On the Road Again: Anette Travels to Namibia, Africa in March 2019
Tourists Navigate the Sossusvlei Sand Dunes of Namibia, Africa. • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
“Namibia is the hidden jewel of Africa. This is why I visit often, and I also lead photo adventure tours here as well. It is still pristine territory – an experience that no one will ever forget!” – Anette
A female lion locks eyes with my camera, as she stalks me in Etosha National Park • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
Have you heard of Namibia?
This beautiful country lies in the southern one-third of the African continent. It is to the northwest of South Africa, where I currently call home, and to the west of Botswana.
I have traveled here many times due to its extensive natural resources and wildlife.
Here you will find amazing landscapes including the Namib Desert, Etosha National Park, and the Sossusvlei Sand Dunes to name a few.
The wildlife here is diverse and plentiful. For the photographer, it is significant to realize that Namibia holds a significant cheetah population. It is really something to experience a cheetah in full stride while on the hunt. There are also plenty of other game including rhino, giraffes, lions, zebras, and elephants to name a few.
Namibia is an ever-evolving story, which is why I return often to photograph.
After every trip, I plunge through my photographs, and inevitably, I believe that I can find better light, or a better angle, or a more dramatic moment.
In truth, I really just want to go back and take more pictures!
Two young elephant bulls fight in the late afternoon light in Etosha National Park. • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
I will be spending eight days in the Etosha National Park, where I hope to photograph several new species.
The Hoanib River Bed is home to Desert Elephants, as well as many other amazing animals, such as giraffes and springboks. • by Anette Mossbacher
I will also spend time in Hoanib River Bed. Here, among other animals, I will search for the allusive Desert Elephant and Desert Lion. They are extremely difficult to spot in the harsh landscape.
Picture courtesy • Screenshot of Google maps showing the location of Hoanib river in Namibia
I love to drive up through the riverbed. To both sides, left and right, mountains jut dramatically up into the sky. Dust is everywhere. In all of my trips this spot, I have never witnessed any water in the riverbed.
If you dream of Africa, this is the place. Off road for sure, it is desolate and remote. Wildlife here is not used to human interaction, and will occasionally become aggressive towards vehicles.
It is a good idea to travel with company here!
Elephant and rhinos seek water as the glow of dusk settles into a complete darkness. The landscape reverberates with the sounds of wild nocturnal animals waking up. • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
Next, I will be off to Swakopmund
Swakopmund is a beautiful coastal city that is home to a number of tiny creatures that I wish to photograph: Namaqua Chameleon, Sidewinder snake, Shovel-snouted lizard, the Cartwheeling spider, and the Palmetto gecko.
Don’t be fooled by their diminutive size. These creatures are elusive. Despite previous attempts, I have never captured a single frame of any of them.
I see this as a challenge, and I think this may be my lucky trip! Will you keep your fingers crossed for me?
This zebra rests, while finding safety in the middle of the herd. Taken in Etosha National Park • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
Wildlife is always a primary interest in my personal travels, as well as my photography workshops, and my privately led photo adventure tours.
Epupa Falls with Baobab trees. The Epupa Falls are created by the Cunene River on the border of Angola and Namibia, in the Kaokoland area of the Kunene Region. • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
The areas of exquisite landscape that I will be visiting on this trip include; Epupa Water Falls and Sossusvlei / Namib Naukluft National Park.
Early morning light skims across several Acacia trees in the Sossusvlei Dead Vlei of the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia. This area is surrounded by beautiful red sand dunes. In my line of work, you must get up very early! • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
While in Swakopmond, I plan to photograph from the air. I will rent a small plane and capture a bird’s eye view of the Skeleton Coast and the Namib Naukluft National Park.
Aerial photography is so much fun. If you’ve never tried it, you must join me on a tour, and I will teach you the ropes to these exciting photographs from above.
The red sand dunes of the Skeleton Coast, as viewed from the air. • Photograph by Anette Mossbacher
My last stop will be the Sossusvlei Landscape
My last stop on this trip will be the Sossusvlei landscape. This landscape is stunning! The area is surrounded by blood red sand dunes. Many of the black dead Acacia trees, which dot the Clay & Salt Pan (sometimes referred to as “Camel Thorn Trees”), are over 900 years old.
I sometimes refer to this area as “Dead Shot” – meaning it has been over-photographed.
However, this is the thing about Africa. Nothing stays the same. Every day can offer a new composition never before seen.
So… Off, I go!
See you next time – when I am “On the Road Again”.
Do you dream of heading to Africa? Then you are almost certainly eager to see and perhaps even photograph some of the many beautiful creatures that inhabit this content. Many people have their own favourites they would love to spot from the majestic lion to the gigantic elephant. But which animals are the rarest and most difficult to find or see when you visit Africa? Here are a few of the continents most elusive creatures that you’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of on your safari.
The Aardvark is an odd, native African animal. It looks like an oversized hairless rodent crossed with some sort of pig. With its unique look, you would think it would be quite easy to spot one of these in the wild, but they are quite elusive for a number of reasons.
First, as any safari guide will tell you, these animals are nocturnal. While you might spot one moving around through the day, this is quite rare. As such, when the sun is high in the sky, it is likely they will remain hidden, out of sight in the undergrowth. Despite their nocturnal nature Aardvarks are quite common in sub-Saharan Africa so you may well spot one in the late evening. However, the creatures are also quite shy. They will run as soon as they spot you and are surprisingly fast. So, if you do see one, you’ll need to be as quiet as possible and resist making sudden movements to get that photo.
This funny animal, Aardvark has so far not crossed my path in bush! Photographs courtesy goes to @David
Panther – Black Leopard
By far one of the rarest animals to see in Africa your chances of seeing one in the wild are sadly quite close to zero. Many people are not aware that panthers are actually born due to a recessive gene referred to as Melanism. This gives the beautiful feline its black coat. A common misconception is that a panther is a type of cat species, but they aren’t. A panther can be a jaguar, a leopard or a cougar that has this recessive gene. Even safari guides will be lucky to spot one of these creatures.
If you want your best chance of spotting one in the wild, you need to head to the beautiful hills of Mount Kenya. Here, you may get lucky and catch a glimpse of one of these cats roaming the jungle terrain.
Actually a picture of the one most Elusive Animals In Africa should be placed here – The panther, or better said a black leopard. Sadly to see this animal would be for me the lotto win. No picture available from my photo galleries. Also I have never seen a photograph so far of a black leopard in Africa, but in India.
While not as rare as the last two female remaining Northern white rhinos, there are only five thousand black rhinos in the wild today. As such, they are considered to be critically endangered making them an unlikely guest appearance on your African safari. However, sightings do occur, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the rhino run. Despite their notable size, a black rhino can run at 55 km per hour and is quite aggressive. You certainly don’t want one to hit your jeep, that’s for sure! The difference between a white rhino and a black rhino is; a black rhino has a hooked upper lip and a white rhino has more a square lip.
Black Rhinoceros, to find them is not an easy task, but when you know what to look for!
The Honey Badgers
Known to be fast and fearless, these creatures may also be camera shy as very few people actually spot one. This is perhaps due to their size. While the cute skunk-like creature takes on massive predators in the wild, it’s actually only small and burrows deep under the ground. As fearless the honey badgers are, they even attack snakes. Interestingly, if you’re looking to spot one of these little critters, you may want to head to the Kalahari. According to game rangers, this is the place where most sightings do occur.
One of the funny animals in my opinion, a Honey badger. It’s not often you see these little chaps, but in Botswana we saw some nearly every day on our Photo Tour.
African Wild Dog
Another endangered animal, there are only 2000 to 5000 African wild dogs living in Africa. The good news is that if you do manage to spot one, it’s likely that you’ll see a lot more. African Wild Dogs are a pack animal and where one goes as many as twenty more may follow. The African Wild Dog is a beautiful creature despite looking rather odd. With a bushy tail and big bat like ears, the unknowing adventurer may not even realise what they’re looking at spotting one in the wild. While known as a dog, the animal is actually close to a wolf and can be seen around sub-Saharan Africa. So, where can you spot these pack pooches?
Well, you may want to head to Savuti Chobe National Park around December and January. It is during this time that zebra migrate through the park. The wild dogs often show, hoping to get a meal out of the fresh food supply. Alternatively, you can head to Zimbabwe where you might see a few in Hwange National Park or Mana Pools.
African Wild Dog Cubs fighting over a piece of meat the pack has brought to them. Botswana
We bet you didn’t know there were penguins in Africa, but there are. This is the only type of penguin that lives and breeds in Africa. With a white underbelly and a black top, they do look like the typical penguins you’d find in colder climates. One noticeable difference would be the dark stripe over their chest. Sadly, the population of African penguins is declining due to oil spills and other environmental issues. However, you can still spot them dotted around Africa. The Western area of South Africa homes a significant percentage of their population.
African penguins coming back late afternoon from fishing in South Africa
Another rare creature to spot that safari guides have a hard time finding is the Pangolin. This creature looks like an anteater with scales. It can also be described as an aardvark with armour. When it’s threatened the creature will roll into a ball, and it looks rather incredible. It’s is most likely the inspiration for the Pokemon Sandshrew. These creatures are nocturnal and after multiple safari trips you probably still won’t have seen one. While they are hunted for meat, these animals are not endangered.
So far I have not seen any of the elusive Black-footed cat in Africa. Photograph courtesy “2630ben”
African Black-Footed Cat
Finally, the smallest wild cat living in Africa will hardly ever be seen by humans. The black-footed cat actually looks a lot like your typical domestic animal. However, its stripes and colours make it a rare beauty, and with only ten thousand in the wild, they are very hard to find. As well as this, the little cats are shy, nocturnal and live a life of solitude. Often referred to as the ‘anthill lion’ due to its ferocious nature and tiny if you are lucky enough to see one make sure you snap a photo. You’ll certainly have earned bragging rights if you do!
Black-footed cat this is one of the most elusive animals in Africa. Photograph courtesy “wolfavni”
Photograph of Aardvark, Pangolin & Black-footed Cat
The photographs of an Aardvark, Pangolin and the black-footed cat are not from my photo library. I have bought them in nature agency for this blog post. So far none of these 3 elusive animals have crossed my path in Africa, sadly. I do hope they will some day. Every photograph is labelled with the photograph courtesy what I purchased. I am very sorry that never is the full name mentioned who took the photographs. It was just not given!
Did I wake your curiosity for Africa? The African landscape is just as amazing. This continent is a dream and when you get up early enough, you will see it’s upmost beauty it has to offer for you. African landscape pictures taken early morning, enjoy.