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Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Willem Kruger

  
  

After hearing about Willem Kruger's excellent landscape photography we decided to track him down and get him to share some of his best advice to photographers who want to capture the best of Namibia. Read on for tips and anecdotes from Willem's last photo safari through the Land of the Brave...

Vlei format

Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

I went on a landscape photography safari in the southern parts of Namibia with my wife. We entered Namibia via the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and travelled straight to NamibRand Nature Reserve. Just driving through the vast landscape of Southern Namibia is a highlight on its own.

Open road

Our stay in the NamibRand Nature Reserve was the highlight of the photography safari. Many pictures of Namibia usually highlight the beauty of Namibia portraying well-known places but not many images can be found portraying the beauty of the less explored south of Namibia.

Single tree in grass field

I was presently surprised when I arrived in NamibRand and I saw the many opportunities it provides when it comes to landscape photography. The thunderstorms on the horizon against red dunes were particularly spectacular. Therefore, I think my most unforgettable moments were the magnificent colours provided by the sun, clouds, sand and plants, all in perfect harmony.

 

Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

If you are a serious nature photographer (especially wildlife and landscapes), I am sure you are familiar with the two words – patience and rewards. In Namibia, the same principle applies. As a photographer, even when it comes to landscape photography, one needs to wait for the perfect moment. Wait for the all the elements such as light, clouds, dust, thunderstorms to be in place and just start shooting.

Ghost rain

However, the difference lies in the reward. When I first arrived in Namibia, I asked myself the following question: “What makes this place unique?” I soon realised that the colour, the light, and the storytelling elements can easily be found and matched to produce stunning images. While composition is the backbone of all great photos, in Namibia one just need to look around you to realise how many possibilities there are.

 

Which three photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

Red Dunes is certainly one of my favourite images of Namibia. It shows a different perspective of Namibia and it is not the usual image of some well-known spot. It shows almost all the colours what Namibia can offer as well as a perspective on what Namibia landscape is all about. Rich in diversity yet everything is in harmony.

Red dunes

Red Dunes

Road to heaven is my second favourite because it is almost if the road is taking you towards heaven and isn’t that what Namibia is all about?

Road to Heaven 

The Road to Heaven.

Thirdly, Quiver tree hill shows the reader the other side of Southern Namibia… Wide open plains and dunes between mountains ranges. These are not easy living conditions for humans or animals but the lines in this photograph, leading towards the clouds on the horizon, offer a glimpse of hope.

Quiver tree hill
Quiver Tree Hill.

 

When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

Definitely any type of camera! From a simple cell phone or a compact point-and-shoot camera, to a professional SRL camera. There are so many opportunities that even the most inexperienced photographer will come home with a great image or two. For the more serious photographer, I would recommend a prime wide-angle lens along with your digital SLR camera with a few filters in the bag. If you have one, bring a 200mm to 600mm lens if you are planning to travel in the southern parts of Namibia.

Windy Namibia

I know it is a controversial issue but I do not leave home without my tripod. An essential piece of equipment when it comes to nature photography – just to assist you the get that super-sharp image and to distinguish you from the rest.

Two colourful doors

 

A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top three tips would you give them?  

First, put down the camera and step back from the scene. Without the camera in front of you or even without worrying about the camera settings and the anticipated photo, you can free your mind and enjoy what Namibia can offer. Only then can you see the photo opportunities from a totally different perspective.

Sunburst over tree

The next piece of advice is not new to photographers but it is vital: We all want to quickly capture the moment and move on to the next scene because Namibia has some much to offer. With that approach, you definitely will miss out on some unique opportunities. Rather take a little more time with your shots. Look for something different such as a more interesting point of view to shoot from. What about finding a different angle of an already well-known spot? I would recommend that you evaluate all the possibilities before taking the shot rather than just jumping in and get that already familiar/well-known photo.  

Mudd formation

Lastly – remember a photographer is an artist and not a forensic documentarian. Enjoy what you do and let your creativity takes over. Do not try and be copycat but rather try something differently. The result might surprise you.  

Milky way in Dead Vlei

Practising photography as a hobby will take you places where you previously would not have been. I do love nature photography and taking photos in Namibia is in my opinion provide one of the best opportunities to see what nature can offer.  

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Willem Kruger, in his own words...

Nature photography for me is not only a hobby but it is a passion. I hope to capture the essential detail and show people what nature has to offer for those people who are willing to have a closer and a more creative look at it.

Visit Willem's blog for more information and images.


More Photographer Tips

This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

          

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 Featured Photographers  

   
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 Marsel van Oosten 

 Christopher Rimmer

Paul van Schalkwyk

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Bill Gozansky

 Roy van der Merwe

 Hougaard Malan

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 Matthew Hood

 Ted Alan Stedman

 Jan & Jaye Roode

Namibia's Most Exclusive Getaways (Part 2)

  
  

We have already shared three magnificent getaway destinations in our previous blog post. Now, today, we give you another three establishments in Namibia that provide guests with the ultimate in comfort, relaxation and exclusivity.

This post will be giving you a brief look at the Lianshulu Lodge, the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge and the AiAiba Lodge.


1. Lianshulu Lodge

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

The lodge overlooks the perennial Kwando River.
(Image via Expert Africa)

 

The Lianshulu Lodge can be found in the north of Namibia on the Kwando River in the lush and ever-surprising East Kavango (Caprivi) region. The lodge is situated on a private concession in the Mudumu National Park of Namibia.

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Wildebeest at the Mudumu National Park.
(Image via Cardboard Box Travel Shop)

 

Since the lodge is on a privately run concession you get all the creature comforts of an exclusive and excellently run establishment, along with the opportunity to explore one of Namibia’s renowned national parks. The focus at Lianshulu is on the guests and the entire staff at the lodge will do everything in their power to make you feel as relaxed and looked-after in the beautiful surrounds of the lodge.

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The main deck is the perfect place to unwind.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

Staying at Lianshulu it would be easy to forget that the outside world even exists. The bungalows at the lodge are made from locally sourced materials and put together by local craftsmen. The architecture together with the picturesque riverside, combine to create a truly serene and unique atmosphere.

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Another amazing sunset over the Kwando River.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

If you feel like exploring the surrounds and the Mudumu National Park then there are a few options available to you. Lianshulu offers its guests a highly recommended boat ride down the Kwando. On this trip it is not uncommon to see some large game on the river’s banks.

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An elephant on the bank of the river near the lodge.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

Two adult hippos cruising through the river.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

If big game is your thing then you can go on a 4x4 game drive through the national park and see if you can catch a glimpse of a few of these mighty creatures. However, there is also an amazing variety of birdlife, including several types of water birds, that can be viewed whilst you explore the river near the lodge.

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A low flying Great Egret.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

You can book at the Lianshulu Lodge here.

 

2. Okahirongo Elephant lodge

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Nighttime at the Elephant Lodge.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge can be found in one of Namibia’s most sparsely populated northern regions: The Kaokoveld. Okahirongo is located on the Purros Conservancy and is 200km south of the Kunene River and 55km inland from the Skeleton Coast.

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The Kaokoveld- remote and beautiful.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

The lodge’s remote location means that if you want to get to it you are going to have to climb in a 4x4 or a light aircraft. The drive can be quite long and tricky and the flight is two and a half hours from Windhoek.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive 

In many ways this lodge is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

The difficulty in getting there, however, is well worth it. The Purros conservancy is home to some of the Namibia’s desert adapted elephants, rhino, lions and giraffe. Okahirongo also offers its guests several activities like game drives, night walks, night drives and a visit to the nearby local Himba settlement.

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Some rare desert-dwelling giraffes.
(Image via Okahirongo)

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

A small herd of elephants marching through the Kaokoveld.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

If you are looking for a place to relax and unwind then Okahingoro is a great place for you to visit. An infinity pool, a library, a world class kitchen and stunning panoramic views of the desert and the ephemeral Hoarusib River await you at this lodge. So if you don’t feel like striking out into the conservancy’s wilderness then you will feel right at home thanks to the lodge’s facilities.

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A fire basket is prepared in the twilight.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

You can book at the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge here.

 

3. AiAiba Lodge

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The lodge is nestled in the foothills of the Erongo Mountains.
(Image via AiAiba)

The AiAiba Lodge overlooks the beautiful Erongo Mountains north west of Windhoek. It is mostly renowned for its proximity to some of the oldest rock paintings in Namibia. The lodge itself is also part of a group of establishments that is committed to the protection on conservation of the Erongo mountains and their surrounds.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

Examples of the ancient art can be foudn all around the region.
(Image via AiAiba)

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

Some of the paintings are more than 200 years old.
(Image via AiAiba)

AiAiba is perfect for travellers looking to spend some time in the deep calm of nature. The views from the bar and restaurant are unmatched and all you need to enjoy the beauty of the region is find a chair on the deck, grab yourself a refreshment and sit back and watch the natural world go by.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

Sunsets are particularly serene in this part of Namibia.
(Image via AiAiba)

 

If you feel like exploring then the lodge also has several activities that you can take part in. Chief amongst these activities is a guided 4x4 trail which will take you on a mini safari and to the sites of the ancient rock paintings left by the regions first inhabitants thousands of years ago.


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Guests about to embrak on a safari drive around AiAiba.
(Image via Blasdale)

 

There is also a short marked hiking trail that guests can tackle without the aid of a guide. AiAiba also offers guided walks through the region on which guests will be introduced to the various flora and fauna of the region.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

Hiking and wlaking are great ways to unwind in the bush.
(Image via Changes in Longitude)

 

You can book at the AiAiba Lodge here.

*Changes in Longitude seleceted AiAiba as one of the seven most unique places in the world to visit. Read their article here.*

The three lodges we have highlighted in this post, along with the three we mentioned in our previous post make up six unique and inspiring places to visit. For travellers who want a bit more seclusion and remoteness all six of these establishments offer something that you cannot get anywhere else in Namibia.

Keep an eye out for a tour itinerary that will give you advice on how you can visit all six of these wonderful lodges and camps on a trip through Namibia.

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Namibia's Most Exclusive Getaways (Part 1)

  
  

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. Lucky for you, Namibia is widely regarded as one of the best travel destinations in the world to do just this. With an extremely low population density and an incredible variety of landscapes to choose from the Land of the Brave has become a top destination for travellers looking for somewhere to retreat to.

This week we are focusing on six remote and exclusive destinations. Part 1, which you have just started to read will focus on: The Wolwedans Boulders Safari Camp, the Serra Cafema Camp and the Fish River Lodge.

*You can find part two by clicking here*


1. The Wolwedans Boulders Safari Camp

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Panoramic views at the Boulders Safari Camp.
(Image via Wolwedans)

 

If you are looking for exclusivity then the Boulders Camp is the place for you. The luxuriously appointed camp sleeps a maximum of eight guests so there is never a massive crowd of people at the site. The camp is part of the world-renowned Wolwedans collection of camps and lodges. 

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The landscapes in this part of the country are simply stunning.
(Image via Wolwedans)

 

Staying at the camp will allow you to explore the southern reaches of the NamibRand Nature Reserve that is home to a variety of wildlife and several unique geological features. In the reserve visitors can also take guided walking tours through the ancient hunting grounds of the Bushmen. 

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Guests tracking animal spoor thorugh the reserve.
(Image via NamibRand)

 

If exploring the surrounds is not really what you are after then you can always relax at the camp and enjoy the wonderful facilities. You can even take a trip to edge of the plateau the camp sit upon and enjoy a spectacular sundowner. 

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

Watch the sun set with a glorious meal and a refreshing drink.
(Image via Wolwedans

 

If you are more of a night owl then you should know that the night skies around this area of Namibia are widely regarded as some of the best in the world. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is particularly famous for its stargazing facilities

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An image of the night sky over the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
(Image by Dr. George Tucker via NamibRand

 

To book at the Boulders Safari Camp click here.


2. Serra Cafema Camp

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Serra Cafema is uniquely situated on the bed of a river that runs through an arid landscape.
(Image via Uyaphi)

 

Serra Cafema can be found in the north east corner of the Land of the Brave, near the Angolan border. Its location is so remote that it is suggested that you charter a private plane to land nearby the camp. If you do decide to take the trip up to the camp by car it will take you in excess of a week to navigate the rural roads.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

The camp can be found in this remote and awesome landscape.
(Image via Rhino Africa

 

The far-removed nature of the camp’s location means that the 8 million acres (yes you read that right!) of land that camp sits on are available exclusively to Serra Cafema’s guests. This means that if you can find your way to the site you will be rewarded with an experience that will stay with you forever. 

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

Welcome to the wide-open outdoors.
(Image via Uncharted Outposts)

 

Since there are only eight thatched chalets at the riverside lodge you are ensured a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. So once you have reached the camp all you have to do is enjoy the beautiful surrounds while you listen to the rushing water of the river that runs beside the camp. 

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The Serra Cafema Camp in the twilight- pure magic.
(Image via Kiwi Collection)

 

While at the camp you can visit a nearby Himba settlement, go quad biking through the nearby dunes, or as mentioned above, simply relax at the camp enjoying the contrasts of place where a river runs through a desert.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

Part of a Himba settlement.
(Image via Audley Travel

 

You can book at Serra Cafema Camp here

 

3. The Fish River Lodge

The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world and it is truly one of the most stirring sites in Namibia. It is found in the south of Namibia and if you are in this part of the country then you simply have to check out this canyon on the border between South Africa and Namibia.

 

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Every chalet has a sweeping view of the canyon.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

One of the best places to use as a base when exploring this canyon is the Fish River Lodge. It is the only lodge in Namibia that is perched on the edge of the immense canyon. The parks board has forbidden any more building on the rim of the canyon so the Fish River Lodge is the only lodge where you can lounge by a pool and soak in views of the canyon like this:

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

Lounge in the pool and take in this impressive natural wonder.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

The lodge itself can only by accessed by driving on a very rocky and challenging dirt road. A decent 4x4 with sufficient is a must if you hope to make the trip up to the lodge. Smaller sedans and two-wheel drive cars will struggle to get through some of the rougher parts of the road.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

The rugged roads around and into the lodge are not built for city dwelling vehicles.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

There is much more to this lodge than just amazing views of the canyon. The lodge offers a range of activities. There is a mammoth, and highly rated, five-day hike; a day hike; and scenic day drives around and into the canyon. The stargazing is also spectacular in this part of Namibia as there is very little to no light pollution.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

Hikers scrambling down the face of the cliff of the canyon.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

You can book at the Fish River Lodge here.

 

This was part one of two in our series on exclusice and remote places to stay in Namibia. Later in the week we will be posting a second blog on another three places... Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the follow up post later this week!

 

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For more information on Stargazing in Namibia, and to find out what it is like to hike in the Fish River Canyon, check out these two blog posts from our archives:

Exploring Namibia's Starry Skies A Day Hike Through the Fish River Canyon
506 namibia star gazing moon rising windhoek into the sun 

Three New Self-drive Routes Through Namibia

  
  

Open Africa is an organisation that prides itself on promoting sustainable tourism ventures in countries like Namibia. Recently at last week’s Namibian Tourism Expo, Open Africa, in conjunction with the Namibian Tourism Board and the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia, launched three new self-drive routes through Namibia.

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Each self-drive route has been carefully planned out to highlight aspects of Namibia that are a little bit less well known to both local and international tourists. This blog post will provide you with an overview of all the experiences you can have on each route (for a detailed itinerary visit our page here or click any of the names of the experiences below).


The Omulunga Palm Route

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

What you can expect on the Omulunga Palm Route

There are several notable cultural experiences to be had on this tour as many of the local tribes along of this route have a proud history. The Owambo homesteads along the way are reminders of Namibia’s hard-fought liberation struggles as well as its promising future.

Many of the local communities along the route manage conservancies that aim to provide locals with the opportunity to share their traditions, culture and wildlife with visitors.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

An Owambo homestead.

 

Regions the Omulunga Palm Route will take you through

The route takes you on a journey from the arid northwest of the country to the fertile and verdant northeast. It should also be noted that this route also takes travellers down to the world famous Etosha National Park.

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Visitors getting close to some game at Etosha.

 

Experiences on the Omulunga Palm Route 

The Roof of Namibia Experience

The Roof of Namibia experience is 467km long and roughly runs parallel to the Angolan border in Namibia’s north. The journey traces the Kunene River from the Ruacana Falls across to the Okavango River. The trip takes travellers past several pans and flooded channels. These watery ecosystems are home to a massive amount of birdlife on offer.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The Ruacana Falls.
(Image by Tom Jakobi via Wikicommons)

 

This part of the Omulunga Palm Route is not just about rural wildlife as there are several urban settlements along the way with attractions such as the Outapi War Museum, Ombalantu Baobab Museum and the Eenhana Shrine.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The mighty Ombalantu Baobab.
(Image via Wikimedia)

 

The King Nehale Experience

This experience is a 641km trail through the culturally rich and unique towns of Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa. There are also several rural villages that surround these larger towns, so be sure to be on the look out for those!

The major attractions on the King Nehale Experience are the Omugulugwombashe National Monument, Uukwaluudhi Royal Homestead, Uukwambi Kings Monument, Oshakati Open Market, Ongula Traditional Homestead, Nakambale Museum and Lake Oponono. This part of the route also takes you through Etosha National Park. Exploring this world-class National Park is a must-do activity when visiting the Land of the Brave.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account
A Blue Crane at Lake Oponono
.
(Image by Alastair Rae via Wikimedia)

 

The Arid Eden Route

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What you can expect on the Arid Eden Route

This route is a dream come true for travel photographers. As you head away from Swakopmund the arid desert landscapes and the crystal clear skies offer up some of the best photography opportunities in Namibia.

There are several unique locations along this route ranging from ancient rock paintings to modern cultural experiences in the heartland of the Himba people.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A Himba woman looks on.
(Image courtesy of Expert Africa)

Regions the Arid Eden Route will take you through

The Arid Eden Route begins in the coastal town of Swakopmund and runs all the way up to northern border with Angola. Something that makes this route quite special is that it winds through the previously restricted western part of Etosha National Park.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The beach at Swakopmund.

 

Experiences on the Arid Eden Route

The Welwitchia Experience

The Welwitchia Experience is 860km long and allows travellers to experience all the excitement of Swakopmund as well as the awe-inspiring Etosha National Park. The route, which is mostly gravelled roads, is well maintained and any car with sufficient ground clearance and sturdy enough axel will be able to navigate it.

gravel road namibia 88c90f18 902e 4486 925d 712761bd7ba4

A typical gravel road in Namibia.
(Photo by Andreas Seehase via Foto Community)

 

The Windhoek to Galton Experience

The Windhoek to Galton Experience is the experience that gives adventurers access to the previously mentioned western part of Etosha via the Galton Gate. The route is 520km in length and as you drive from the capital city to the Galton Gate be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife on the verge of the road.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Explore the western parts of Etosha.


German delicatessens, coffee shops and local butcheries with locally sourced game and beef are also dotted along the route. So be sure to take a bit of time out and pop in to one of these establishments.

If you have time (and are properly prepared!) don’t forget to get off the beaten track and explore some of the landscapes that the route traverses. Massive mountain peaks, unique geological formations, desert-adapted wildlife and never ending horizons abound in these parts of the Land of the Brave.

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There is wildlife aplenty on this route!


North West Trails

This trail is for those who seek a bit more adrenaline coursing through their veins. The main attractions on this part of the route are surely the Spitzkoppe and Mount Erongo. These mountains are favourites among both mountain bikers and rock climbers and offer several routes up and down their slopes and faces.

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Explorers taking in the Spitzkoppe.


The North West Trail also takes travellers past Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg. The area around the huge mountain has over 2000 recorded rock art sites and there are professionally run tours that take tourists to the major sites. Such a tour is a must for anyone interested in the ancient history of Namibia.

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An example of some of the rock art you can find in the area.


The foothills of the Brandberg are also home to some of Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants. The region is easily accessible and it is thus it one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of these mighty and rare large mammals.

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A young desert-adapted elephant near the Brandberg.
(Image courtesy of the Cardboard Box Travel Shop)

 

Twyfelfontein (or ǀUi-ǁAis) is another attraction on the North West Trail. It is an official World heritage Site thanks to its numerous petroglyphs and the naturally formed geological wonders like the Organ Pipes and many petrified trees. If you want to explore Twyfelfontein then using the small town of Khorixas is a good idea as it is the last convenient place to stock up with supplies before heading out in the arid northwest.

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A unique rock formation near Twyfelfontein.


The Himba Cultural Experience

The Arid Eden Route, as mentioned above, will take you through the heartland of the Himba people of northern Namibia. The Himba Cultural Experience focuses on these unique people and the suggested 443km goes through several homesteads in the area.

The remote Himba settlement at Puros is particularly unique as its massive camel thorn trees provide shelter for all from the unrelenting sun. At Puros there is a supply store where locals and travellers can stock up on essentials like sugar, cooking oil and soap. There is also a billiard table at the store where you can share a conversation and friendly game with some of the Himba people.

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A group of Himba cutting loose.


The Four Rivers Route

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What you can expect on the Four Rivers Route

The route focuses on getting travellers off the beaten path and the meandering course it takes through the riverine landscape encourages exploration and discovery.

As with the other two routes discussed there are a variety of culturally diverse experiences along the Four Rivers Route. The people of the Zambezi are particularly culturally distinct from the rest of Namibia and this makes this route particularly worthwhile for travellers who have been to Namibia before.

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A local homestead in the Zambezi region.


Regions the Four Rivers Route will take you through

This route starts in the northeast at Nkurenkuru and going through the lush Zambezi (formerly Caprivi) region and on to the world-famous Victoria Falls. The regions along this route are crisscrossed with rivers and their tributaries and as such this part of Namibia is verdant and teeming with birdlife, wildlife and surprises.

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Elephants ahead!

 

Experiences on the Four Rivers Route

The Kavango Open Africa Route

This part of the Four Rivers Route traces 383km through the lush regions along the Kavango River. Starting at Nkurunkuru in the west and ending at the eastern border post of Mohembo the route allows travellers to experience the birds, people and wildlife of the region up close.

 

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The banks of Kavango River are particularly picturesque.

(Image courtesy of Dr Klaus Dierks)


This route opens up an area for travellers that has only been explored since the nineteenth century and is thus the perfect place for those of you who have the need to explore this lesser seen side of Namibia. The Mahango and Khaudum National Parks on the border of Botswana are also magnificent and are well worth the visit.

Other notable attractions that form part of the Kavango Open Africa Experience include the Mbunza Living Museum, Khaudum National Park, Nyangana Mission, Andara Mission, the Okavango River System and Popa Falls as well as the Mahango National Park.

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Popa Falls.
(Image courtesy of Dr Klaus Dierks)


The Caprivi Wetlands Paradise

This experience takes you on an incredible 430km trip through some of the most diverse landscapes and unexpected ecosystems in the Land of the Brave.

One of the most unique parks in the world, Bwabwata National Park, just north of the Okavango Delta is part of this experience. Within in this park there are 5000 residents who live side-by-side with the free-roaming animals in the park.

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A hippo at Bwabwata National Park.
(Image via Cardboard Travel Box)

 

The residents living on this land, thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia, help run and conserve the ecosystem. The local people then derive financial benefits from the tourists visiting the area in what is one of the most innovative and community-orientated conservation programs in the world.

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Locals fishing on the Kavango.


The area surrounding the Kwando River is not only famous for it’s free-roaming elephants but it is also one of the best places to go birding in Namibia. The region is home to over 400 species of birds that live in habitats ranging from acacia woodlands and mopane forests, to floodplains filled with plant and animal.

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The river banks in this region are full of varied flora and fauna.


The Four Corners Experience

The Four Corners Experience is different from all the other experiences on the three routes we have described as it actually takes you out of Namibia and into two of its neighbouring countries, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Your journey will begin at the Ngoma border post and the trip will take you through the Chobe National Park in Botswana. The route will then lead you to where the mighty Zambezi and Chobe rivers merge. The area where these two great rivers converge is famed for its wildlife and luxury lodges.

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The Chobe/Zambezi confluence seen from the air.
(Image via Springbok Classic Air)

 

The final experience on the Four Corner Route will also take you to one of Africa’s truly great wonders: The Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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The awesome Victoria Falls.
(Photo via Wikimedia)

 

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These are just three routes through the vast expanse of Namibia. Remember, you can always create your adventure. If you feel like putting together your very own roadtrip then why not have a look at our other blog posts on self-drive adventures through the Land of the Brave:

 


Driving Through Etosha
self drive namibia, namibia, etosha, etosha national park, etosha game park, safari, etosha safari, etosha accomodation, namibia travel tips

 


Motorbiking through Namibia
CAPIRCORN

 

 
Self-drive Tips
namibia, self drive namibia, self drive safaris, 4 x 4 africa, etosha, adventure holiday, namibia roads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Namibia Adventure Calendar: September to December

  
  

As promised, this is a follow up post to our recently published Adventure Calendar for 2014. You can find the calendar for June to August by clicking here. These two blog posts will equip you with all you need to know about the major adventure events that are happening in Namibia.

Desert Knights Mountain Bike Tour (7 – 12 September)

The Desert Knights MTB Tour is five days of cycling, and one day of canoeing, through Namibia’s scenic /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The park is located in the southern region of Namibia and straddles the border between South Africa and the Land of the Brave.

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From the seat of you bike you will be able to take in the beautiful landscape.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

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You will also get a chance to zip down some Orange River rapids in a canoe.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

This cycling tour is unique in that it affords its participants the opportunity to cycle both during the day and at night. Cycling through the desert at night, and under the full moon (which falls on the 9th of September), participants in the Desert Knights Mountain Bike Tour will get to witness the isolated and vast region in a light that few people ever will.

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The landscapes transform at night.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

To enter the event click here. Entries close on the 30th of June. There are only 100 places available on this tour, so be sure to book soon!

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Riders riding out into the approaching twilight.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

Pick n Pay Cycle Classic (12 October) 

This year will see the fifteenth time this cycling road race is being held in Namibia. Starting off as a small race of just over 750 cyclists the event has grown from strength to strength with each passing year.

The race is a great way for you to visit Windhoek if you are interested in competitive cycling. It will give you the opportunity to meet, greet and compete with the local cyclists in the capital city.  

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2012’s runner-up Costa Seibeb (L) and 2012’s winner Till Droblisch (R).
(Image via the Sun)

 

This year the event is taking place on Sunday the 12th of October and there will be several routes on offer to entrants. The race is organised by the Windhoek-based cycling club Windhoek Pedal Power. If you want to be able to register for this race then all you have to do is subscribe to their newsletter here.

Registration for the Cycle Classic typically closes in early October so it is best to book your place in advance. Details are still being finalised for the event, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox after you have registered with Windhoek Pedal Power.


Luderitz Speed Challenge (October 29 – 9 November) 

The Luderitz Speed Challenge is one of the world’s premier water sporting events for kiteboarders and windsurfers. The perfect water and wind conditions draw out hoards of international watersporting stars and this ensures that each year the Speed Challenge is a thrilling and record breaking event.

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A contestant kicking up some spray in 2013.

(Photo via Luderitz Speed)

 

The event has seen numerous world records broken and this year there promises to be more of the same record breaking action. The Speed Challenge will be taking place from the end of October to mid-November, so if you find youself in Namibia's south during that time then be sure to head down to Luderitz to check all the action out.

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Windsurfers and kiteboarders flock to Luderitz for this event.
(Photo via Luderitz Speed)

 

If you want to enter the race, or get involved as a sponsor of the event you can contact the organisers, Sebastien Cattelan or Sophie Routaboul on the details below.

Sébastien Cattelan

Email: cattelan.sebastien@gmail.com

Mobile: +33 (0)61 5341 411 (France)

+27 (0)791 634555 (South Africa)

Skype: seb.cat1

Sophie Routaboul

Email: luderitz.speed.challenge@gmail.com

Mobile: +33 (0)61 07 44 69 (France)

+264 (0)817 44 64 69 (Namibia)

Skype: soevent34

If you want a more detailed description of the event and its history then check out our blog post on it here.

KITE NEST

A windsurfer on the purpose built canal.
(Photo via Luderitz Speed)

           

Desert Ultra (November 14)

The Desert Ultra is an event organised by Beyond the Ultimate and it is a trail running race like no other in Namibia. The course is over 250km and it focuses on well-trained runners who are looking for an extreme challenge through some wonderfully isolated and awesome desert landscapes.

STARK

Stark, challenging and one of a kind stages.
(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)

 

Contestants are expected to be able to carry all your gear and water and the fields are usually very competitive. While there are refreshment stations along the way, you will be expected to fend for yourself along the gruelling stages.

PREP

Preparation is key if you want to succeed.
(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)

 

Here is a good link to a page that deals with FAQ associated with the Desert Ultra. If you want register for the race then simply follow this link.

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Runners making their way through a checkpoint.
(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)


It should be noted that Ultras are not for casual athletes, but if you are fully prepared, and in good physical and mental shape, then they can be some of the most rewarding extreme adventures one can have.

REWARD

Desert heat and tough trails make for a rewarding run.

(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)

 

100km of Namib Desert (30 November – 7 December)

Quite simply this event is a 100km race through one of the world’s oldest deserts, the Namib. The Namib is home to some of Namibia’s most famous wonders; these include Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon making it this ancient desert an amazing area to be able to run through.

AMAZE

From the Dead Vlei…
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

CANYON

…to the Sesriem Canyon.
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

 

The 100km run through the desert is organised by an Italian company who put on races through out Africa (check out some of their other races here and here). It is the ninth time that the event has been held in Namibia and each year the field of participants has increased.

FUN RUN

A runner summits one of the massive dunes.
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

 

The race is a tough affair, but, you will be staying in top-notch accommodation for each of the four competing nights you are out on the route. So there will always be time for you to unwind and recharge. For a detailed program check out this page.

NICEPIC

Beautiful surrounds make this race a must.
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

 

If you want register for the race then click here and fill in your details and the team will get back to you with all the information you need. If you still need convincing then have a look at the subtitled video below.

(Video via 100km of Namib Desert)


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This and our last post should give any adventure holiday seekers enough ideas to fill a few months up in their trip.

If you know of any other extreme adventure events happening in Namibia in 2014 then leave a comment below.

Happy reading, and happy planning!

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