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Best photographic hotspots in northern Namibia

Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Spitzkoppe © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

Namibia is undoubtedly one of the best travel destinations in the world for nature lovers and photographers alike. Whilst Namibia’s south delights with its beautiful desert landscapes, the north offers both fantastic scenery and magnificent wildlife encounters.

Here is a shortlist of the best photographic hotspots, to help you plan your visit to northern Namibia.

A lion with a zebra kill in Etosha National Park, Namibia

A lion with a zebra kill in Etosha National Park © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

SPITZKOPPE

Spitzkoppe, often described as the “Matterhorn” of Namibia, was a paradise for the early Bushmen of Namibia, because there was plenty of game to hunt, abundant spring water and shelter in caves. Today, Spitzkoppe still captivates photographers and people fascinated with wild places by the uniqueness and stark beauty of its towering granite boulders.

Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Spitzkoppe © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

CAPE CROSS

The Cape Cross Seal Reserve is one the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. Here you have the unique chance to get fairly close to these mammals of the sea and capture intimate portraits of them resting, sunbathing and socialising with each other.

Cape Cross seal colony, Namibia

Cape Cross seal colony © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

PALMWAG

Palmwag and its surroundings in Damaraland is worth a visit if you take enough time to explore its secrets. The dramatic table-top mountains of red basaltic rock are most spectacular in the early and late hours of the day.

A zebra in Palmwag, Namibia

A zebra in Palmwag © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

As a few perennial springs provide life-giving water in this desert, there is a good chance that you may encounter and photograph desert-adapted elephants, endangered black rhinos, desert-adapted giraffes or even stumble across some desert-adapted lions.

Giraffe in Palmwag, Namibia

Desert-adapted giraffe in Palmwag © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Etosha is the number one destination in Namibia for wildlife photographers. The animals are used to vehicles and therefore let you often come very close. Here you’ll be able to capture a range of different photographs of the wildlife, from full-frame portraits to wider shots of large herds on the grass plains.

Wildebeest at sunrise in Etosha National Park , Namibia

Wildebeest at sunrise in Etosha National Park © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

High concentrations of animals at the waterholes in the dry season offer great opportunities for capturing wildlife interactions.

Besides zebra, springbok, wildebeest, kudu, gemsbok, impala and giraffe you’ll also see elephants, rhinos, lions, hyena, cheetah and perhaps even a leopard. And let’s not forget the more than 400 bird species that have been sighted in Etosha.

Elephants up close in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Elephants up close in Etosha National Park © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

HOANIB RIVER

The Hoanib River is a mostly dry river course winding through the barren desert mountains of Kaokoland, from east to west. It is home to desert-adapted elephants, lions, giraffe, gemsbok and other hardy wildlife species.

An elephant spotted in the Hoanib River area, Namibia

A desert-adapted elephant spotted in the Hoanib River area © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

The river only flows for a few days during the rainy season when good rains further east carry the flood waters down the river. Some years the river does not flood at all.

Giraffe in the Hoanib River area, Namibia

Giraffe © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

The river’s moods vary from seemingly hostile in the boiling heat of mid-summer to enchanted during some periods of the winter months, when large white acacia trees stand like ghosts in the thick fog that has moved in far inland from the coast.

Gemsbok, Namibia

Gemsbok © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

EPUPA FALLS

Imagine a winding blue band of the Kunene River flowing past calmly. Then suddenly the river drops into a series of waterfalls, throwing white columns of spray into the air.

The Kunene River, Namibia

The Kunene River © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

Add picturesque baobab trees balancing precariously on rock outcrops amidst the cascades and riverine palm forests along the river’s banks and you’ve got a magical oasis amidst Kaokoland’s semi-desert landscape.

The Epupa Falls, Namibia

The Epupa Falls © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

MAHANGO GAME RESERVE

Another wildlife photographer’s and birder’s paradise can be found at the Mahango Game Reserve along the Okavango River and areas further east into Caprivi.

A hippo grazes in Mahango Game Reserve, Namibia

A hippo grazes in Mahango Game Reserve © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

Lush riverine forest, flooded tall grass plains and marshes, idyllic river scenes and dry woodland areas are home to over 450 bird species and numerous big game, including huge elephant and buffalo herds, hippos, rare antelopes such as the sable, roan, sitatunga and many more.

Sunrise over the Okavango River, Namibia

Sunrise over the Okavango River © Claudia & Wynand du Plessis

TRAVEL WITH AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC

Search for your ideal safari here, or contact an Africa Geographic safari consultant to start planning your safari of a lifetime.

FLY WITH AIRLINK

The Africa Geographic team flies with Airlink, who offer multi-destination flight options across southern Africa and a convenient Lodge Link program, direct to popular lodges in the greater Kruger National Park and beyond.



Claudia and Wynand du Plessis

Professional nature photographers Claudia & Wynand du Plessis have lived and photographed for more than 25 years in Namibia. Their heart and photographic passion belongs to the African wilderness, especially the wildlife of Etosha and the Namib Desert of Namibia. They offer a FREE eBook “Feel Namibia – a travel guide for the soul”. It provides 50 ways to feel and experience the magic of Namibia with all your senses. Claudia & Wynand designed an online photographic course, Take Better Photos in Namibia, where they share their insider knowledge and valuable photography tips, so that passionate photographers like you can take your dream images in Namibia too. They offer a 50% discount to readers of Africa Geographic here.

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