Welcome to our Namibian Tour Blog! This tour offered amazing photographic opportunities but the main focus was a 4-night stay at the Cheetah Conservation Fund that my husband and I have supported by volunteering to help update and maintain the Canadian branch’s website for the last couple of years. Others on the tour are also active fundraisers and supporters and we were all excited to finally see it in person. Our visit happened at the end of the tour so stay tuned!
Our group ranged from age 10 (my son) up to over 70 making Namibia a really magical place for all ages – and very safe too. It was really quite special to have my family on this trip and to make some wonderful new friends as well. None of us will soon forget what a fantastic tour we had.
We all met in Windhoek on August 8 for a welcome dinner at our hotel just south of the city. Some had landed a few hours earlier while others got in a few days before to acclimatize. Technically, August is still ‘winter’ in Namibia but the weather during the day was very pleasant. Nights, on the other hand could get very cold, as we discovered on our second and third nights when we stayed at the beautiful Moon Mountain Lodge. The location and facilities are really incredible! We all had our own plunge pools but none were brave enough to jump in as it’d be more of a polar bear dip at this time of year. We did go for a hike on the first day and went by jeep to the top of another hill to watch the sunset on the second night. This was our ‘pied-à-terre’ while visiting the famous red dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert and Deadvlei, a pan where a river from long ago ended its journey and eventually dried up leaving behind petrified trees over 700 years old. This is a favourite spot for photographers and it’s not hard to see why!
Our bus could only take us so far before the sand got too soft so we paid to go by 4×4 the rest of the way to the start of the trail to Deadvlei. This service wasn’t available when I was last here in 2001 which meant I had to walk 5km each way but it also meant much smaller crowds! A few from the group climbed a dune overlooking the pan and had great fun running down to join the rest of us who took the more leisurely route. It was still hard work walking through sand even when it’s relatively flat! Since this is such a popular place for photography, I wondered how I could create something a little different so I brought along a DSLR that I had converted to be able to do infrared photography. The black and white image in the gallery was taken with that camera.
The next day, we started the long journey to Swakopmund on the coast. On the way we stopped to see the Welwitschia plants. These strange plants are considered living fossils as they can live to be over 1000 years old – possibly even 2000. There are male and female plants and the beetles seen in one of the images below are needed to pollinate them. These plants only grow in certain areas of Namibia and Angola – another thing that makes this country so unique!
We also made stop along the way to admire the amazing geology. One area is actually called Moon Landscape. Not hard to see why!