"Chasing the light," a photographer's true calling, has never been this invigorating as you explore mesmerizing dunes, rivers, coastlines, and rocky plateaus across the sandy lands of Namibia. Flexible for all budgets and skill levels, start with an urban exploration of Namibia's capital, Windhoek, before capturing sunrises and sunsets in front of quiver trees and deep in canyons. Explore eerie ghost towns, enjoy several safaris, photograph rhinos, and discover your inner child as you roll down the tallest dunes in Sossusvlei.


  • Capture the sun's rays in front of quiver trees in Keetsmanhoop
  • Marvel in the world's second-largest canyon, Fish River Canyon
  • Explore the sandy ghost town of Luderitz
  • Roll down the tallest dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Find the Big Five in Etosha Game Reserve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Windhoek Windhoek
Day 2 Stargaze in Keetmanshoop Keetmanshoop
Day 3 Explore Fish River Canyon Klein Karas
Day 4 Brave the Sandy Ghost Town of Lüderitz Lüderitz
Day 5 Discover the Namib Desert Sossusvlei
Day 6 Hot Air Balloon Over the Dunes at Sossusvlei Sossusvlei
Day 7 Discoer Spitzkoppe Mountains & Rock Arch Grootspitzkop
Day 8 Big Five Safari in Etosha National Park Etosha National Park
Day 9 Safaris & Rhino Photography Etosha National Park
Day 10 Depart Windhoek Windhoek

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek

The Republic of Namibia
The Republic of Namibia

Welcome to Windhoek! As you arrive, settle into your accommodation and spend your evening exploring Namibia's capital city.

Windhoek is located in the country's central highlands. South of the city, the sprawling Heroes' Acre war memorial commemorates Namibia's 1990 independence. On a hilltop in the city center is the 1890s Alte Feste—a former military headquarters with historical exhibit—and the Independence Memorial Museum. More colonial influences are visible in nearby buildings like the sandstone Lutheran Christus Church.

Due to its Germanic settlement, there is fabulous dutch-themed cuisine, especially the famous Eisbein at Joe's Beer House. Full of character, this roadside bar is an interesting place to start your trip. After a hearty meal, enjoy a sunset atop a hill to capture the dusty city lights surrounded by dessert and barren landscapes. 

Day 2: Stargaze in Keetmanshoop

The quiver tree forest, or aloe dichotoma, Keetmanshoop, Namibia
The quiver tree forest in Keetmanshoop

Enjoy the sunrise in Windhoek, specifically over the old church buildings or the cityscape. Afterward, you'll begin your road trip through Namibia in a specialized, off-road vehicle made for photography. Your first stop is Keetmanshoop. Known as the "Capital of the South"—and famous for its quiver trees—Keetmanshoop is about 5-6 hours by car. You will enjoy a light lunch en route and settle into your accommodation to prepare for your sunset photoshoot.

At sunset, we'll venture into the bush by foot to take in the quiver tree forests and the rocky desert. Once the sun has set through the dramatic trees, find your favorite spot and prepare for a night of stargazing and long exposures. 

Day 3: Explore Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Fish River Canyon, Namibia

In the morning, return to your favorite spot under the quiver trees and take in the sun's rays across the vast landscape. After breakfast in the rest camp, we'll hit the road once again.

You'll begin the drive to Fish River Canyon, which takes about three hours by car. Settle into your accommodation and, depending on timing, enjoy lunch by the pool. Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia. It is the largest canyon in Africa, as well as the second-most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine that runs about 100 miles (161 km) long, 17 miles (27 km) wide, and over 1,600 feet (488 m) deep in some areas. It's the second-largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the US.

As the sun begins to melt into the canyon, head off for a hike to the mountain tops and marvel at the view over Namibia.

Day 4: Brave the Sandy Ghost Town of Lüderitz

Luderitz, Namibia
Lüderitz, Namibia

Watch the sunrise over the valley's famous rock formations, capturing that very first light. The canyon is a special place, especially at sunrise, due to the light highlighting the Namibian desert's multi-colored rocks and sand. After breakfast, you'll transfer to the town of Lüderitz, a famous ghost town with sand-infested houses along the coast. Settle in for lunch in Lüderitz and then venture toward the coast to select the perfect spot to capture the crashing waves.

Lüderitz is a coastal town in southwestern Namibia. It's known for its German colonial buildings, including the Art Nouveau Goerke Haus, built into the rock face on Diamond Hill. Nearby, Felsenkirche is a hilltop church with panoramic views of the bay stretching around to Robert Harbor. The Lüderitz Museum has displays about the town's diamond-mining past as well as local and natural history.

As the sun begins to set, the spooky air of this once-populated town comes alive. The railway lines under starlit skies are a top favorite among the photographers on this trip. After your shoot, you can enjoy dinner in a neighboring town. 

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Day 5: Discover the Namib Desert

Sossus Dune Lodge, Namibia
Sossus Dune Lodge, Namibia

Wake early to snag some final snaps of the coastline at sunrise, as well as the eerie ghost town. Then, we'll begin our drive to the "Sea of Sand," the world-famous dunes in the Namib Desert. Tall, red-orange dunes with names like "Bid Daddy" are begging to be climbed. You can venture up this dune to prepare for sunset in the oldest desert in the world. For more than 80 million years, the stability of the dunes has provided unique species development.

Dusk is the ultimate hour to photograph the dunes right around your beautifully-located accommodation.

Day 6: Hot Air Balloon Over the Dunes at Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia
Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia

There isn't quite an experience like watching the sunrise over the Namibian Desert's dunes. The dense quiet provides an entirely different world, and the dramatic colors of reds, blues, and grays create the perfect palette. You can also opt for a hot air balloon ride at sunset or sunrise. It's an amazing way to get high views of the vast and endless waves of dunes into one frame.

After your sunrise shoot, take some time to relax by the pool.  Soon enough, the sun will begin to set, and we'll head back to the dunes again. If you haven't run or rolled down Big Daddy Dune yet, this evening is your opportunity to play. 

Day 7: Discoer Spitzkoppe Mountains & Rock Arch

Spitzkoppe Lodge, Namibia
Spitzkoppe Lodge, Namibia

As the sun creeps its way into the sky, enjoy a leisurely breakfast gazing over the dunes. If you haven't captured the perfect shot just yet, you'll have the opportunity to explore the dunes one last time. Then we'll drive to Spitzkoppe, known as the best view in Africa due to its fabulous rock archway to frame the setting sun!

After settling into your accommodation, take a dip in one of the natural rock pools with views of the peaks. The Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib Desert. The granite is more than 120 million years old, and the highest outcrop rises nearly 5,700 feet (1,737 m) above sea level. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. Capture this dramatic scenery at sunset when you can walk to the rock tops and settle in for a lovely view over the giant pebble-like mountains. 

Day 8: Big Five Safari in Etosha National Park

Ongava Lodge, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Ongava Lodge, Etosha National Park, Namibia

Take in sunrise at the arched rock in Spitzkoppe. After breakfast, you'll head out in search of Anderson Gate at Etosha National Park. On the way, pass by Usakos and Karibib before turning north via Omaruru to Outjo. If time permits, you can enter Etosha for an afternoon game drive before lunch at the accommodation.

The park closes its gates before sunset, so the evening shoot will be at camp. The lodge is very beautiful, with a deck that overlooks the reserve.

Day 9: Safaris & Rhino Photography

Namibian rhino
Namibian rhino

Rise and shine for your early morning safari, taking in the amazing displays of the animal kingdom. Etosha is one of Africa's great game parks. With 114 species of mammals and 340 species of birds, you are sure to see a great variety of wildlife on your safari. The special sightings of rhinos will be the highlight. Professional game rangers will take you into the bush for a closer look at the animals.

After your safari, head back to the lodge to enjoy a leisurely lunch and relax by the pool. This will prepare you for another game drive in the afternoon. You'll explore the active nightlife of Etosha National Park, followed by the starry skies above. 

Day 10: Depart Windhoek

A lilac-breasted roller in Etosha National Park

Depending on your flights, take in one last safari before hitting the road back to Windhoek, where you'll catch your flight back home or onto your next adventure.

More Great Namibia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Namibia? Check out these other Namibia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, wildlife safaris, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Namibia Photography Tour: Windhoek, Sossusvlei Dunes & Etosha Game Reserve - 10 Days
Map of Namibia Photography Tour: Windhoek, Sossusvlei Dunes & Etosha Game Reserve - 10 Days