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Books for Namibia travel & photography inspiration

  
  

Any keen photographer who has travelled to a distant land can tell you finding the right places to visit can be tough. It becomes tougher still when you wish to do more than simply snap shots of the passing landscape with little regard for the gems a place like Namibia has hidden beneath her sands.

Thinking of heading to Namibia? Or on the look out for a photographic destination? Here are just some books we’ve pulled out to whet your appetite. These books go beyond merely portraying the astonishing landscapes and vistas of Namibia and delve into the histories and societies found across this varied and complex country.

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Namibia by Richard Ehrlich

Find it on Amazon here

Why we like it: This work is a more traditional collection of photographs. Richard Ehrlich contrasts the stark beauty of harsh Namibian landscapes with the insides of abandoned homes in deserted diamond mining towns. The author has done a tremendous job of uncovering photographic gems that have been hidden under layers of sand blown by desert winds.

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Places in the Sand by Margaret Courtney-Clark

Find it on Amazon here

Why we like it: “Places in the Sand” primarily serves as an in-depth look at the Namib Desert through a series of 48 colour and 16 black-and-white photographs. What sets this collection of photographs from other similar publications is the intimate knowledge of the land Courtney-Clark grew up in. Her personal anecdotes and homegrown insights make this an informative and stirring photographic books on the Namib Desert. 

 Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, travel inspiration, travel books namibia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namibia- A Visual Tour Through Its Regions by Thomas Dressler

Find it on Kalahari here 

Why we like it: Many books have chronicled Namibia’s landscapes, but this book by Thomas Dressler goes deeper into the fabric of Namibia than most. Yes, there are gorgeous landscape photographs between its covers but in addition to these are several photographs of the people of Namibia and the massively varied wildlife found in Namibia. From the Skeleton Coast to the Namib Desert this book describes the landscapes, flora and fauna found in Namibia and details how the people of Namibia live within and with them.

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Bush of Ghosts by John Liebenberg

Find it on Amazon here 

Why we like it: “Bush of Ghosts” concerns itself primarily with the last five years of the South African Border War. The book consists of a series of personal and unique photographs secretly taken by John Liebenberg as he braved steep fines and/or imprisonment if caught (at the time taking these kinds of photographs documenting the war had been outlawed by the South African Apartheid government). This book gives a unique narrative of an often forgotten conflict and is a must for all Namibian history buffs and those interested in learning more about an under-imagined part of global history.

 Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, travel inspiration, travel books namibia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namibia: Safari Companion by Alain Pons; Christine Baillet

Find it on Kalahari here

This book is a less traditional photo-book. The authors of this book not only provide the reader and would-be traveller with a beautiful array of photographs but also give advice as to how to go on an “adventure” holidays in Namibia. “Namibia Safari” makes a welcome addition to any coffee table but what sets it apart from other coffee-table books is that it may just provide the reader of it with enough of a plan, and enough motivation, to get out of their easy-chair and do some adventure holidaying in Namibia.

 

What books have inspired you?

Have you read a book on Namibia that got inspired you to travel or to tell a story through photography? Share it with us on Twitter by including @NamibiaHorizons in your tweet, or leave a comment below so we can add your books to our list.

 

More book suggestions from our Namibia fans

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, travel inspiration, travel books namibia   

NAMIBIA by Frances D. Gallogly

View it for free on Blurb here

Recommended by Fran Gallogly @tangogalfrances:

"The photo book that I published after visiting this wonderful country" 

 

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Namibia Space by Julienne du Toit & Chris Marais

Find it on Amazon here

Recommended by Kevin Russell @Wildtiere

 

 

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Lords of the Last Frontier by Lawrence G. Green

Find it on Amazon here

Recommended by Bob Heffner via Facebook:

"It may be dated, and it is not a photographic book as the ones enumerated on your list, but it captures the history and spirit of Namibia."

 

 Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, travel inspiration, travel books namibia  

Skeleton Coast: Africa's Last Wilderness by Thorsten Milse

Find it on Amazon here

Recommended by Guido Haeger via Facebook:

"Despite the name it's also about the Kaokoveld with the Hoanib, Desert Elephants and much more. There's a preview with some photos on amazon.de - for me the best Namibia Photo book"

namibia   

The Namib: Natural History of an African Desert by Mary Seely

Find it on NHBS here

Recommended by Harvey Leifert

 

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Discover how Tourism is Preserving Etosha's Hai||om Culture

  
  

“The Etosha Pan has been called many things: the Great White Place, the Big Emptiness... but the Hai||om call it the Lake of a Mother’s Tears. A mother who has lost a child will feel such grief that she will cry enough tears to fill the pan,” a park ranger tells me. “This isn’t just part of our history; it is part of our souls.” 

Namibia BushmenMoments like these, when personal stories of the people who once lived in Etosha come alive, are scarce and far in the past. Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s most remarkable game reserves, offering visitors the chance to view herds of game against the dazzling backdrop of a vast, shallow pan of silvery sand. The area south of the Great White Place, where tourist routes and lodges are situated, was once the homeland of the Hai||om, an indigenous San or Bushmen community recently recognized as the oldest humans on Earth.

For the Hai||om, the past is disappearing at a frantic pace. Days when the elders would to sit around the fire and tell stories are quickly disappearing. However, there is reason for hope on the horizon. Worried that their cultural history may die with them, the elders of the Hai||om community partnered with international researchers to establish the Xoms |Omis Project (Etosha Heritage Project). The aim of the project is to capture and document the Hai||om cultural heritage and deliver a unique body of cultural, historical and environmental knowledge.  

The Hai||om have acquired an incredible knowledge about biodiversity; the use of various plants as food and medicine; and the behavior of game in the region. Much of this knowledge has been documented through the Xoms |Omis project and is now passed on to the younger generations through workshops and joint activities.

Namibia BushmenBorn in Etosha, Homage to the Cultural Heritage of the Hai||om is the first publication to pay homage to the forgotten cultural history of the National Park. Designed to accompany the reader on a journey through Etosha, the book reincorporates the culture and history of the natural landscape. The history of selected waterholes and other culturally relevant locations accessible to visitors on the main tourist routes serve to portray the life of the Hai||om who once lived there and to highlight the history of the park. “This publication ensures that people will know our story and helps to protect our history and culture,” says Kadisen ||Khumub, the co-chair of the Xoms |Omis Project.

A series of products based on Hai||om heritage and knowledge have also been developed, such as postcards and ‘Born in Etosha’ t-shirts, allowing visitors a chance to take part in the remarkable project.

For more information about the Xoms |Omis Project, or order your copy of Born in Etosha, Homage to the Cultural Heritage of the Hai||om here.

5 Must Read Books on Namibia

  
  

 

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The Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin

 

In 1935 Henno Martin left Germany with his friend and colleague, Hermann Korn, for geological research in then South-West-Africa. In 1940, facing internment by the South African government, Martin and Korn decided to move into the desert and wait out the war, where they lived for two and a half years. The Sheltering Desert describes the intense physical and mental hardship they endured, the challenge to survive in the vastness of the Namib Desert, and their gradual adaptation to the Bushman lifestyle. This is a must read for anyone considering a hiking adventure in Namibia. The book can be found on Amazon, but keep an eye out for it in good second hand book stores as well.

 

An Arid Eden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Arid Eden by Garth Owen-Smith

Garth Owen-Smith is has been regarded as a ‘conservationist extraordinaire’ and ‘the man who saved Kaokoland, home to Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants’. He is also a gifted writer with a highly unusual and gripping story to tell of his forty years living in the field in Namibia’s Kaokoland. An Arid Eden introduces a vivid cast of characters from Namibia's diverse cultures - including the Herero, Himba, and Damara. Through his trials and tribulations, Owen-Smith uncovers what can be considered a blueprint for successful conservation in Africa. It is a tremendous read for wildlife enthusiasts and anyone interested in conservation. Available at Amazon.com with a preview of the first chapter.

 

Skeleton Coast

 

 

 

 

Skeleton Coast by Amy Schoeman

Once an area feared and shunned because of its treacherous coastline, Namibia's Skeleton Coast is now prized as a place of solitude, beauty and tranquility. In the early 1980s, Amy Schoeman took a deep and penetrating look into the strange and elusive visual qualities of this remote and dynamic desert wilderness. Skeleton Coast will delight visitors intrigued by the history and mystique of Namibia's coastline. Order directly from the South African publisher, or find a used version at Alibris and Amazon. If you can't get a copy of the book - go directly to the source: the Schoeman family still operates private tours of the Skeleton Coast

 

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An Elephant’s Life by Caitlin O'Connell

This unique and intimate immersion into the life of the African elephant blends stunning photography with a deep and passionate understanding of one of Namibia's most majestic creatures. Elephant Life up-close and personal look at elephant society, narrated by Caitilin O'Connell, a world-renowned field biologist who has been researching and photographing elephants in their natural habitat for two decades. A must read for visitors wanted to gain a better understanding into one of Namibia's most fascinating animals. Click here to get an inside look and order.

 

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A History of Namibia by Marion Wallace

Marion Wallace’s A History of Namibia is highly praised by academics and historians who specialize in African history. This book offers visitors a more indepth look into Namibia's history than those found in a typical guide book, begining with the first human footsteps by ancient peoples, years of colonization by European powers, and the creation of a new nation. Visitors to Namibia will quickly appreciate this book's ability to provide context to this rich and culturally diverse nation. Order it here

 

Conservation Hero – Garth Owen Smith

  
  

garthHow to capture in a single paragraph a lifetime of cutting edge conservation efforts tenaciously achieved in isolated areas with Namibia’s local communities?

Fortunately, we don’t have to, because Garth Owen Smith has done it for us. His book, An Arid Eden: A Personal Account of Conservation in the Kaokoveld, details his extraordinary life and his efforts to involve local communities in the conservation of their land and their wildlife. It is both a story of the past and a roadmap for the future. So begin planning your trip to Namibia to pay Garth a visit and experience first hand what he describes as the “Real Africa”, where people and wildlife are living together.

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