A Photographers African Dream
As avid photographers, we had attended a seminar course on how to improve our pictures. The Namibian host brought some of his images of Namibia's Skeleton Coast up on a screen and immediately sparked our interest. They were hauntingly evocative and atmospheric. He began his presentation stating "The Skeleton Coast, or "The Land God Made in Anger" as the Bushmen called it, remains one of the world’s last great wildernesses: harsh, still not completely explored, definitely untamed and extraordinarily beautiful." ... we fell in love and wanted to get there as soon as possible.
A small group of us booked an exciting trip to Africa, with the highlights focussing on Namibia’s remote western coastline, The Skeleton Coast, named after the many ships that sank here over the last few centuries. Their wrecked ship remains are often surrounded by swirling mists and make for moody and dramatic visuals... a photographer's dream.
Because of the time of year we travelled, we decided to explore the Cape region before heading to Namibia. Our tour guide met us at the airport and transported us to our hotel, where we were spending the night. That same afternoon, we were already snapping away at the picturesque landscape of Cape Town from Signal Hill, where we enjoyed some Cape Wine sundowners. The next morning we were rearing to go as our group meandered the Namaqualand area that truly was a great spectacle that mother nature had put on in floral arrangements. We travelled through quaint towns and amongst hills of flowers that brightened up barren land. Our group was delighted with the beauty of the landscapes as we filled our camera cards with these amazing flowers. After 4 days of travelling in the Namaqualand, we headed back to Cape Town's airport for our flight to Swakopmund, Namibia.
Once all our bags were loaded, we were off the trip that inspired us to make this trip in the first place. We were uncontainable with excitement. Heading into the desert, via a charter flight, we made our way to Sossusvlei, where we spent the night under a sky that was so brightly lit by the stars, we didn't need light. We learned all a thing or two about astrology and how to take night photos... jaw-dropping pictures! The next morning we all went on a hot air balloon and boy was that exciting. the aerial pics of the vlei were unbelievable. After breakfast, we were heading back on our charter flight heading to the Skeleton Coast. We were in our element as we could now touch and feel the objects taken in that presentation. The shadows were eerie, but there seemed to be a story to tell. Our pictures were all totally unique as our interpretations were completely unique, our captures all seemed to have a different story to tell. Our 2 nights on the Skeleton Coast were worth every anticipated expectation we had... and to know we had only tipped the iceberg was an extraordinary experience.
Our charter flight had taken us to Etosha National Park, where we spent the next 2 nights on safari. Seeing these desert adaptive animals was something else... from white salt-coated elephants to majestic sable that seemed perfectly handpainted just for us. What a spectacle.
From Etosha National Park, we flew to the border Caprivi Strip to cross the border into Botswana. Here, we spent 2 nights in Chobe and marvelled at the different terrains we had experienced so far... and now this. We sat speechless as we watched a mum elephant and her baby snorkel across a crocodile and hippo infested river, hold our breath and pray they survive the gauntlet as the baby kept dipping under the water. Our shouts of jubilee as the mom and baby climbed the banks on the other side to join the rest of the herd, echoed into the Chobe National Park. These elephants were huge compared to the desert elephants at Etosha. Our sunset cruise was topped off with a sunset that every photographer dreamed of.
The perfect way to end our adventure was an early morning check out, followed by a border crossing road trip into Zimbabwe for a tour to The Victoria Falls and a 1-night stay before heading to the airport in time for our flight home.