Justin Strawn

3D Designer, Photographer, Traveler



I tasted so much on this trip I needed to break this into multiple posts. This is an overview and highlight of some of my favorite locations, with links to more details in some of the major ones.

I rented a 4×4 car that included camping gear, and camped along Nambia going clockwise in a loop over two weeks. It was certainly the minimum amount of time it’s possible to do this in. I met several travelers attempting the same over four weeks, and can now understand why. I was trying to get a sample of different areas, to better understand where I might want to revisit in the future, and was not disappointed.



The capital of Namibia. You’d likely start and end your adventures here, so it’s worth pointing out a few things.

This is the only place with a SuperSpar and with security guards in the parking lot of a grocery store (that I found). The other grocery stores I found in Namibia only had bare essentials, and in many places not even those. I would recommend stocking up on food here for your entire time in Namibia. Multiple shopping carts may be required. There’s a healthier snack section I wish I took better advantage of, for example.


I loved the red sand here so much. I didn’t get as many photos as I wanted, as I (very unfortunately) only spent one night here.

(More detailed breakdown coming soon)

Quiver Tree & Giants Playground

Made for amazing night photography, and especially star trails with such a unique stationary subject. I spent one night here but should’ve spent more as the giants playground was next door and I couldn’t be in multiple places at once!

(More detailed breakdown coming soon)

Kolmanskop & Luderitz

A wonderful photographic exercise in bounce lighting and HDR. I was at the gate when it opened just after sunrise, and therefore had the sand un-footprinted as a reward.

More detailed breakdown of Kopmanskop here.


It’s a requirement to plan a trip/life around the new moon here. Some of the greatest stars I have ever seen, and one of 11 Dark Sky Preserves in the world.

(More detailed breakdown coming soon)


So many photography opportunities at this spot, I could quite literally spend 3 weeks here and not run out of new spots. There’s looking up at all the major dunes along the main road during sunrise and sunset, from the top at sunrise and sunset, Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Sesriem Canyon, unnamed dunes behind big mama, and aerial imagery to consider. The lighting is really terrible for photography during most of mid-day, preventing any contrasted light. In January the days were very long, and waking up before sunrise and staying awake past sunset every day caused some sleep deprivation.

(More detailed breakdown coming soon)


I realized too late that there is really almost no point in spending just 3 days here. I had a great sampler and learned about where to see what, for next time. It takes a lot of time and patience to see animals. I did not go on a guided tour, it looked pretty awful, I drove around myself and wholeheartedly enjoyed it, taking the time I wanted for the animals I wanted.

(More detailed breakdown coming soon)


If you want to see cheetahs and leopards, come here. They claim to keep them protected from farmers hunting them to protect Cattle, and seem to be doing a good job albeit profiting heavily. Some of the animals have tracking collars for habitual study, and it also lets them know where to drive to show them off.

It’s kind of resort-ish, they only offer drives related to cheetah tracking and you can’t drive around yourself. So I would only stay one night here myself, but was a great experience.

Closing Thoughts

It was very do-able to drive myself, even never having been to Africa, don’t feel like you need to book through a tour. It was much more fun and flexible this way, for me, as well.

I did not have enough time. It was such a great taster trip, and it left me wanting so much more. I could have, and want to, spend weeks in each of these spots. I look forward to my next adventure here.