Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Started Jul 27, 2012 | Discussions
Jan Privat Regular Member • Posts: 206
Visiting Africa. Where to go?

I plan a trip to Africa. 2-3 weeks long.

For me it will be the first time, and I'm a bit afraid that I will see nothing but desert.

Right now my travelmate wants to go to Namibia, and travel around with a group of 6 people in two 4x4. A guided round trip with locals. Staying in tents in the middle of the nature most of the time.

My question: Is Namibia a good destination for a hobby photographer, or do you think that there are better areas for a first (and maybe only) visit to Africa? Some other things you just have to have seen.

Thanks a lot,
Jan

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Rich the Hiker Regular Member • Posts: 451
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Went to Namibia 4 years ago on honeymoon, one of the most scenic and awe inspiring photographic places I have ever seen or heard of! Fabulous around every bend in the road.
Naukluft mountains near Solitaire
Sossusvlei
Deadvlei and Dune 45
Spitzkoppe amazing rocks!
Damaraland for Desert Elephants
Etosha for safari experience
CCF for Cheetah runs and close ups of Cheetahs

The beauty of Namibia is that you can experience the safari side of things in bushy green landscape and yet only 3 hours drive from there you are in complete barren desert which calls out for photography, best of both worlds. The ochre dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are stunning against the blue sky.

I would go back to Namibia tomorrow if I could afford to. Endless horizons, great roads and unrivalled beauty. I'm sure others will have other views though, that's the great thing about it being in the eye of the beholder! Enjoy wherever you go.

old age adventurers Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Namibia is a paradise. There is so much to choose from depending on your special interest.

Just prepare well & if you are not experienced with 4x4 make sure you understand the principles. I would recommend hiring a satellite telephone if you are inexperienced & going on lonely roads in your 4x4s. Your local guides will be very experienced but learn from them: e.g. check you equipment carefully before you leave the hire company, & lean how Hilift jack & compressor work. Note if 4x4 sets automatically or manually on the front wheels.

My wife & I (old age pensioners) started 7 years ago to travel alone around africa in our 4x4 with roof top tent. We keep going back to Namibia. We concentrate on wildlife photography But the landscapes & indigenous people offer many opportunities for great shots.

Use this trip to taste the many wonders.

Our website http://www.africaraw.com was started to help beginners. It now has over 400 photographs (e.g. mammals, bird, landscape galleries) & many tips on travel, 4x4, & photography. You might find a peep very useful e.g. see best waterholes in Etosha in photographic tips.

You won't have time now but when you return add in a few days Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in SA which you can enter at Mata Mata from south east border of Namibia. We leave tomorrow for another 5 months!!!!!!!!

Hvae fun!!!!!!!
--
Old age adventurers
http://www.africaraw.com

kayaker353 Contributing Member • Posts: 886
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

My only experience in Africa is in northern Tanzania. It offered the great grazers of the steppe area and related carnovores(gnus, cape bufaloe, zebras, elephants, hippos, rhinos, lions, leapords, cheetahs). It was terrific. Haven't been to Nambia, so cannot offer any comparisons.

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Graham Meale
Graham Meale Senior Member • Posts: 2,107
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Recently did a tour of Namibia and Botswana (with Victoria Falls thrown in at the end). Amazing scenery and wildlife. Have a look at the book on my website. You'll get even better photos if you're patient and not in the confines of a tour group.
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OP Jan Privat Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Thank you all for your input. It will be Namibia this fall.

I will post again if I have some specific photographic questions (thanks for the links!), or at the latest after the trip when I have some pics to share.

Kind regards,
Jan

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mholdef Senior Member • Posts: 1,871
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

My wife and I spent 3 weeks doing our honeymoon in Namibia and Botswana. INCREDIBLE

You can see some of the images I posted here :

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=42393471

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mujana Veteran Member • Posts: 5,026
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Hello Jan.

Africa can be beautiful. My experiences go from Tunesia/Algeria (by own Landrover),Central African Republic, Zaire (Congo now) Uganda/Kenya/Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Possibly going to Namibia next year.

For wildlife I can recommend Tanzania; the numbers are just amazing and you'll be seing the big 5 without any doubt. Kilimanjaro/Ngorongoro Crater/Serengetti. Absolutely the best for wildlife in all Africa (as far as I know it). I would love to visit Namibia next year...but especially for the desolation / sand/desert/sanddunes/landscape and culture (Himba). Ofcourse there's a lot of wildlife too, but I do not believe Tanzania can be beaten when it comes to spotting wildlife.

By the way...I cannot recommend Central African Republic or Congo at the moment (although very impressive and beatifull, these countries are too dangerous at the moment).
Good luck!

p.s. Desert can be very beautiful and impressive and is not only sand/sand (I've driven my own car through the Sahara, so I know:-)

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Jan3x5 Senior Member • Posts: 2,523
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

Hey Jan!

In my opinion, Namibia should be perfect place for the very first trip to Africa (as some other countries). However, as you mentioned that it might be not just a first, but also the last trip to Africa for you, think twice of where to go and plan properly. Especially considering the fact that 3 weeks is quite a lot of time!

In this case, I would suggest you to consider visiting more countries... If you already decided for Namibia, what about to combine it with Botswana (e.g. Chobe NP and Okavango Delta) and even Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe? With such trip, you can enjoy virtually everything - landscapes, desert, wildlife, people...everything top notch. There are other options as well, e.g. if you are looking seriously for the wildlife, Tanzania is a sure shot and you can even combine it with Uganda, or even Zambia or Madagascar...

For sure, it does not make any sense to be in hurry, running through several countries and not fully enjoying it. But within three weeks, you can enjoy so many great things in Africa... Last but not least, I strongly recommend you to find the best local travel agency specialized in Africa and consult with them. That's what we are actually doing and it always paid off! It is always good to talk and plan with the guys, who have been at all places you can consider, being able to answer you every single question asked.

Anyway, wish you a nice journey and let's see, if it will be really the last trip there.

Cheers,
Jan
--
http://www.intopicture.com

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mholdef Senior Member • Posts: 1,871
Re: Visiting Africa. Where to go?

3 weeks are quite a bit of time but also not a lot to visit an entire country

My wife and I just spent 3 weeks covering Namibia and Botswana and while we had the trip of a lifetime, I wish we had spent more time in Namibia

3 weeks is not too long, in fact I believe it is just right for Namibia

Mark

Jan3x5 wrote:

Hey Jan!

In my opinion, Namibia should be perfect place for the very first trip to Africa (as some other countries). However, as you mentioned that it might be not just a first, but also the last trip to Africa for you, think twice of where to go and plan properly. Especially considering the fact that 3 weeks is quite a lot of time!

In this case, I would suggest you to consider visiting more countries... If you already decided for Namibia, what about to combine it with Botswana (e.g. Chobe NP and Okavango Delta) and even Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe? With such trip, you can enjoy virtually everything - landscapes, desert, wildlife, people...everything top notch. There are other options as well, e.g. if you are looking seriously for the wildlife, Tanzania is a sure shot and you can even combine it with Uganda, or even Zambia or Madagascar...

For sure, it does not make any sense to be in hurry, running through several countries and not fully enjoying it. But within three weeks, you can enjoy so many great things in Africa... Last but not least, I strongly recommend you to find the best local travel agency specialized in Africa and consult with them. That's what we are actually doing and it always paid off! It is always good to talk and plan with the guys, who have been at all places you can consider, being able to answer you every single question asked.

Anyway, wish you a nice journey and let's see, if it will be really the last trip there.

Cheers,
Jan
--
http://www.intopicture.com

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 mholdef's gear list:mholdef's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED +6 more
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