Namibia – a country that’s approximately 3.4 times bigger than the UK, but the population density per square kilometre is the second lowest in the world, at just 3 compared to the UK population density of 277. (The least densely populated country in the word is Mongolia ) The most densely populated country in the world is Macau at whopping 21,130)
After 3 postponements due to Covid and various changes of guests, my photography tour of Namibia finally happened. It was frustrating having to keep pushing the dates back and I’d rearranged it a few times which meant cancelling all accommodation and car hire. The big difficulty was rebooking 7 rooms at 12 different places in consecutive order, but with a few changes it all came together and a few of my lovely guests stuck with me right from the start for which I was incredibly grateful. On this trip I was the only British person, and my guests were from The Netherlands, Canada & USA.
Here’s a selection of the photos I took this time. Even though I’ve been to Namibia 5 times now I still get excited about the photographic opportunities in this incredible country.
First stop was the QuiverTrees forest, and as we were staying overnight on site, we went into it for sunset, after dinner to photograph the stars, and at sunrise when the moon was still visible.
Despite not many hours sleep, we left immediately after breakfast and drove for 3 hours to Kolmanskop, the abandoned diamond mining town. I love visiting here as there are so many buildings to explore and each time I’ve been, the sand has blown into different shapes and patterns. I also love photographing the texture of the wood with its peeling paint which reveals different colours underneath the layers.
The homes for the single men of the town were fairly basic, and the photo below shows the row of toilets opposite some of them.
Below is part of the town’s school.
The roof is partially or wholly collapsed in a few of the buildings and I climbed up to the second floor of one and saw these great shadows.
Below is probably the grandest house of them all.
Below left – this sun room is attached to the house above.
Below right – I have no idea how the bath ended up outside!
I lined myself up carefully to show the different doorframes and rooms below as I really liked the differences in colours.
There are a handful of good tarmac roads in Namibia, and miles and miles of gravel roads with very little traffic on them. You can see cars coming from miles away because of the dust they create and we made many stops along the way whenever anyone saw a landscape they wanted to photograph. On a 3 hour journey the landscape is ever changing, sometimes purely dramatic, other times absolutely beautiful.
Our car hire owner had advised that we let some air out of the tyres when driving on the gravel roads and this was really good advice as we didn’t have any tyres blow out this time. I hadn’t done this before and it took me a while to deflate just one of them, but 3 of the guys tackled the others much more speedily. I learn by ‘doing’ rather than watching though. Thanks to Christina Grauls for the photo below.
We had two cars and drove in convoy, using walkie talkies to communicate between us.
My guests are always thrilled to see their first Oryx so we always stop, even though it’s guaranteed we’ll see many many more along the way.
Below; Sunset then sunrise at one of our stays in the desert. The sunset there always gives us the most incredible deep orange sky and has to be seen to be believed.
Our next night’s stop was further along a very narrow and sandy road and was new to me this time. It consisted of individual luxury tents perched on a rocky hillside and was reminiscent of days gone by.
A couple of hours after arriving there we had a short downpour followed by a rainbow when it cleared up again.
I love photographing ‘details’ and I always enjoyed that part of my job as a wedding photographer. At this location I wasn’t short of opportunities.