We are travelling to the Kalahari, a semi-arid sandy savanna covering regions in South Africa and a part of Botswana. It will be an unforgettable experience.
Adventurous? You bet! You will be driving a Toyota Hilux Bushmaster through the desert yourself, camping in a rooftop tent among the lions in unspoilt wild nature, cooking your own meal on a campfire and gazing in awe at the stars in the night sky. Not bad, right?
Phenomenal photography? Absolutely! It is in this type of surroundings that passionate wildlife photographer Carole Deschuymere feels at home. We will learn so much from her, she has a wealth of experience to share, and seeing her in action is an experience in itself. We will make the most of the sunrises and sunsets in order to capture the fantastic colours of the sand dunes, from yellow-brown to deep red. We will also look out for wildlife at various watering places in the national parks.
CHECK OUT THE DETAILED ITINERARY OF THE TRIP HERE.
Across the Kalahari Desert
Our trip takes us to a fabulous part of the Kalahari Desert: the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This National Park was Africa’s first cross-border park: a combination of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana.
Well, we call it a park, … but the area is about 38,000 km². Which is bigger than the surface area of Belgium and almost as big as The Netherlands. We will travel through a surprisingly varied landscape of sand dunes with grassy plains and camel thorn trees.
Like the deserts miss the rain
The last time the Auob river flowed through here was in 1974, the Nossob river in 1964. Today the rivers flow underground supplying water for plants. Water holes which were dug to bring water to the surface attract a large number of wild animals. Here, you will see small wildlife such as meerkats, ground squirrels and numerous reptiles. Larger game in the park are a.o.: wildebeest, gemsbok, springbok, ostrich, eland antelope, hartebeest, leopard, jackal, cheetah, hyena and the Kalahari lion with its black manes. It is a fantastic feeling to experience nature and spot wildlife in this location: you can have an encounter with a rattlesnake, a caracal, a serval, the African wild cat, the pangolin or the bat-eared fox.
Nature photography and landscape photography
The combination of an unforgettable adventure and capturing fabulous pictures makes this trip unique. Guide and wildlife photographer Carole will ride along in each of the three jeeps in turn to help with the photography. Radios are used to communicate between the cars. Anton, a local guide, will also travel along, providing extra support.
A 300mm lens will allow you to shoot great pictures of the adventures and close encounters, but a 500mm is advised. If you would like to use a bigger lens you could ask Starling for more information about renting extra photographic equipment. For the landscape and the night sky, you really need a wide-angle lens. During this period, we sometimes see heavy rain, accompanied by a spectacular sky with rolling clouds.
Every day we make time to evaluate our pictures and discuss them. We pay attention to aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, which lenses we use best and various techniques for composition. Also panning, landscape and star photography are looked at in detail.
We will keep you posted
29 Oct 2018
Photography trip to the Kalahari Desert: accommodation and transport
Three Toyota Hilux Bushcampers will be waiting for us, with all the equipment we need to go camping. This will be our home for the next 16 days. Each cruiser has a roof top tent (for two persons), (optional) ground tent, a kitchen, a water tank, etc. Yes, you read that right, you will be driving YOURSELF on a real 4x4 route, with loose sand and deep mud. Luckily, local guide Anton will be assisting us with tips and helpful solutions if we need them. We have reserved the best campsites, literally in de middle of nowhere. For the three nights in the 'civilized world' (Johannesburg, Kuruman and Zeerust) we opt for comfortabele resthouses/cabins with two-person rooms. Do you prefer a tent for yourself, and a single person room for the hotel nights? Then choose for the single option.
First thing ‘to do’ on our list: go shopping! Everyone buys what they like to eat and drink and in the evenings, we halt at a camping site, set up our tents and cook our own meals on a camp fire.
There are only 2 to 3 people per car, which means everyone will have ample space to take photographs.
Kalahari Desert: climate and clothing
We will be there at the end of the rainy season, so make sure you have clothing for warm weather as well as rain. It can get quite cold in the desert at night.