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Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Photo Tour

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: A Busy Day at a Drinking Hole …

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Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: A Busy Day at a Drinking Hole …

(Images from back of Brendon’s camera screen)

Brendan’s News from Namibia:

We headed out from Halali with the aim of finding a predator or two, and to our delight it was not long before we came across a large male lion walking across one of the wide open plains that typify this beautiful area. The lion looked truly majestic as he walked along proudly in the early morning light, and our photographs did justice to the regal animal.

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We carried on to Rietfontein Pan where luck was on our side and we encountered seven more lions. Among them was a mating couple with another male, two lionesses and two cubs. We spent a fantastic time with them as well and collected even more amazing photographs of the cats.

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Besides the cats we photographed numerous herds of zebra, plenty of elephants doing everything from bathing to drinking, and great birds arriving at the Pan.

When we returned to Rietfontein pan after lunch we first passed one of the smaller pans where we found a couple of hyenas walking through the water to cool down in the mid-afternoon heat.

Back at Rietfontein Pan thousands upon thousands of zebra arrived at the dam to drink. The mating lions were still there, but the others had pushed off somewhere into a shaded area. We enjoyed some fabulous photography again – as animals and birds continually arrived to drink. There were Oryx, with doves taking off and landing regularly, while a couple of Black Rhinos also put in a lengthy appearance. Of course elephants came and went regularly.

 

So all in all it was a really amazing day – with high hopes that we will experience even more tomorrow …

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: The Other Way Around …

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Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: The Other Way Around …

 

Brendan’s News from Namibia:

When we woke up we made the decision to repeat yesterday’s process of splitting up, but this time the groups swapped around and those that had done the desert trip enjoyed the boat trip this time and vice versa …

Once again the sightings were spectacular, and again the desert group saw Sidewinders, Namaqua Chameleons, Tractrac Chats, and Palmato Geckos. And of course the collection of photographs taken with each new sighting surpassed those taken moments ago.

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And those on the boat? Of course they also had a bumper time. There were Pelicans and different Gulls everywhere. The Subantarctic Skuas were also present and cameras filled quickly with all the nonstop action.

And again we regrouped at lunch time, and after eating our fill we headed to Walvis Bay to photograph the beautiful numbers of Flamingos there. A very strong wind blew while we were there and it was rather chilly. But in spite of that there was plenty of action as Flamingos and Pelicans flew back and forth across the bay and against the dunes and seals cavorted or huddled on the shore.

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We enjoyed our final dinner in Swakopmund, aware that we head for Etosha in the morning …

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Sea and Sand Adventures …

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Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Sea and Sand Adventures …

Brendan’s News from Namibia:

Yesterday morning we split our group as some wanted to venture onto the ocean by boat to photograph the magnificent sea life in the area and they returned with fabulous images of pelicans, terns and gulls as well as seals. It was a little overcast, giving the area a uniform dark grey background, lit up by sun rays and a little help from our camera flashes.

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There were also Subantarctic Skuas which were extra special to see and to photograph. And Cape Cormorants kept everyone entertained and busy as they repeatedly dived for fish. Not just a few of them – there were around 10000 of the birds enjoying a feeding frenzy, and the thud, thud, thud as they hit the water added to the drama of the amazing occasion.

The remainder of the group preferred to remain on dry land for today and opted to visit the desert where we saw Namaqua Chameleons, and some Sidewinder Snakes making their unique sideways motion as they moved along the sand. Palmato Geckos with their pastel pink and blue colourings looked lovely against the sand while the Tractrac Chats and Gray’s Larks flitted around restlessly.

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We regrouped at lunchtime and shared our experiences … each group a little smug about their experiences.

After lunch we headed along the beach to Pelican Point where we photographed seals playing in the waves. Some were surfing, while others in large colonies watched or slept on the banks. The constant activity made it difficult to know where to point our cameras as they constantly jumped out of the water, breaching and thoroughly enjoying themselves.

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This ended another fabulous day. Tomorrow we leave this beautiful area and head northward …

 

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Inland Dunes to Coastal Dunes

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Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Inland Dunes to Coastal Dunes

 

Brendon’s News:

Having left our cameras out all night to capture those intriguing star trails, we headed back to retrieve them before dawn. We checked and to our delight everyone had captured the most amazing images of the stars, clouds moving across the sky, and altogether creating some truly fabulous shots. The time-lapse as well as the star trails turned out even better than hoped for.

We decided to stick around for a while and shoot the sunrise – again using a time-lapse technique. And wow, that also resulted in some rather spectacular time lapse sequences! The colours! The clouds moving across the sky and across the rising sun! The colours as they lit up the edges and then sides of the dunes! The emergence of the dawn with the brightening sky and the colours that gradually and then suddenly just popped out from the early morning light.

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A few guests were so enchanted that they opted for another helicopter flight to enjoy the dawn delights from the air.

After breakfast back at the Lodge we packed our vehicles and enjoyed a beautiful drive through magnificent canyons on our way to Swakopmund. We stopped along the way for the famed Apfelstrudel at Solitaire (a must for anyone visiting the area).

We spotted some rather special wildlife along the way – a herd of Hartmann’s Zebra simply had to be photographed!

At Swakopmund we unpacked, had a brief rest, and then headed out to one of the beautiful dunes – where everyone accepted the challenge to get their vehicles to the top of the large dune – and everyone made it right to the top!

That was where we spent the early evening enjoying the views, the ambience – enhanced by our sundowners. The sunset was all misty and ethereal, and when the mist moved out over the ocean with the sunset colours glowing through, the sight was one of those that one will always remember.

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We enjoyed a fabulous meal before bed – and were to satisfied and exhausted of a long, fulfilling day, to speculate or plan for tomorrow …

 

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Flying Over the Dunes …

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Wim Reports:

 

We were out again before dawn, eager to capture more of those magical moments in the dunes when the sun starts to paint the sky with the most unbelievable colours. And the morning sunrise appeared even more spectacular, more breath-taking, and more impressive than the previous days.

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(Image photographed from Brendon Cremer’s computer screen)

To add to the splendour, there were Oryx walking along sedately and creating even more wonderful photographic opportunities for us.

Then we tore ourselves away – to enjoy a helicopter flight over this area, and once again we were staggered by the beautiful landscape, this time from a different, way-up-there perspective.

After lunch the wind started up again and blew dust everywhere. It seemed to swirl in every possible direction, as we tried to capture the shapes that the gusts created on the dunes.

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As late afternoon approached the wind died down, and we were able to spend another calm, lovely evening in the dunes. We elected to travel to a different spot for another set of star photography. As the time arrived for us to return to the Lodge we set up our cameras with settings to capture star trails from the new spot during the night.

We plan to pick up our cameras and equipment really early (before anyone arrives …) and then to start for Swakopmund …

 

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Different Moods of the Towering Dunes …

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Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Different Moods of the Towering Dunes …

Wim Reports:

We were out in the Sossusvlei dunes at least an hour before sunrise – to collect our cameras and equipment that we had left overnight for those fabulous star trail images.

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(Image photographed from Brendon Cremer’s computer screen)

 

Then the sun began to rise, and the black sky turned to grey, and then the most vibrant orange. As the sun rays started to light up the huge dunes towering all around us, … some reaching up to 400 meters, the highest in the world! The sun revealed their vivid orange – ochre colours that showed up too beautifully for words. The colour on the dunes was emphasised dramatically by the dark black areas that remained in dark black shadow.

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We spent the whole morning soaking up and photographing the inspiring area (situated in the Naukluft National Park), before we returned to the Dune Lodge for a very welcome lunch.

After lunch we returned to the dune area, even though the wind had come up and rain was in the air. But this all gave us a different perspective and we were able to capture the impactful region in a totally different light – and mood.

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We returned to the camp after dark again. Tomorrow we move on to Swakopmund …

 

Namibia Overland Safari: Wild Horses and Star Trails

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Namibia Overland Safari: Wild Horses and Star Trails

Wim Reports:

Having started our trip on a really high note in the wonderful Quivertree forest we said goodbye to Keetmanshoop filled with excitement for the next step of our adventure.

Our destination for the day was Sossusvlei – but getting there was an experience! We travelled over the spectacular Helskloof Pass and each kilometre of the road brought new beautiful sights to enjoy.

The road itself is a sand road in very good condition, and to our delight we spotted a couple of Wild Horses along the way! What a treat to see and to photograph these lovely animals.

We checked into the Dune Lodge well before sunset and headed out – this time we were keen to photograph star trails. I must say that we all had a wonderful time and everyone is thrilled with the images they captured of the glittering heavenly bodies.

Star Trails

 

Tomorrow we would like to explore the dunes …

Namibia Overland Safari: A Magical Night in the Quiver Forest

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Namibia Overland Safari: A Magical Night in the Quiver Forest

 

Wim Reports:

We all arrived at Keetmanshoop in high spirits and after checking into our picturesque accommodation we headed straight to the famous Quivertree Forest.

As sunset approached wisps of pink and orange coloured clouds against a dark blue, royal blue, then navy blue sky created a prefect backdrop for the gnarled shapes of the trees in the foreground.

Then as the sun set a breath-taking display of stars gradually emerged in the inky black sky. Wow! It is a sight that lives forever in ones memory – and on camera as we filled our memory cards with hundreds of images of the spectacular sight.

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It was an experience! The quiet! The pitch darkness! Those glittering, impossible numbers of stars!

It was no wonder that we remained – and remained, soaking up the wonderful atmosphere – until a glance at our watches reminded us that midnight had come and gone and it was way past time to return to our lodgings, especially as we depart for Sosussvlei after an early breakfast …

 

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife: Animal Combats

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Ben’s News from the Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Animal Combats

We visited the New Brownie Waterhole first this morning … and because there was so much non-stop activity, we remained there until it was time to return to the camp for our lunch.
Springbok, Ostriches, Giraffe, and Gemsbok came and went in an unending stream. Not only were there hundreds of animals milling around, there was intense action between some of them, with plenty of wrangling. The Springbok were especially combative, and at times a number of sparring matching could be seen on all sides of the waterhole. As they sparred they kicked up a lot of dust, creating some fabulous photographic opportunities.
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At lunchtime we visited the Okaukuejo waterhole which was also visited by a large number of Gemsbok and Springbok.
When we arrived back at the New Brownie Waterhole after lunch the action changed completely.
Two huge Bull Elephants had arrived, and instead of spending their time slaking their thirst they concentrated on chasing anything away that dared to approach the water.
After watching this interaction for a while we went over to Gemsbok Vlakte, but as there is some construction work there, no animals could be seen and we continued on as far as Anderson Gate.
When we returned to the Okaukuejo Camp we immediately went to the waterhole where we spent a fabulous hour or two until dinner time. A number of Black Rhinos, Giraffe, and Elephants came to drink … often together! And the sparring continued …
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After dinner we returned to the waterhole and this time, in addition to the Giraffe, Gemsbok, Rhinos, and Elephants, two large Male Lions pitched up.
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We actually captured images with all five species in one frame.
Then the night took on an even more dramatic tone when two of the rhino started to spar. Not long after, another pair of rhinos also started their dueling! It was simply amazing!
Tomorrow morning we will probably visit the New Brownie Waterhole again before we move on …
Join us on one of our exciting Safaris to spectacular destinations. For more info click this link to visit our web page – http://goo.gl/lSJvzK

Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Jackal Fight

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Ben’s News from the Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: Jackal Fight

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We left early in the morning for our final game drive in the Halali area. We were keen for another leopard sighting but although we saw plenty of other game, there was no sign of a leopard anywhere.
After breakfast we left for Okaukuejo. In the way we passed a few water holes where animals congregated.
Close to Okaukuejo we found a waterhole literally teeming with hundreds of Springbok, Gemsbok, and numerous giraffe. We filled our cameras with dozens of images before leaving to check in at the Camp.
When we returned after lunch, we were amazed to discover that the animals had all disappeared. There was not a hoof in sight!
So we traveled on … and this time chose Gemsbok Vlakte as a possibility. And what a good choice that turned out to be …
As we approached we noticed some ostriches at the waterside.
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The ignored our approach, but suddenly they all panicked and ran away as fast as they could. What could have caused that panic, we wondered. Searching the area carefully we found the cause … three lions were marching toward the waterhole.
When the lions came closer we could see that they were quite hungry … actually very thin. They came to the water where they proceeded to drink for ages. Just when we though they had finished they put their heads down to drink some more.
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Then the three went to lie down at the side of the waterhole and although many different animals arrived during the afternoon, they didn’t even bother to lift their heads to look at them. Maybe they just didn’t have the energy to initiate a chase. Aware that the lions posed no threat, different animals arrived at the waterhole, drank their fill, and departed without a glance back at the lions.
A couple of Black-backed Jackals arrived for a drink and for a while the peaceful atmosphere continued. Then another jackal pitched up and two of them really objected to each other’s presence. Snarling, they glared at one another … then a chase started, culminating in a vicious fight between the two. Fangs bared each tried to get the upper hand.
The fight ended abruptly – with the jackals each heading off in their own direction.
By now it was time to return to the camp for dinner, after which we visited the waterhole for some nighttime photography. A herd of elephants arrived to drink, looking quite magnificent in the moonlight.
Tomorrow we would like to check on those lions …
Join us on one of our exciting Safaris to spectacular destinations. For more info click this link to visit our web page – http://goo.gl/lSJvzK