Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps
Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps

Namib in Flood | 11-21 Feb 2022 | R49 900pps

Regular price R 49,900.00

This is a once off opportunity to capture the Namibian desert in a very singular phase of time. For a few years each decade, the La Niña rains and floods cause the desert to erupt into a wonderland of water, grass and flowers.

From 2011 to 2020, the Namib Desert went through one of the harshest droughts in recorded history as the Southern Hemisphere went through a dry macro weather cycle. We are now at the opposite end of the pendulum as the Namib finally flooded again in 2021. The 2022 summer rainfall season has kicked off with an incredible show. The highveld’s dams are nearly full at the start of the season and the Karoo’s decade long drought has been broken by several weeks of incredible rain. As the patterns shift, it is only a few more weeks before Namibia’s rainfall season starts. The bulk of their rains fall in late January through March and with the incredible rains of 2021, the ground water is already plentiful and the desert is scattered with billions of grass seeds waiting for the first rains. The miraculous transformation of the desert is just one powerful low-pressure system away.

Join us for this 10-day tour to photograph the Namib Desert during one of nature’s most incredible transformations. 2022 will be our 12th year running photographic tours to Namibia and we know the destinations intimately, which ensures that you get the best possible photographic opportunities while we peek over your shoulder to ensure that you capture the moment in perfect detail.


Experience
A Miracle

The Namib Desert at it's most beautiful

Designed for Locals

Self Drive | SADC Rates | No Excess

This trip has been designed to capitalise on the opportunities presented with the height of Namibia’s rainy season, while making use of SADC rates due to the pandemic and economizing the trip for self-drive from South Africa. 

At normal rates, just the accommodation on this tour would exceed the total tour price by 20%. The silver lining to the pandemic is that we get to stay in high end accommodation built for tourists who earn dollars or euros. This trip is exclusive to SADC residents as the pricing is heavily dependent on SADC rates offered by the lodges at the moment. 

Providing transport in Namibia is extremely expensive (for operators who adhere to the law in order to comply with all insurance regulation), so by making this a self-drive trip, we can get the price down by about R25 000pp. Watch out for trips that seem to good to be true - 90% of the time they are not using professional drivers and don’t have the necessary operators licences and insurance to transport clients. If things go pear-shaped, you will be stuck in a foreign country with massive hospital bills that your insurance won’t pay. 

Unlike our usual Namibia offerings designed for fly-in arrivals, this tour does not have a Windhoek arrival and departure night, which shaves about R5 000pp off the price. 

This tour starts at Quiver Tree Forest, which is en-route for travellers entering Namibia from the South or East of SA. It ends at Sossusvlei, after which you can choose to continue your trip or head home.

We have trimmed all excess from the trip that would normally be included in our Namibia tours for the overseas market, which inflates the price. These expenses are now in your hands and you can choose to have 3-course meals if you want, or you can keep it simple and economic. You can choose to do a helicopter or balloon flight at Sossusvlei if you want to, or you can keep costs down and do another shoot in the beautiful Tsauchab Valley. 

Covid-19 Testing | Entering and Exiting Namibia

ENTRY - Namibia requires a PCR COVID-19 test no older than 7 days upon entry. You can do this at home before leaving. 

DEPARTURE - South Africa allows citizens/residents to re-enter subject to a negative rapid test no older than 24 hours. 

Those heading to the Cape can do this test at the Vioolsdrif border mobile clinic.

Those heading east via the Ariamsvlei/Nakop border crossing towards Gauteng or other provinces will have to get a rapid test done in a Namibian town and cross the border within 24 hours. We will arrange  this testing either at Sossusvlei or in the town of Mariental on our morning of departure, depending on the spread of participants and how they will be departing. As this situation is very fluid, we will arrange it closer to the time. The cost of these test will be for your own account. 

COVID-19 Travel Bans | What if the Borders Close?

We believe there is enough solidarity in support of tourism amongst the SADC community that travel will not be locked down between SA and Namibia again. If it happens, we will defer the trip to later dates in consultation with all booked participants.

You will not lose any money paid to us, but we cannot issue refunds due to government-mandated travel bans. 

Highlights

Experiencing the most iconic Namibian landscapes in a rare state of beauty.

Green grass and vegetation transform the already beautiful desert landscape into a magnificent one.

Due to international travel being limited due to Covid, the deserts are not being visited by the hordes of tourists. Sossusvlei has been especially quiet and we expect it to remain as such throughout March. This means a beautifully quiet desert free of other tourists and photographers. 

Travel with two photographers who have explored the desert during the first rains to document the birth of desert life, gaining insight into the best locations and unique scenes for you to capture.

Exploring a pristine and natural wilderness mostly all to ourselves.

Being invigorated by nature in a very pure form.

A diverse photographic experience. We will explore the deserts with both wide angle lenses and long lenses, from 16mm to 400mm.

Breaking free of the constraints of pre-visualisation; be guided by Shem and Hougaard at dawn and sunset shoots.

Daily talks and sharing of insights, the thought processes and planning that goes into great image making.

Learning why great, award winning images are the result of the photographer’s passionate intent, engagement with the world in the frame and most importantly, creative vision.

Learning about the journey of expression – bring your vision to others.

Being mentored by two highly experienced nature photographers with an unmatched passion for the Namibian desert. 

Kwessi Dunes

Experience luxurious lodges and exclusive concessions at an affordable rate

Itinerary

11 Feb | Quiver Tree Forest

Arrive at QTF by 3pm, situated 20km outside the town of Keetmanshoop. Meet and greet, followed by sunset shoot.

12 Feb | Fish River Canyon

Sunrise shoot, breakfast, then 2.5 hour drive to FRC. Check into lodge, relax, sunset shoot overlooking the canyon in the afternoon.

13, 14 Feb | Luderitz

Early departure for the cool ocean weather at Luderitz. 2 Days of capturing the legendary ghost town of Kolmanskop with special access.

15, 16, 17 Feb | Namib Rand

3 Nights in a brand new luxury lodge on a virgin concession in the Namib Rand where few photographers have been. Grand open landscapes and wildlife. 

18, 19, 20 Feb | Sossusvlei

3 Nights at Namibia’s most famous landscape to capture the trees of Deadvlei and the iconic towering dunes. 

21 Feb | End of Tour

Sunrise shoot and final goodbyes. 

What About
Those Famous Lilies?

The lilies' brief flowering period is completely dependent on when the first big rains fall in the area. It is extremely probable that it will happen just before our tour, as it is normally at the end of January or start of February.

1. Should the stars align and the lilies be in flower in the days before our trip, we will add this as an optional pre-tour extra at no cost. You just have to cover your expenses.
2. Should the lilies flower while we are in the Namib Rand or Sossusvlei, we will arrange an optional sunset shoot at the lilies, which are about a 2h drive away.

Prospects
Of Rain

We obviously cannot gaurantee that the rain will fall, but we aren’t taking wild guesses either. Our optimism that 2022 will be a good rain year is based on just over a decade obsessing over Namibia’s rainfall in combination with concrete meteorological data. 

10 January Update - The ITCZ is now ideally positioned for good rain in Namibia and the first major system is forecast for 14-18 January.

Knowledge and Experience

We check Namibia’s weather forecasts and rainfall figures more than we do for our hometown. We experienced and captured the 2011 floods and visited Namibia annually through the dry years. The drought peaked in 2017 and since 2018 Namibia has slowly been getting wetter year by year. 2021 was the first time in a decade that Sossusvlei flooded. It is stressful organising trips when the rain hasn’t fallen yet, but Namibia’s rainfall season only starts in late January. If we wait for the rain to fall before we start arranging a trip, we’ll miss the best phase - green grass and billowing skies. 

A very good indicator of the year to come is the rain that has fallen now in the Western Karoo/Boesmanland during Nov/Dec. Their drought of nearly a decade is finally broken.  

Science

La Nina is the strongest it has been in many years, with an 84% probability for a La Nina event during Dec - Feb of 2022, neutral conditions forecast for winter and El Nino (which brings drought) not expected to show it’s face during 2022. Meteorologists have been raving all year that the 2022 summer rainfall season will bring record rains to Southern Africa and Australia and those forecasts have come to fruition in the areas where the rains start early. 

The below image shows the 2022 probability forecasts of the International Research Institute and Climate Society of the Columbia University, one of the world’s top meteorological research institutes. You can simply google ‘2022 ENSO Forecast’ for more sources. The Australian BOM (beaureau of meteorology) is also a great source of information.

The easiest way to interpret the below data is to look at the top rows of the table at the bottom. It shows the probability of La Nina - Neutral - El Nino conditions during NDJ (Nov-Dec-Jan) and the following months. It is clear that a La Nina event will be in full force during the peak of Namibia's rainy months.

Conclusion

Based on experience and scientific data, 2022 should be a good rain year in the desert. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean water in Sosssuvlei, but at the very least we hope for grass in the Namib Rand, rainbows, sweeping rain and billowing storm clouds. If we get water in Sossusvlei, we’ll obviously take it.

Additional Information | Fly-In Option

If you want to fly in and rent a car, we can assist with the necessary arrangements. 

Please note that you require a 4x4 vehicle for Sossusvlei, which costs around R1500/day before fuel. Please note that you will need at least one extra day in Windhoek at the end of the tour to wait for the necessary PCR test to re-enter SA via an airport. 

This flight has to be late afternoon to allow at least 24 hours for the test result. Keep in mind that it is possible for the test to take longer than 24 hours, which will require a flight change and another night in Windhoek. 

In total, car rental, flights, testing and accommodation will cost around R30 000, but this cost comes down substantially if the car rental is shared amongst several people. We do not recommend travelling more than 3 people in a vehicle – with luggage and camera gear, 4 people in the average SUV leads to flat tyres on Namibia’s gravel roads. 

If you have any enquiries about this option, please let us know. 

We can provide transport for those who do not wish to self-drive at the below pricing. This will be in a comfortable air-conditioned Toyota 4x4 vehicle with a professional driver/guide. This is just for transport, not the additional costs in Windhoek like accommodation and testing.

1 Pax - R29 000.00pp
2 Pax - R24 500.00pp
3 Pax - R19 000.00pp

Payment and Cancellation Terms

The full price of this tour is R49 900.00 per person sharing, with a single supplement of R7 000.00.

In order to secure your spot on this tour, a deposit of R15 000.00 is required. This deposit can be paid by EFT or using any VISA or MASTERCARD card via Payfast. Please note that your spot on the workshop is NOT confirmed until we have received the deposit payment. 


There are a limited number of single rooms available at a cost of R7 000.00, payable upon booking.

The balance payment of R34 900.00 must be made 15 days prior to the start of the tour. We will send out a final invoice for the full amount to remind you of the due date in safe time. If we have not received your full payment 15 days prior to the start of the tour and you did not inform us of a valid reason for a late payment, Landscape Travel reserves the right to consider your booking as cancelled.

You will need to complete and sign a standard liability disclaimer in order to participate in this tour. 


When booking within 15 days of the start of the tour, immediate full payment will be required to 
secure your spot. 


If you have a valid reason for a late payment like being out of telecommunication or waiting for 
investments to be cashed out, please inform us. 


Medical & Camera Insurance

We do not require participants to take out any insurance to participate in this tour/workshop. but we strongly recommend that you update your camera insurance and add all your filters under all-risk. Clifftop shooting and cold fingers are a recipe for disaster. 

Cancellation

The deposit is not refundable under any circumstance. When you book a spot on the tour, we make all the necessary bookings with all the third parties and pay their required deposit. Most of the deposits we pay are not refundable and thus we cannot refund your deposit. Whatever we still hold is used to defray the administrative work of changing all the bookings made on your behalf. The only exception will be if you can find a substitute to attend the workshop in your place. 


If you need to cancel your participation once you have made full payment, a 75% refund (excluding deposit) will be given up to 30 days prior to the start of the tour. 


Landscape Travel reserves the right to cancel the tour if it is necessary or advisable due to events such as outbreak of conflict, government intervention, expiry of concessions or access right or insufficient booking numbers being available. The operation of the tour is at the sole discretion of Landscape Travel, having in mind the welfare of all participants and the safe and prudent operation of the itinerary and program. In such a case all monies paid by participants for the tour, in holding by Landscape Travel, will be refunded to the participants. This excludes deposits or full payments made to 3rd parties involved in the tour like lodges, charter companies or travel agents.

COVID-19 POLICY - SELF ISOLATE BEFORE THE TOUR!!!!!

Government Mandated Travel Bans

Should this tour become impossible to run due to government-mandated travel bans, we will defer it to 2023 and retain any monies paid as long as all of the involved suppliers extend that same condition to us.
We have not dealt with any suppliers (lodge and hotel groups) who have released bookings and kept monies paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it's associated travel bans. Deferment is the standard approach.

We will under no circumstances cancel the tour and keep your money due to a government-mandated travel ban.

Falling Sick with COVID-19 before the Trip

This is a completely different situation and one that is in each person's own control. It is the booked participant's own responsibility to self-isolate before upcoming travels during a pandemic like this. If you fall sick just before the trip or a positive COVID-19 test prevents you from crossing a border, there are two potential outcomes -

1. We try to reason with our suppliers about the situation and see if we can get a credit/deferment for your bookings so that you can either attend the tour in the following year or do the trip on your own at a later stage. We will do our absolute best to keep your losses to a minimum, but we cannot promise anything. Typically, if cancelling within 30 days of such a trip, one forfeits all monies paid, but the hospitality is more lenient in these trying times.

2. We try to find a substitute to fill your spot on the trip in order to recover as much of your monies as possible. This often requires offering the spot at a discount as well as a minor administration fee from us, so you might not get 100% back.

Please note that deferments normally require any year-to-year price increases in services to be paid as the hospitality industry has been bled dry of all reserves over the last two years and they can no longer absorb these increases.

Terms and Conditions

1. The client who signifies his acceptance of a booking does so on behalf of himself and persons under his authority, which means that all are bound by the terms and conditions of Landscape Travel as if they had made the application themselves.

2. Landscape Travel - HM Landscape Photography (PTY) LTD trading as Landscape Travel is a company registered in South Africa with sole director CH Malan. Landscape Travel  participants on the tour advertised in this document only in a photographic capacity. 

3. Payment Terms

This tour will start on 11 February 2022 and run until the 21st of February 2022. The cost is R49 900.00 per person sharing with a single supplement of R7 000.00

The cost for a non-photographic participant/friend/spouse is R42 500.00 and such a person has to share a room with a photographic participant.

This tour is costed in RAND and that is thus the only constant price. 

As stipulated in the payment and cancellation terms, a non-refundable deposit of R15 000.00 is payable when booking.

A final payment of R34 90.00 will be payable on 25 January 2022 and we will send you a reminder several days before the deadline. 

4. Included in the Tour

Sharing Occupancy accommodation at the lodges stipulated under the "Itinerary" section.

Meals as stipulated under 'Food and Catering'

Continuous assistance with your photography and image processing by the guide.

A highly experienced tour leader with great knowledge and experience of landscape photography and the destination.

5. Not Included in the Tour

Transport to and from the destinations visited.

Transport at the destinations visited.

Any beverages

COVID-19 Testing

Optional activities not indicated as included above.

Alcoholic beverages

Travel visas and associated costs, if applicable.

Expenses of a personal nature, not specifically included above.

Guarantee of any specific weather conditions. We always do our absolute best to make sure we visit a destination in the ideal season and this tour is planned in hope of dramatic summer sunsets, lush green foliage, water in forest streams and the occassional misty morning. 

6. Health Considerations

This photo tour is designed to be within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of the time participants may be required to walk over uneven terrain or trails and occasionally hiking short distances of max. 1km. All with a load of sometimes heavy camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to this photo tour, please contact us to clarify any uncertainties.

By paying the initial non-refundable deposit, you warrant that, to the best of your knowledge you do not have any physical or other disability that would create a risk for you or other participants.

Landscape Travel assumes no responsibility for medical care. We will advise the lodges/hotels of any dietary requirements or restrictions for individual participants, if sufficient notice is provided, but we do not assume responsibility for the delivery of such special dietary requirements.

If you sustain an injury or become ill on the photo tour, Landscape Travel reserves the right to continue the photo tour for the benefit of other participants. Landscape Travel will make every effort to assist you while at the same time trying to minimize interruption to the photo tour.

Landscape Travel reserves the absolute discretion, in the event of behaviour detrimental to other participants, to decline any person’s participation at any time during the photo tour and cancel that person’s participation in the photo tour, in which case any refund will be on a recoverable cost basis only.

7. Liability

Landscape Travel does not accept any liability of whatever nature, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, for the acts, omissions or default, whether negligent or otherwise, of third party providers. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Landscape Travel disclaims liability in contract, tort or otherwise for any injury, damage, loss (including consequential loss), delay, additional expense or inconvenience caused directly or indirectly by force majeure or any other event which is not preventable by reasonable diligence on the part of Landscape Travel.