idea as to what you'll be shooting on our tour. To see more, please download our free eBook Namibia: Two Photographers, One Vision. Although we travel by bus on most days during the tour, we've done our best to ensure that we spend less time on the road than in the field. We try to keep travel shortensuring that you get to photograph as much as possible–all while allowing us to see as much of the best of Namibia as we can. Here's our general schedule, including a list of the photographic highlights we will see along the way (note: for the second tour, we will follow the same general schedule except we will do the tour in reverse):

Sunday, May 25 - Guest arrival in Windhoek, Namibia. Transportation will be provided from the airport to the hotel.We have an opening reception and dinner in the evening, allowing us to get to know each other, discuss the schedule for the workshop, and answer any questions.

May 26 - We leave in the morning by private bus and drive to the quiver tree forest near Keetmanshoop, where we stay overnight. Quiver “trees” aren’t really trees at all, but rather a species of aloe, a flowering succulent plant. Their evocative shapes make great photographic subjects. We'll photograph the trees at sunset, and (conditions permitting), at night as well.

May 27 - After photographing sunrise in the quiver tree forest, we drive to the coastal town of Luderitz, where we will spend the night. We photograph the nearby Kolmanskop ghost town in the afternoon. Kolmanskop is an old deserted German mining settlement. Abandoned in the 1950s, the desert has been reclaiming it ever since. With its colorful painted walls and sweeping sand dunes engulfing entire rooms, the decaying remnants of the ghost town make fantastic photographic subjects. With dozens of buildings to explore, we have plenty of room to spread out.

May 28 - We photograph Kolmanskop again in the morning. We then drive to Aus, where we will spend the night. In the afternoon, we'll head out to photograph the famous Wild Horses of Namib. The majestic Namib horses are the descendants of domesticated animals which have adopted a feral existence. Although wild, they are very approachable and photogenic, surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of stark desert and mountains.

May 29 - After photographing the wild horses again in the morning, we drive to Namib-Naukluft National Park (the famous Sossusvlei area), where we spend two nights. Namib-Naukluft contains some of the biggest dunes in the world, which are composed of red sand. We head into the dune field for an afternoon of photography. Note that walking in the dunes can be strenuous, especially if you wish to climb one of the high dunes (which are over 1000 feet tall). The dune field is enormous, so we have plenty of room to spread out and explore.

May 30 - We spend the whole day in the Sossusvlei area, heading out in the morning and afternoon to photograph the dunes and the famous Dead Vlei, a large salt pan with stark looking camel thorn trees which have been dead for centuries–some almost 1000 years–but are saved from decomposition by the extremely arid climate. The trees rise from the salt pan, sticking out at odd angles and allowing for some exceptional photography.
Please note that the hike into Dead Vlei is the most strenuous one on the trip; although the walk is not long, it is over loose sand and involves a climb of two or three hundred feet over a dune. Anyone in decent shape shouldn't have any problems, but if you have concerns about reaching this location, there are plenty of alternative places to photograph within easy reach of the vehicle.

May 31 - After a final morning shoot in the dunes, we depart for Dorob National Park at Walvis Bay, where we spend the night. Dorob is famous for its extensive dunes and tidal flats, where thousands of wading birds gather to feed. In the afternoon, we'll head to the lagoon and photograph flamingos and white pelicans, as well as other wading birds feeding in the shallows.

June 1 - After photographing dunes and birds in the morning, we drive to Cape Cross, where we spend the night. We'll photograph the incredible Cape Cross seal colony in the afternoon, where thousands of seals gather to raise their pups. There is a boardwalk that takes visitors right into the heart of the seal colony. We'll be surrounded by thousands of seals in what is one of the most incredible mass wildlife events on the planet. The sights and sounds (and smells) of the colony are an experience you won't soon forget!

June 2 - After photographing the seal colony in the morning, we drive to the Spitzkoppe Mountains, where we spend the night. We'll photograph the beautiful scenery of the area, including a dramatic natural arch, in the afternoon.

June 3 - After photographing in the Spitzkoppe Mountains in the morning, we drive to Etosha National Park, where we spend the next few nights. Etosha is a premier destination to observe large game such as lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, and other species. After arriving and settling into our rooms in Okaukuejo Camp, we'll head down to the camp's waterhole for an evening of photography. Many animals come to the waterhole at sunset and after dark. Lit by flood lights at night, the waterhole is an excellent place to observe and photograph shy species such as black rhino, which are rarely seen during the day. With any luck we'll see a leopard come to the waterhole.

June 4 - We'll do game drives in the morning and evening, photographing the stunning wildlife of Etosha. We'll be looking for "charismatic megafauna" such as lion, cheetah, elephant, wildebeast, giraffe, ostrich, springbok, oryx, antelope, red hartebeast, and zebra, but we'll also keep an eye out for mongoose, Kori bustard (a large bird native to Africa, the heaviest bird capable of flight), warthog, jackal, and the many bird species which call Etosha home. We drive in comfortable vehicles with plenty of room for participants to shoot in either direction, and we keep the number of people per vehicle low enough so that you always get a chance to shoot, no matter which side of the vehicle the animals are located.

June 5 - We get up early to do one final game drive together. After packing up and checking out, we leave Etosha and drive to Windhoek, where we spend the night close to the airport. We have a final celebratory dinner as a group.

June 6 - The workshop officially concludes. Transportation to the airport will be provided for participants who are departing on international flights.

Excellent participant to instructor ratio

With two instructors for the group, you're guaranteed to get some significant "one-on-one" time. Two instructors also means that we have maximum flexibility when taking photographs, allowing us to split up the group to allow everyone a chance to explore their own creative vision and personal shooting goals. Also, our local guide for this workshop is award-winning African nature photographer Vincent Grafhorst. So, this means you get three instructors for the price of two!

Focus on making great images

Our goal is to make sure participants get the best photographs possible. We keep the group out shooting as much as possible during the best light. We stay flexible to ensure we match the light with the subject we are photographing.

Physical requirements
This is an outdoor nature photo workshop, so general good health and fitness will help maximize your comfort and enjoyment. That said, the activities we have planned should be well within the ability of people in moderate to good shape. Most shooting locations can be reached by road and do not involve difficult hiking or walking. The most strenuous hiking will be in the dunes at Namib-Naukluft National Park; although you don't need to hike far into the dunes to make great images, hiking in sand can be difficult, and hiking up the taller dunes is strenuous, involving up to a thousand feet of elevation gain (and is, of course, entirely optional). Decent physical fitness will certainly facilitate your enjoyment of this workshop. Every participant must complete and sign a standard liability waiver and medical form before participating in this workshop.

We'll teach a variety of techniques that will allow you to advance both your technical skills and artistic vision. We focus on a number of professional field techniques to help you create incredible nature images, including working with dramatic light; the fundamentals of powerful compositions; and abstract techniques for creating artistic photographs. In addition, we'll explore a number of artistic philosophies that will help you find your own personal photographic vision. Whenever we have "down time" during the middle of the day when the light is not conducive to making good images, we'll organize impromptu classroom sessions where we demonstrate a number of digital darkroom techniques, using images taken by participants during the workshop. This way, you not only learn a number of useful processing tips, but you get to see your images taken to their fullest potential. At all times during the workshop we are available for informal one-on-one image critique.

What's included

Transportation from airport to hotel in Windhoek; all lodging during the workshop; all meals; tips and gratuities; transportation during the workshop; and transportation from the hotel in Windhoek to the airport for departing flights.

What's not included

International flights to and from Windhoek, Namibia; alcoholic beverages.

Where to go

The workshop begins and ends in Windhoek, Namibia (Hosea Kutako International Airport, airport code WDH). Many international flights to Windhoek go through Johannesburg, South Africa. An overnight stay in Johannesburg may be necessary; we're happy to recommend lodging near the airport.

Deposit, tuition, and cancellation policy

A $1000.00 deposit will be required with the balance to be redeemed no later than 90 days before the workshop. The deposit is refundable if you cancel within 90 days before the workshop start, minus a $100 processing fee. If you cancel within 90 days prior to the workshop start, your workshop tuition or deposit is fully refundable only if we can find someone else to fill your spot (once again, minus a $100 processing fee). Even if we cannot find someone to take your place, we do our best to return as much of your tuition as possible, minus any non-refundable costs we incur.


   social connect Follow Ian on Facebook
Follow Ian on Google+
Follow Ian on Twitter
Subscribe to Blog RSS Feed
Subscribe to Ian's Monthly Newsletter

© Ian Plant. All rights reserved.