After relaxing for a few days it was finally time to meet up with my group and begin my much anticipated tour of Namibia. I’m happy to say that my group for this tour was one of the best, if not THE BEST, group I’ve ever had on one of my trips. Everyone clicked instantly which made for an unforgettable experience.
Our Namibian guide (Shapaka) gave us an overview of the route that we would be taking over the next few weeks. Starting in WIndhoek (middle right on the map) we would head south, west, north and finally south back to Windhoek. It would mean many hours on the road and many kilometres covered (almost 3,000 km in total), but in exchange we would get to experience a lot of this beautiful country.
After our briefing we headed to Joe’s Beer House, a funky iconic local restaurant, for dinner.
Then, early the next morning, we were off, heading south to Keetmanshoop and our first destination, the Giant’s Playground.
The Giant’s Playground is strewn with Dolerite rocks that are 160-180 million years old. Some of these rocks appear as though they were arranged by someone. They are very big and very heavy – so the answer is simple – they were stacked by Giants!
The real draw, however, is the very photogenic quiver tree. Indigenous to Southern Africa the quiver tree (a succulent) is able to retain water for long periods of time. The San people used the hollow branches as quivers for their arrows, hence the english name “Quiver Tree”.
As the daylight begins to fade everything, even the grass, begins to glow
and the Dassies (Rock Hyrax) come out to sun themselves on the rocks in the last light of day.
Now, normally, the photographic day would end here. But not in Namibia. This country boasts some of the darkest skies anywhere and the night sky is truly spectacular.
Time for a few hours sleep and back out again to catch the early morning light and welcome a new day…
Our camp was located on a working farm and Cheetah rescue. Once cheetahs are in captivity, they lose their speed and are unable to hunt and survive in the wild. After returning from our morning shoot, we had the opportunity to attend the morning feeding of two male cheetahs and photograph these beautiful animals in the early morning light. (These males were actually born here to a couple of rescued cheetahs who were thought to be infertile – OOPS!)
After a leisurely breakfast for the cheetahs and our group, it was time to head west towards the coast and our next adventure in the ghost town of Kolmanskuppe…