Namibian Photo Safari – February 5th – 11th, 2018 | Donal Boyd & Benjamin Hardman
At the height of the rainy season, new life emerges across the savannah amidst welcomed rainstorms. During this photo safari, we’ll embrace unforeseeable conditions as we traverse open grasslands and mountain forests led by expert local safari guides in search of lions, elephants, zebras, cheetahs, and countless other creatures hiding throughout the wilderness of Namibia’s largest private nature reserve – Erindi.
Learn more below about this rare opportunity to photograph African wildlife up close and to find the Application Form to join us this Feburary.
This workshop will be co-hosted by Donal Boyd and Benjamin Hardman in conjunction with our partners at Erindi Private Game Reserve. Combining our past photography workshop experience together in Iceland with my expertise in wildlife photography, we will instruct you on all aspects of wildlife photography, and cover other photographic topics such as portraiture, lifestyle, aerial, and classic landscape. Erindi will be providing us with their very best guides for the duration of our stay at the game reserve, so we’ll have a top-notch team to guide you through the African bush in search of unique wildlife portraits.
Overview of Workshop
Dates: February 5th – February 11th (7-days, 6-nights)
Group Size: Maximum of 8 participants. We keep our workshops small as to allow each person has enough personal 1-on-1 mentor time with both both instructors.
Application Period: We’re taking applications for this workshop in order to ensure our participant group will work well together and to promote mutual learning among like-minded individuals. Final confirmations of acceptance will be sent on a rolling basis.
Room Occupancy: All rooms will be shared double rooms with separated single beds and private bathrooms. Workshop participants will be paired up according to gender (unless preferred otherwise).
Price: $3600 per person or (~€3084)*
We’ve kept the price as low as possible for this workshop as we want to attract adventurers with the same creative mindset.
About the Mentors
Ben and Donal have run several photographic workshops together in the past in Iceland and have now decided to team up for an epic adventure in Namibia.
Donal Boyd is an American-Irish photographer based in South Iceland with over 10 years of professional photography experience. After living in Iceland for more than a year full-time he’s recently started to expand his photography workshops to other locations worldwide, starting with Namibia. Donal lived in Namibia back in 2012 working on a sustainable energy project with a local NGO and recently returned in 2016 to pursue his passion for wildlife conservation. After visiting Erindi he fell in love with the reserve and in February 2017 Donal held his first photographic workshop on the savannah co-hosted with Jarrad Seng.
Donal enjoys photographing animals most of all because of the unlimited potential for creating distinct scenes that tell a story unique to each subject and embody an individuals emotion. His experience spending countless hours out in the bush with elephants, zebra, lions, and more has allowed him to develop an intimate connection with many of the animals he photographs, which is exhibited in the unique style he continues to develop. Donal is excited about this opportunity to share his passion and techniques for capturing the true essence of African Animalia.
Benjamin is an Australian photographer based in Reykjavik, Iceland. With several years of experience shooting within the majestic landscape of Iceland, he has acquired excellent knowledge on subject locations and finding unique perspectives for photography. After gaining AIPP professional accreditation in late 2013, Benjamin has held two solo photographic exhibitions, both carrying the subject of the Icelandic landscape.
Message from Ben: After heading over to Namibia on a scouting mission in late 2017, Erindi has left me with an overwhelming appreciation for wildlife and this field of photography. Surrounded by wild animals every day, this reserve has allowed me to push my creative mind, working to maintain cohesive aesthetics in my imagery within a truly challenging setting for light and composition. There is certainly an art to photographing this part of the world and I’m thrilled to share the fundamental principles that I use to shoot and process images and additionally my new found knowledge on this area of photography with our workshop team.
- All meals and accommodation for the duration of the workshop (Old-Traders Lodge at Erindi, Guesthouse in Windhoek)
- All game-drives at Erindi Private Game Reserve
- Advice and lessons on technical aspects of photography (wildlife, portraiture, landscape, aerial, etc), photography business techniques, social media strategy, etc.
- Transfer to your hotel/guesthouse in Windhoek on day 7 of the workshop
- Airfare to/from Namibia
- Hotel/guestouse on day 7 in Windhoek
- Pickup/drop-off from the airport to the hotel at the beginning and end of our workshop
- Travel Insurance
- Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and snacks (except some light snacks & refreshments served during game drives)
Arrival to Namibia – You should plan to arrive to Namibia on February 5th or any day before. Taxi from the airport to our hotel shouldn’t cost more than 17€ ($18 USD) per person one-way.
Day 1 [February 5th] – The journey begins when we meet out our accommodation on the first day in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. We’ll have dinner together to introduce ourselves at Joe’s Beer House.
Day 2 [February 6th] – Transfer to Erindi, stay at Old Traders Lodge, afternoon game drive.
Day 3-6 [February 6th-10th] – Our good friends at Erindi Private Game Reserve will be hosting us at the Old Traders Lodge, where each day we’ll be able to make our own schedule with the very best guides.
Each day we will decide as a group what time to go out into the reserve in search of animals. We have the ability to plan our excursions based on what animals we want to photograph, which will bring us to many different regions of the game reserve. Each day there will be time to rest, edit photos, and discuss any and all other aspects of photography.
Within the game reserve we’ll travel in a modified open-air Land Rover Defender, driven by the Erindi Guides. During game drives, we’ll be bringing along snacks and drinks provided by the Lodge and there’s ample opportunity to stop whenever and wherever we want along the way.
Our usual schedule will involve taking advantage of the early morning and late afternoon to photograph the wildlife during the best light. During the middle of the day there’s the option to relax at the Old Traders Lodge restaurant, which has an observation deck overlooking a watering hole that is often frequented by animals.
One night during our time at Erindi we’ll also set out to photograph the Milky Way. Namibia is known to be one of the darkest places in the world and photographing the Milky Way will be a highlight of the trip for sure.
Optional visit to traditional San Bushman village that’s within the nature reserve.
Each day we’ll also dedicate time to covering the more theoretical aspects of photography, such as camera basics, Lightroom workflow, editing technique and how to make the most of social media.
Day 7 [February 11th] – Morning transfer to Windhoek were you’ll be dropped off at your hotel/guesthouse, which must be booked separately. We’re happy to recommend places to stay in the city and also encourage you to extend your stay longer than our workshop period in order to explore Namibia further.
What animals can we see?
Rhino, Cheetah, Lion, Zebra, Leopard, Foxes, Springbok, Elephant, various birds of prey, beautiful insects and beetles, and many, many, many more varieties of Namibian wildlife!
How will we find animals?
The expert guides at Erindi Game Reserve have years of experience tracking and locating animals in the thick rainy season bush and they will be our greatest asset. They’ll be using traditional methods of tracking animals as well as sustainable telemetry tracking of radio collared animals, used for conservation efforts, research, and to keep the animals safe from encroaching poachers.
How close will we get to the animals?
Will I be in danger at any point?
The safari guides at Erindi are professional trained in reading animal behavior and highly qualified in determining safe viewing distances to ensure the safety of guests at all times.
What are the chances I will be eaten by a lion?
Probably pretty low.
What camera gear should I bring?
We suggest bringing at minimum a DSLR body (2 bodies would be best) and at least a 70-200mm telephoto lens, a wide-angle (i.e. 16-35mm or 24-70mm), extra batteries, rain gear, and a tripod. If you have access to a super-telephoto lens, bring it for sure, but we’ll have the ability to get quite close to the wildlife and a 500mm definitely is NOT a requirement to capture amazing shots.
Will I be in risk of Malaria?
There is very minimal to no risk of contracting Malaria at Erindi.
What is a game drive?
A game drive involves driving an open safari vehicle into the African wilderness in search of wildlife. Typically a game drive departs just before sunrise and/or several hours before sunset in order to view animals when they’re most active. A game drive is a safe method of viewing wildlife from the elevated viewing area within the vehicle. Professional guides with vast knowledge about the local wildlife and landscape will ensure the safety of participants.
Is Namibia dangerous and are there any travel risks?
Namibia is a very safe country, but standard safety protocols should be taken when traveling to any place you’ve never visited before. Be aware and be cautious. However, there are no major risks associated with traveling to Namibia and you’ll find yourself quite comfortable during your visit.
Do I need a visa?
Most countries only need a “visa on arrival” for traveling to Namibia. However, it’s crucial that you check with your embassy in order to confirm if you need to apply for a visa ahead of time or if you can simply pick up a visa on arrival to Namibia.
Unfortunately laws surrounding drone usage in Namibia are constantly changing and for this reason we do not reccomend bringing a drone as it may be held up in customs upon entry into the country.
Can we stay longer after the workshop?
Of course! You can stay as long as your visa allows. Ben and I will be happy to make suggestions of locations to visit after the workshop if you decide to explore Namibia further! It’s an amazing country with many worthy places to see!
What will the weather be like?
During this time of the year Erindi is exiting the dry season and entering the rainy season. Temperatures will be getting warmer and the mixture of rain and sun provide unique conditions for photography. Despite the recommendation
I read online that the rainy season is bad for viewing animals…?
The rainy season… A unique time to photograph wildlife…
We’ll be visiting Erindi during the transitional period when the first wave of seasonal rains are likely to occur. As such, we’ll have the opportunity to mix the ability to easily spot animals in the dry grass and leafless brush with stormy skies and newly budding trees. Since the reserve is so large many areas some areas will receive potentially more rain than others and might already be green when we arrive depending on the extent of rainfall. This is also the time of the year when many animals begin to born their young.
Contact Ben and/or me with any questions you have and we’ll be happy to explain any aspect of the workshop in more detail.
Donal Email: email@example.com | Ben Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To Erindi Private Game Reserve, I would like to extend my gratitude for the amazing experience and opportunity throughout my stay and cannot thank you enough for the memories which I will cherish for years to come. Special mentions to our incredible guide, Jeremia, for being such a down to earth, humble and all around great bloke, and for trekking it out with us everyday to show us the best Erindi has to offer! His knowledge, personality and passion for the work he does was so transparent, that it made my experience all the more pleasurable! Other special mentions include GP (Not sure if this is the correct spelling!), Simon, Natasha and of course, the staff at the restaurant who made everyday fun! It was a pleasure getting to know everyone whilst singing and dancing at every chance I got, hence why I was nicknamed Beyonce, hah. Hearing about the conservation projects and the importance of protecting the animals gave me a real perspective on how vital it is to sustain these incredible animals for generations to come, and I hope that in someway, us taking photographs and spreading awareness will help! Again, thank you for giving us the opportunity of a lifetime and for hosting us! I will never forget my time in Erindi, the people I met and the experiences I had! I will definitely be back one day to do it all again!
-New Life Participant 2017
Erindi was so much more than I anticipated. The accommodation was beautiful and the game drives were amazing. All the staff were very friendly and knowledgable. Shout out to Jeremia and GP for a great week of game drives! Thank you and I can’t wait to visit again soon.
-New Life Participant 2017