Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email: justin@visionarywild.com

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant: sara@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 6 spaces | $18,495* Register
Expedition June 24 - July 6, 2018 | View other workshops

Namibia with Eddie Soloway and Michael Melford

Map via Google

 

There is more than one Namibia

 

Explore five destinations around the country on our customized journey to truly see its breadth of beauty.

 

Experience the haunting beauty of Namibia – Africa’s desert gem – with renowned landscape photographers Michael Melford and Eddie Soloway. We will explore the striking quiver tree forests and geological formations, a ghost town abandoned to drifting sands, the rugged beauty of the coast, the elegant forms of the thousand-foot red dunes of Sossusvlei, and the majestic wildlife amid Namibia's large Etosha salt pan.

A string of colonial port towns dot the coast, trapped between the South Atlantic and the dunes. Lüderitz, on the edge of the diamond-rich Sperrgebiet area, is a fascinating relic of Germany’s late 19th-century imperial aspirations. Nearby is the otherworldly and sand-bound abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop, where dunes have invaded the abandoned buildings. With warm tints of apricot, orange, red and maroon, these dunes offer abstract beauty unseen anywhere else in the world. The photographic potential of this place is astonishing. Further north, Swakopmund brackets the southern end of the Skeleton Coast and possesses a welcoming resort town atmosphere, with easy travel to a very unique area of the nomadic Himba tribe and thriving wildlife species.

We wouldn't let you leave Namibia without stopping for a few days at Etosha National Park. Timed to coincide when plentiful wildlife species will arrive at Lake Etosha for replenishment during the dry season, watch and photograph from special vehicles outfitted specifically for photographers. Two 4WD photo safari vehicles with innovative custom features deliver an ideal photographic experience. They seat three photographers along the centerline of the vehicle, with excellent lines of sight through pop-up hatches on either side. They also feature photographer's chairs with fully adjustable 360-degree revolving, gas-assist-lifted Wimberley camera mounts. This makes it a breeze to work with big lenses and photograph dynamic wildlife behavior, repositioning and panning with ease.

 

Awe-inspiring and unrestrictive, this diverse geography leaves an impact you won’t soon forget.

 

Our itinerary has been designed to take maximum advantage of some of the best landscape, cultural, and wildlife photography opportunities that Namibia has to offer. In addition to attentive photographic instruction throughout by Michael and Eddie, our group of up to six photographers will be led by two excellent local guides. This trip includes excellent lodging, four private scenic light aircraft flights (Sossus Dune Lodge - Swakopmund Airport (SWP) - Okahirongo Elephant Lodge - Mokuti Etosha Lodge - Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH)), transfers and group ground transportation from start to finish, and all meals, snacks, and beverages.

 

ITINERARY

June 24 – Arrival day in Windhoek: Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek and after clearing customs and immigration, Michael and Eddie will greet you and collect the group. Meet your expedition guides and drive together to the Hilton Hotel Windhoek, which is located in the heart of the city by the main shopping streets and pedestrian zone of Namibia's capital. Our first dinner as a group will be held at a favorite restaurant close to the hotel. Overnight at Hilton Hotel Windhoek. (D)

June 25 – Travel to Quiver Tree Forest: Today you will drive to Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp and have lunch together en route. Arrive at the farm Gariganus where everyone can explore the ancient and famous Quiver Tree Forest and the dolerite rock formations of the Giants Playground. The quiver tree or "Kokerboom" is one of the most interesting and characteristic plants of the very hot and dry parts of Namibia. The quiver trees can be two to three centuries old (look for the tallest ones) and are actually a species of aloe. Overnight at Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp. (B, L, D)

June 26 – Travel to Luderitz: Early morning photography in Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground, followed by a late breakfast. Midday transfer from Keetmanshoop to Lüderitz. Afternoon photography in the surrounding area. Overnight at Luderitz Nest Hotel. (B, L, D)

June 27 – Kolmanskop: Early morning and afternoon photography in the Lüderitz and Kolmanskop area. Once a booking mining town, Kolmanskip faced depopulation after the diamond mine collapsed. The town is now overwhelmed with sand, around the buildings and inside them. Overnight at Luderitz Nest Hotel. (B, L, D)

June 28 – Travel to Sossusvlei: Early morning photography in Lüderitz or Kolmanskop. Then, depart in group vehicles with lunch en route to Sossusvlei, which is one of the most photographed places in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, how and when you photograph there is very important and our guides will know what to do. In fact, from the property of our overnight accommodations, you can reach Sossusvlei before sunrise, and stay until after sunset—a special and unique requirement needed to get the best photography field sessions possible. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge. (B, L, D)

June 29-30 – Sossusvlei: Early morning, afternoon and night photography in the Sossusvlei surroundings. Located in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park, the Sossusvlei region is a salt and clay pan famous for its sand dunes. The dunes range in color from deep orange to bright pink and are some of the largest in the world, occasionally exceeding 1,000 feet. The fascinating colors of the dunes are due to oxidation of the sand’s high iron content. The older dunes are more intensely red, and some of the more stable dunes are partially covered with vegetation. Underground and ephemeral rivers occasionally flood the pans, creating marshes known as vlei in the Afrikaans language. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge. (B, L, D)

July 1 – Travel to the Skeleton Coast: Today you will transfer to the airstrip for your private scenic light aircraft flight to Swakopmund
(SWP). Enjoy a relaxing group lunch and coastal breezes on the deserted beach of the Skeleton Coast—truly unique to this itinerary in an area of Namibia where driving the roads can be extremely dangerous. The Skeleton Coast is famous for its rocky coastline and remains of shipwrecks, and cannot be overlooked when visiting Namibia. Afterwards, transfer back to the airport for your private light aircraft flight to Okahirongo Elephant Lodge. Overnight at Okahirongo Elephant Lodge. (B, L, D)

July 2 – Kaokoveld: There are numerous desert-adapted mammal species that inhabit Kaokoveld including desert elephants. Along with Mali’s Sahara region, the Kaokoveld is the only place where elephants have adapted to a desert environment. The indigenous black rhino was extinguished from Kaokoveld a few decades ago but have been successfully reintroduced and now roam the land along with small herds of oryx, kudu, springbok, ostrich, giraffe, and mountain zebra. In addition to seeing more wildlife, you will visit the ancient tribe of semi-nomadic herders known as the Himba. They have attracted photographers from all over the world, particularly as the women ritually apply paste to their skin and hair to protect themselves from the sun and insects. Stay at a very serene and luxurious lodge, where vegetables come from their organic garden and chalets boast unhindered views of pristine desert landscapes. Overnight at Okahirongo Elephant Lodge. (B, L, D)

July 3 – Travel to Etosha National ParkToday you will have a private light aircraft flight to Mokuti Etosha Lodge near the legendary Etosha National Park. Arrival date is timed perfectly to line up with the onset of the dry season when wildlife as the salt pan becomes almost completely barren. Overnight at Mokuti Etosha Lodge. (B, L, D)

July 4-5 – Etosha National Park: As Namibia’s premiere wildlife destination, the park is named for and dominated by the Etosha Pan. In addition to the salt pan, the park is covered by mopane scrubland as well as tall tree forests of the unique moringa or “ghost tree.” The 850-kilometer fence surrounding the park protects the reserve’s diverse wildlife from external contamination and has resulted in many healthy populations. The park is also home to excellent concentrations of elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard and cheetah, and promises sightings of the endemic black-faced impala and endangered black rhinoceros. Mokuti Etosha Lodge is the perfect venue for exploring the famous eastern side of Etosha National Park where the best wildlife photography opportunities are guaranteed. Overnight at Mokuti Etosha Lodge. (B, L, D)

July 6 – Return to Windhoek: Wake up for breakfast at Mokuti Etosha Lodge, followed by a two-hour private light aircraft flight back to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek where you will connect to your departing commercial flights. (B)

PLEASE NOTE:

  • VISA: Passports must have at least six months of validity remaining beyond your planned date of departure. At least six completely blank pages are required for entry; tourist visas are issued upon arrival at Windhoek.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: We always strongly recommend arranging travel insurance. Travelguard.com is excellent.
  • FLIGHTS: Four private flights are included (Sossus Dune Lodge - Swakopmund Airport (SWP) - Okahirongo Elephant Lodge - Mokuti Etosha Lodge - Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH)). Please contact us if you would like recommendations regarding flights to and from Windhoek, Namibia (airport code: WDH)
  • GRATUITIES: Tips are included. Our local guides, drivers, and lodging staff work very hard to make our experience in Namibia be the best it can be, and Visionary Wild budgets for a healthy group tip in recognition of their services. Guests may tip additionally if they would like to recognize exceptional service.

Eddie Soloway

Eddie Soloway’s photographs are the expression of his passion for the natural world. In 1998, he received the Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award presented by the Santa Fe Center for Photography, and in 2010 Photo District News named Eddie one of America’s best photography workshop teachers. In 2014 he was one of twenty photographers selected into the international “Power of the Image” exhibition which premiered in Beijing. He divides his time between speaking on photography and creativity for National Geographic and other organizations, teaching for leading photographic institutions, making fine-art prints, and publishing photographic projects. His book, One Thousand Moons, was published in 2004, the dvd, A Natural Eye Workshop, in 2009, and A Natural Eye video series in 2015. His workshops and educational offerings may be seen at www.anaturaleye.com

Michael Melford

National Geographic Photographer Michael Melford has worked with the Society for over 30 years. He has produced 19 feature stories for National Geographic magazine, and over 30 stories for National Geographic Traveler magazine.Born in New York, Michael received a bachelor’s in photography from Syracuse University and returned to New York City in 1977 to start his career.

He has been on assignment the past eleven years mostly for the National Geographic magazine, celebrating the marvels of our National Parks: Acadia, Glen Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Waterton/Glacier, and Death Valley, and a cover story on Our National Parks in Peril (2006). Michael recently shot for National Geographic's "The 50th Anniversary for the Wilderness Act" (2014), which was ranked #2 story of the year by the readers of National Geographic. Other National Geographic stories include: “Saving Civil War Battlefields,” “King Herod: Architect of the Holy Land,” and “Russian Kronotsky Preserve: Let it Be.” and “Solar Energy”.

Michael has produced photography for eight books for National Geographic, including three in Alaska, his favorite being Treasures of Alaska. He has received many awards for his photographs, but prefers to remain humble and share his knowledge, his love of nature, and his sense of humor with students of photography.

Michael has built an excellent reputation as an instructor and photo trip leader, teaching photography through the National Geographic, giving one-day seminars around the country, and onboard the various ships that NG has stationed around the world. His first photo expedition with Visionary Wild is to New Zealand’s south island, focus of a March 2014 feature article for National Geographic magazine.

WEBSITE: www.michaelmelford.com

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Michael Melford, Photographer, by National Geographic Live!

MICHAEL MELFORD

Born in New York 1950

Studied Photography at Syracuse University, Graduated 1973

Moved to New York City to pursue Career in Photography 1977

Contributing Photographer to LIFE Magazine, 1981

Worked for many publications including cover articles for :

Newsweek,  Time,  Life,  Fortune,  Smithsonian,  Geo,  Travel & Leisure, 

Travel Holiday, National Geographic Traveler,  Coastal Living,  Adventure Magazine.

Contributing Photographer to National Geographic Traveler, 1998

Began work for National Geographic Magazine (yellow magazine) 2003.  First assignment:  Acadia National Park. 

Just completed 19th assignment for National Geographic Magazine.

 

Awards include:  

POYi-1st Place Features Nature/Science

World Press Images Photos of the Year    

International Center of Photography

New York Art Director’s Club

Communication Arts Photo Annual

Graphis Photo Annual

The Missouri School of Journalism

Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Photography

Caribbean Tourism Award for Best Magazine Photographer

 

Books Published:

New England: Land of Scenic Splendor (National Geographic)      

The Emerald Realm (National Geographic) 

Canada’s Incredible Coasts (National Geographic)        

National Geographic Guide to New England

National Geographic Guide to Alaska

National Geographic Guide to San Diego

The Smithsonian Guide to Historic America   

Classic Photographs (Life)

Big Sky Country (Rizzoli)        

Treasures of Alaska (National Geographic)

Hidden Alaska-Bistol Bay and Beyond (National Geographic)

A Day in the Life of Japan ( Collins )

A Day in the Life of America ( Collins )

Expertise is in shooting the wonders of travel and nature and the people who occupy that landscape. An enthusiastic teacher of photography, with a great sense of humor.

Highlights

  • Two excellent photographers, Michael Melford and Eddie Soloway, acclaimed for their teaching abilities and extensive knowledge on photography
  • All flying is on a private basis in one C208 Caravan, which will allow for greater luggage capacity (60-70lbs per person) than the standard 44lbs per person.
  • Red dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Quiver tree forest near Keetmanshoop
  • Giants Playground rock formations
  • Ghost town of Kolmanskop, overwhelmed by sand
  • Skeleton Coast port of Swakopmund, including lunch on the beach
  • Desert-adapted African wildlife
  • Etosha National Park and the use of vehicles that feature photographer's chairs with fully adjustable 360-degree revolving, gas-assist-lifted Wimberley camera mounts
  • Two photo instructors and experienced local naturalist guides ensure excellent participant support and an incredibly rich learning experience.
  • Small group size and low ratio of participants to instructors and guides
  • Excellent accommodations

Accommodations & Travel

 

Package includes:

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Fly into Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) to be met for ground transfer to our hotel the first night. In-Africa flights are included. All ground transfers, transportation, and excursions are included. Walks on location will be relatively easy. Temperatures throughout the trip should range from afternoon highs around 80ºF and nighttime lows around 30ºF. Expect sun and little or no precipitation. Fog is a possibility near the coast.