Workshops and Tours with AIPP* Accredited Professional Photographer Mark Rayner - New 2018 and 2019 Workshops available for booking.

Fifteen Day Namibia African Safari Adventure Photography Tour and Workshop
When: 28 May - 11 June 2019

Where: Namibia - AFRICA

Book now to secure your spot on this amazing photography workshop and tour.

Bookings at the bottom of this page.

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Please join Australian professional wildlife photographer Mark Rayner and the superb Encompass Africa guides on an amazing photography journey of a lifetime in Africa.

What makes this Photographic safari so special?

This is the ultimate Namibia photographic safari.

Join Mark and superb naturalist guides exploring the beautiful landscapes of Namibia staying in great camps, lodges and even mobile camping on our very own exclusive site with the stars above you!

You'll meet Himba, track desert elephant, rhino and more whilst on the mobile safari not to mention fly over the Sossusvlei region in helicopter for that bird's eye perspective.

So why Namibia I hear you say?

Namibia is a vast country, even by African standards, covering an area approximately four times the size of the United Kingdom but with a population of a mere 2 million - one of the lowest densities in the world. It is also an 'ageless land’; visible through our heritage of rock art created by stone-age artists and geological attractions such as the petrified forest where fossilised tree trunks have lain for over 280 million years.

Added to the space and silence, these all contribute to a feeling of antiquity, solitude and wilderness.

The climate is typical of a semi-desert country. Days are warm to hot and nights are generally cool. Temperatures are modified by the high plateau in the interior and by the cold Benguela Current that runs along the Atlantic coastline. Except for the first few months of the year, the country is generally dry with very little rain.

This private guided safari affords you the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country in a very personal way. You will have your own professional and experienced safari guide who will enhance your enjoyment of this unique country by making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery.

The knowledge, experience and attitude of our guides are critical to a successful safari, which is why we ensure that they are both personable and very professional.

Your guide will have an intimate knowledge of each area and camp/lodge that you visit, allowing them to share the local highlights whilst adding continuity and depth to your safari. It goes without saying that they know exactly what a "True African Safari" is all about. Not only are our guides highly qualified, each has a specific area of expertise. Together they possess the breadth and depth of knowledge to allow them to answer questions and satisfy the particular interests of each of our guests. Your guide will turn your safari into an experience of a lifetime!

A word from Trekabout’s strategic partner, Encompass Africa

It’s all about you

Our passion is creating holidays that are exactly right for you, the independent-minded, smart and savvy traveller who values unrivalled expertise, trusted advice, first hand on-the-ground knowledge and personal service. 

We handpick every extraordinary aspect of our journeys. Then we handcraft flexible, imaginative and seamless itineraries and execute them flawlessly. Our experience delivers you insider access through resident experts who reveal the secrets of each destination. Our uncompromising attention to detail and exceptional personalised service is our key ingredient.
We only specialise in Africa and nothing else.  Africa is what our lives are all about and it's still my home.  To ensure the highest standard of service and unsurpassed knowledge, we employ the most experienced and passionate safari specialists who are African, been past guides, lived, worked and travelled to all of the exciting destinations in Africa we recommend. 
Aside from expert advice, personal service and great value for money, Encompass Africa offers peace of mind to all travellers.  We are a member of  Australia's Travel Compensation Fund, ATTA (Advancing Tourism to Africa) and a fully licensed Australian based tour operator. We pride ourselves on good business practices and are part of a responsible community of the leading companies in African tourism. We guarantee you 24/7 contact in Australia and whilst travelling with us in Africa. Your safety is at the heart of our business and we love chatting about Africa not matter what the time of day.
Finally we like to ensure our guests enjoy an extraordinary journey to Africa rather than an ordinary holiday at an extraordinary price.

We personally want you to share with you what it really means to experience a true safari adventure in a continent that for me is the most exciting and rewarding on earth.

Bring the Journey to life . Click this link for your virtual itinerary tour.
Namibia Deserts and Wildlife Photographic Safari

Itinerary and Program of Events

Day 1: Windhoek

After landing at Windhoek’s International Hosea Kutako Airport, about 40 kilometres outside of Windhoek, you will be welcomed by your personal Ultimate Safaris naturalist guide who will transfer you into town and on to Villa Vista Guesthouse where you will stay overnight in their beautifully designed rooms. You will be treated to a short city orientation tour of Windhoek enroute if that appeals. The rest of the afternoon is there for you to relax and settle into your charming accommodation, with the option to explore Windhoek city shops and craft market if desired. Dinner this evening is enjoyed out at one of the restaurants in town with your guide/s.

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Windhoek Capital City: Windhoek, Namibia’s capital nestles among rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the east, the Auas Mountains to the south and the Khomas Hochland in the west. It is a meeting place between Africa and Europe, the modern and the old. In the capital’s main street, well-preserved German colonial buildings are in sharp contrast with modern architectural styles, while Herero women in their traditional Victorian dresses mingle with executives dressed in the latest fashions. Centrally located within Namibia, Windhoek is an excellent starting point for an adventurous holiday for many visitors to the country and an ideal base from where to explore the rest of the country.

Villa Vista is an upmarket accommodation establishment situated in a quiet neighbourhood close to the Windhoek city centre (approx. 1.2km). Being well situated makes it a true home hidden in the big city life. All the rooms are individually decorated in a unique style, using wood, glass, candles and natural elements. Looking out over the garden, swimming pool, town, western mountains and afternoon sunsets, the open terrace offers a romantic and peaceful experience. Facilities include a sauna, swimming pool, gym and free Wi-Fi service provides the luxury of being able to finish-off some last minute work and send emails. A laundry service is available on request.
Day 2 - Keetmanshoop

After breakfast it's time to check out and meet your guides. Depart in your private vehicles and head south via the Khomas Hochland to the Southern Namibian Kalahari.  On arrival at the Quiver Tree Forest check in and spend one night at Quiver Tree Rest Camp staying in igloo bungalows with all meals included. Afternoon excursion to the Quivertree Forest with an option after sunset for night photography

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Day 3 - Luderitz

After breakfast, it's time to check out. Meet your guides in reception at the agreed time and depart for the coastal town of Luderitz.
Enjoy a scenic drive to your hotel, superbly located with a seaside location and enjoying uninterrupted ocean views and private tidal beach.
Check in and spend two nights at Luderitz Nest Hotel with all meals included.
Spend this afternoon at leisure or explore the historic town of Luderitz and its charming architecture and notable buildings such as the historic Goerke House and 'Felsenkirche' (Church on the Rock)
This evening, you will enjoy dinner with your guides at a restaurant in Luderitz specialising in seafood.

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Day 4 - Luderitz - Kolmanskop

Today, meet your guides and enjoy shared morning and afternoon Kolmanskop Ghost Town Tour to take advantage of the different angles of light for photographic opportunities and exploring the desolate streets and abandoned buildings of a bygone era.

Amongst the sands of the Namib, the crumbling buildings of a small, once-luxurious town emerge from the drifting dunes. This ghost town is Kolmanskop, a reminder of the wealth of a time when diamonds could be picked by hand from the desert, and a remarkable photographic opportunity with few equals anywhere on earth.

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Day 5 - Sossusvlei

After breakfast, it's time to check out. Meet your guides at the agreed time and enjoy a scenic road transfer north through scenic desert landscapes to the Namib Naukluft National Park, visiting the feral horses near Aus enroute.
You will enter the Namib Naukluft National Park and arrive at your afro village style accommodation situated within the park before sunset.

This most frequently visited section of the massive 50,000 km² Namib Naukluft National Park has become known as Sossusvlei, famous for its towering apricot coloured sand dunes which can be reached by following the Tsauchab River valley. Sossusvlei itself is actually a clay pan set amidst these star shaped dunes which stand up to 300 meters above the surrounding plains, ranking them among the tallest dunes on earth. The deathly white clay pan contrasts against the orange sands and forms the endpoint of the ephemeral Tsauchab River, within the interior of the Great Sand Sea. The river course rises south of the Naukluft Mountains in the Great Escarpment. It penetrates the sand sea for some 55 km before it finally peters out at Sossusvlei, about the same distance from the Atlantic Ocean. Until the encroaching dunes blocked its course around 60,000 years ago, the Tsauchab River once reached the sea; as ephemeral rivers still do in the northern half of the Namib. Sand-locked pans to the west show where the river previously flowed to before dunes shifted its endpoint to where it currently gathers at Sossusvlei.
Roughly once a decade rainfall over the catchment area is sufficient to bring the river down in flood and fill the pan. On such occasions the mirror images of dunes and camel thorn trees around the pan are reflected in the water. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. Another, famous for its gnarled and ghostly camel thorn trees, is Deadvlei which can be reached on foot over 1 km of sand. Deadvlei’s striking camel thorn trees, dead for want of water, still stand erect as they once grew. They survived until about 900 years ago when the sand sea finally blocked the river from occasionally flooding the pan.
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Day 6 - Sossusvlei

This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion into the Namib Naukluft National Park, entering the Park gates at sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate their towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Your local guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. Once you have explored the areas around Sossusvlei and Deadvlei to your hearts content, you can enjoy a relaxing picnic breakfast in the shade of a camel thorn tree.  Afterwards, drive to the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Namib Desert with your  guides and vehicles for photographic opportunities. Spend one night at Kulala Desert Lodge with all meals included.
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Day 7 - Swakopmund

After breakfast, it's time to check out. Meet your guide at the agreed time and continue your journey northwest through ever changing desert scenery. Drive through Ghaub and Kuiseb Canyons to meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay, detouring past the lagoon to see enjoy photographic opportunities of the interesting mix of pelicans, flamingos and the sea birds.
Swakopmund: Swakopmund resembles a small, German coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea. It boasts a charming combination of German colonial architecture blended with good hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, craft centre, galleries and cafés. Swakopmund had its beginnings as a landing station in 1892 when the German Reich erected the first building, a barracks for troops on the site. Settlers followed and attempts to create a harbour town by constructing a concrete Mole and then iron jetty failed. The advent of World War 1 halted developments and the town sank into decline until half a century later when infrastructures improved and an asphalt road opened between Windhoek and Swakopmund. This made reaching the previously isolated town quicker and easier and it prospered once again to become Namibia’s premier resort town. Although the sea is normally cold for swimming there are pleasant beaches and the cooler climate is refreshing after the time spent in the desert.
Desert Breeze: Located on the banks of the ephemeral Swakop River and just a few minutes' drive from the centre of town, Desert Breeze provides the perfect escape to experience space, tranquility and serenity. Desert Breeze offers 12 en-suite, luxury bungalows and one exquisite villa, each with a private sun deck to admire the breath-taking view of the dunes. Expressing sophisticated style and luxury from their accommodation right through to their breakfast facilities, Desert Breeze endeavours to make their guests feel pampered and spoiled. Each bungalow and villa is equipped with wireless internet, mini bar, coffee and tea making facilities and digital safes. We serve only the freshest of produce for breakfast and seating is available indoors or on the deck for guest to enjoy the view and peaceful atmosphere. Big basalt sculptures along with colourful and very unique architecture not only stand in contrast to, yet compliment the desert landscape. The creative luxury bungalows along with the friendly staff will make your stay very special.
Day 8 - Swakopmund

After an early breakfast your guide will drive you to Walvisbay where you will join their exciting Sandwich Harbour Tour activity. Your guides will meet you with one of their vehicles. From there, you will begin with your Sandwich Harbour Excursion to see the Kuiseb River Delta, flamingoes, the saltpans and the wetlands just north of the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon. If weather and tides allow, we will drive right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands. If our vehicles cannot drive all along the beach to get to Sandwich Harbour because of the tides, you will have the time to walk 4-5 km. you will return at 16h30 in Walvis Bay where your guide will pick you up and transfer you back to Swakopmund.
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Day 9 - Twyfelfontein

After breakfast, it's time to check out. Meet your guides at the agreed time and enjoy the scenic drive to Damaraland, via the Brandberg Mountain in the distance.

Tonight is enjoyed at Doro Nawas with all meals included. Spend the rest of the late afternoon at leisure.
Day 10 - Palmwag

This morning after breakfast, head out with your guides and search for desert-adapted elephants in the morning.
Afterwards, drive to Grootberg Lodge.

Desert Adapted Elephant: In habitats with sufficient vegetation and water an adult elephant consumes as much as 300 kg of roughage and 230 litres of water every day of its life. Consider what a herd of them would eat and drink in a week or a month or a year. Finding an African elephant in a desert? Well, yes and not only elephant, but other large mammals as well, such as black rhinoceros and giraffe. Their ranges extend from river catchments in northern Kaokoveld as far south as the northern Namib. Apart from the Kunene River, seven river courses northwards from the Ugab provide them with possible routes across the desert, right to the Skeleton Coast. The biggest are the Hoarusib, the Hoanib, the Huab and the Ugab Rivers. Desert adapted elephant in Kaokoland and the Namib walk further for water and fodder than any other elephant in Africa. The distances between waterholes and feeding grounds can be as great as 68 km. The typical home range of a family herd is larger than 2,000 km², or eight times as big as ranges in central Africa where rainfall is much higher. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day. To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. Not a separate species or even a subspecies, they are an ecotype unique to Namibia in Africa south of the equator, behaviourally adapted to hyper-arid conditions. Elephant in Mali on the southwestern fringe of the Sahara Desert are the only others known to survive in similar conditions.
Day 11 - Etosha South

After breakfast, it's time to check out. Meet your guides at the agreed time and enjoy the scenic transfer to Etosha National Park, visiting an authentic Himba settlement along the way. You enter the Etosha National Park through the Andersson’s entrance gate and continue to Okaukuejo Camp to arrive at the camp before sunset.
Experience three nights at Okaukuejo Camp in waterhole chalets.

The Himba: The Himba, Tjimba and other Herero people who inhabit Namibia’s remote north-western Kunene Region are loosely referred to as the Kaokovelders. Basically Herero in terms of origin, language and culture, they are semi-nomadic pastoralists who tend to tend from one watering place to another. They seldom leave their home areas and maintain, even in their own, on which other cultures have made little impression. For many centuries they have lived a relatively isolated existence and were not involved to any noteworthy extent in the long struggle for pasturelands between the Nama and the Herero. The largest group of Kaokovelders is the Himba, semi-nomads who live in scattered settlements throughout the Kunene Region. They are a tall, slender and statuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly bearing. The women especially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments.

They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skins against the harsh desert climate. The homes of the Himba of Kaokoland are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The men build the structures, while the women mix the clay and do the plastering. A fire burns in the headman’s hut day and night, to keep away insects and provide light and heating. A family may move from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing for their goats and cattle. A Himba woman spends as much as three hours a day on her toilette. First she bathes, then she anoints herself with her own individually prepared mixture which not only protects her skin from the harsh desert sun, but also keeps insects away and prevents her body hair from falling out. She uses another mixture of butter fat, fresh herbs and black coals to rub on her hair, and ‘steams’ her clothes regularly over the permanent fire. Men, women and children adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, anklets and belts made from iron and shell beads. With their unusual and striking designs, these items have gained a commercial value and are being produced on a small scale for the urban market. Sculptural headrests in particular are sought-after items.
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Day 12 - Etosha South

Enjoy a full day game viewing in the southern and central section of the Etosha National Park with your guides and vehicles (including a picnic lunch in the park). You arrive back at the camp before sunset.

Etosha National Park: Etosha National Park covers 22,270 km², of which approximately 5,000 km² is made up of saline depressions or ‘pans’. The largest of these pans, the Etosha Pan, can be classified as a saline desert in its own right. The Etosha Pan lies in the Owambo Basin, on the north-western edge of the Namibian Kalahari Desert. Until three million years ago it formed part of huge, shallow lake that was reduced to a complex of salt pans when the major river that fed it, the Kunene, changed course and began to flow to the Atlantic instead. If the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world. Etosha is the largest of the pans at 4,760 km² in extent. It is nowadays filled with water only when sufficient rain falls to the north in Angola, inducing floods to flow southward along the Cuvelai drainage system. The Park consists of grassland, woodland and savannah. Game-viewing centers around the numerous springs and waterholes where several different species can often be seen at one time. The Park boasts some 114 mammal and over 340 bird species. Wildlife that one might see includes elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger and warthog, as well as the endemic black faced impala.
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Day 13 - Etosha South

Another full day of game viewing in the southern and central section of the Etosha National Park with your guides and vehicles (including a picnic lunch in the park)
You arrive back at the camp before sunset
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Day 14: Etosha - Windhoek

After breakfast, it's time to check out. Meet your guides and drive via the small towns of Outjo and Otjiwarongo to Okahandja. While in Okahandja, enjoy a visit to a woodcarver’s market. Afterwards, you will continue on to Windhoek. On arrival, check in and spend one night at Villa Vista with all meals included. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, indulge in some shopping, or explore the city of Windhoek for photographic opportunities. This evening, enjoy dinner with your guides at a choice of restaurant in Windhoek.
Day 15 - Windhoek

After breakfast and check out you will be met and transferred by road to Windhoek International Airport in time to check in and catch your scheduled international flight.

Photographic Prerequisites:

This amazing photography tour workshop is designed to suit the beginner or serious enthusiast. A digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera is recommended, however, any camera that has manual functions would also be suitable. Best lenses to bring include a longer zoom and wide angled lens. A sturdy tripod is essential.


Accommodation and meals as stated.
Mark Rayner, professional photographer from Trekabout with you the entire way
Transportation in luxury air-conditioned safari vehicles.
Services of a registered and experienced English speaking safari guide (per vehicle - 2 vehicles in convoy) for the duration of the safari.
All National Park and other entrance fees and excursions as described in above itinerary.
Mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
Local beverages excluding imported and premier beverages whilst mobile camping.
Return airport transfers from / to Windhoek International Airport.
Welcome pack.


International flights to and from Namibia and airport taxes.
Any meals not included in the above itinerary.
Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary.
All beverages with the exception of mineral water on board the safari vehicle and local beverages whilst mobile camping.
Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost).
Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).

Costs: $11436.00 (AUD) Twin Share - Single supplement (limited) $649.00 (AUD)


All bookings and payments for this workshop are handled through Encompass Africa.

To book, please call Jonathon Wilson from Encompass Africa on 1300 988 378 or email or click here for more information.

Travel Insurance

You must secure travel insurance.

This workshop is limited at 8 participants to ensure your comfort.

The workshop requires a minimum 6 bookings to proceed

Bring the Journey to life . Click this link for your virtual itinerary tour.
Namibia Deserts and Wildlife Photographic Safari