Namibia has been featuring on the MUST-SEE list of every renowned and passionate nature photographer. And for a good reason. Wide-open landscapes, untouched wilderness and rich fauna, including the Big 5, make it a dream destination for anyone with an itch for capturing wild nature at its best.
However, there are several important factors that play a major role in whether you’ll be able to take out-of-this-world amazing images or bring home just mediocre shots. One of them is knowing where the top Namibian photo hotspots are.
Namibia is a huge country, with many photographic hotspots. If you plan to visit all photo hotspots in ONE ‘Speedy Gonzales’ visit style, perish the thought. It would take months, or even years, to visit all of Namibia’s magnificent photo destinations, especially if you plan to spend an adequate amount of time at one place to do its beauty and photographic potential justice.
We recommend that you pick a few of your favourite ‘hotspots’ (and return for more later), schedule three weeks for your Namibia photo trip and stay at least three nights at each destination.
This will allow for repeat excursions into the area and therefore increase your chances of discovering magical photo spots, a variety of moods and other hidden treasures.
A note of caution: Plan your travel time between overnight destinations generously, as Namibia’s gravel roads are often quite corrugated and require slow driving. You’d rather arrive relaxed and in time for your first sunset photoshoot at your new overnight place, than spend the magical sunset hour rushing the last few kilometres to your accommodation, or checking into your room.
QUIVER TREE FOREST
Quiver trees love Namibia’s heat, dry air and rocky terrain. In the far south near Keetmanshoop, at the Quiver Tree Forest, they seem to have found ideal living conditions. These extraordinary aloes are very photogenic, with beautiful golden-brown bark and their unusual and unique shape. They light up beautifully in the golden hours of the day and make for great silhouettes against an orange sunrise and sunset sky.
FISH RIVER CANYON
The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world and a nature lover and hiker’s paradise. Its size, rugged features and remoteness are impressive. It is best to visit in the cooler months of the year to avoid the extreme heat.
The canyon is most beautiful when the soft light of the setting sun illuminates the glowing canyon walls.
NAMIBRAND NATURE RESERVE
One of the largest privately-owned game reserves in Namibia, NamibRand Nature Reserve enchants with its mixture of grass-filled gravel plains, rich red vegetated dunes, impressive desert mountains and occasional large herds of gemsbok, mountain zebra, springbok and ostrich.
Sossusvlei, the world-famous desert pan, is indescribably picturesque – the surrounding dunes are nothing short of breathtaking. The best time for photography is around sunrise and sunset, when rich colours, soft shapes and contrasting light and shade on the dunes make for unforgettable images.
Sossusvlei is especially beautiful and unique when filled with floodwater, but this unfortunately only happens every four to eight years and is impossible to predict.
Once the best-kept secret, Deadvlei now seems to have taken the winner podium of the top photo destinations in the Namib Desert. Dried out dead acacia trees, both bizarre and hauntingly beautiful at the same time, offer magnificent photo opportunities throughout the day, but especially during the early morning and late afternoon.
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