29 AUG-12 SEPT, 2024

with Jeremy Woodhouse


Augrabies Falls


Cape Gannets at Lambert's Bay

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The Kalahari Desert around Van Zylsrus features a semi-arid landscape characterized by red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, and a scarcity of surface water. The vegetation is well-adapted to the arid conditions. Thorny shrubs, acacia trees, and grasses that can withstand drought are common in the region. Despite its arid nature, the Kalahari supports a variety of wildlife adapted to desert life. This includes animals such as oryx, springbok, meerkats, and various species of birds.

Photograph Meerkats
Meet the stars of Meerkat Manor, a documentary drama series which follows a meerkat family in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa

The Northern Cape, where Namaqualand is located, is South Africa’s largest and most sparsely populated state, wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namibian border. Not many travellers venture here, but the ones that do make the journey will be exhilarated by the expansive landscapes, spectacular natural phenomena and fascinating history.

See Namaqualand in full bloom
Rarely does the natural world put on such a spectacle as the Namaqualand desert in full bloom. An eye-popping patchwork of orange, yellow, white and purple wild flowers seems to cascade out of distant valleys and flood the landscape as far as the eye can see. The majority of the blooms belong to the daisy family (Asteraceae) and, somewhat surprisingly, the most impressive displays tend to appear not in pristine nature reserves, but on recently disturbed ground such as fallow farmland. The flowers are true sun-worshippers, only opening between 11am and 4pm on sunny days, and turning their faces towards the sun, so you’ll get the best views (and photographs) with the sun at your back.

There’s a large element of luck involved in getting to experience this natural show at its height. Namaqualand's flower season tends to peak during August, but can shift as early as July or late as September. The exact timing and intensity of the blooms depends on the winter rains in the preceding months. The flush of flowers starts in the north near the border with Namibia and moves south towards Cape Town. 

Meerkat Original Xlarge

Meet the Meerkats Up Close & Personal

Tour Itinerary

Pre-tour Arrival 28 Aug, 2023—Arrive Johannesburg
This tour starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town. 

Arrival Hotel in Johannesburg
The tour starts after breakfast on 29 Aug, 2024. you will need to arrive at least a day before the tour starts. We will meet at the City Lodge, OR Tambo International Airport. This stylish, comfortable hotel is conveniently located directly adjacent to Johannesburg’s International Airport. A number of Johannesburg’s most important business facilities, commercial hubs, shopping centres and restaurants are found nearby.

O/N City Lodge, OR Tambo International Airport (not included)

Day 1: 29 Aug—Johannesburg/Kuruman (553 km)
Leaving after breakfast, it will take us most of the day to reach our first stop, Kuruman, a historically significant town which is often referred to as the "Oasis of the Kalahari." This designation stems from the presence of the "Eye of Kuruman", a natural spring that has been a water source for thousands of years. The eye is a natural spring that delivers a constant flow of crystal-clear water, creating a small oasis in the arid landscape.

O/N Kuruman Lodge B

Day 2-4: 30 Aug - 1 Sept —Kuruman to Van Zylsrus (169 km)
Leaving Kuruman, we head northwest towards Van Zylsrus. We have gained special permission to spend the next 3 nights at the Kalahari Research Center where we will be able to photograph meerkats in the wild for 2 days. These colonies of meerkats have been studied intensively and are quite accustomed to having people around so you will have the opportunity to take some very good images of these endearing creatures and learn about some of the research that has been taking place at the centre since 2001.

O/N Kalahari Research Center (3 Nights) B,L,D

Day 5: 2 Sept—Van Zylsrus/Augrabies Falls (352 km)
After an early breakfast we continue heading west to Augrabies National Park. The centrepiece of this park is the 56m-high waterfall created when the Gariep (Orange) River thunders through a ravine. The nearby Bridal Veil Falls drop 75m and most people simply follow the boardwalks past the falls and leave shortly afterwards, but there is plenty more to explore. Look out for dassies (cute, furry creatures that look like outsized gerbils) hopping across the rocks, tackle a day hike or take a wildlife drive deeper into the park.

O/N Augrabies Falls Lodge & Camp

Day 6: 3 Sept—Augrabies/Springbok (314 km)
After a sunrise shoot at the falls, we drive to Springbok, the largest town in the Namaqualand area in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It was called Springbokfontein until 1911, when it was shortened to Springbok. We will visit the Goegap Nature Reserve where we should be able to photograph several wildlife species and expansive fields of wildflowers.

O/N Mountain View Guesthouse, Springbok

Day 7: 4 Sept—Springbok/Port Nolloth/Springbok
Depending on the state of the wildflowers we may spend the whole day in the Springbok area looking for the best displays. Alternatively, we may also make a day trip to the west coast to Port Nolloth, known for its rugged beauty and stark landscapes and scenic coastal beauty. Port Nolloth has a small but active fishing industry, and the town's economy has historically been tied to fishing and maritime activities.

O/N Mountain View Guesthouse, Springbok

Day 8: 5 Sept—Springbok/Kamieskroon (69 km)
Leaving Springbok, we drive south to Kamieskroon where we will spend the next 3 days exploring the area looking for wildflowers and visiting some of the local people in the surrounding towns.

Situated just South of Springbok, Kamieskroon is set among the granite rock formations of the Kamiesberg range in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Kamies might derive from the Nama word ‘kam’, meaning two - referring to the twin peaks of the mountain. The ‘kroon’, a 330m peak crowned with a huge, cleft rock, is a kilometre from the village. 

O/N Kamieskroon Cosy Cottage

Day 9 - 10: 6-7 Sept—Kamieskroon
We spend the next 2 days exploring the area looking for wildflowers and visiting some of the local people.

O/N Kamieskroon Cosy Cottage (2 Nights)

Day 11: 8 Sept—Kamieskroon/Gifberg (223 km)
Leaving Kamieskroon, we continue to drive south. We will visit Nieuwoudtville falls on the way, before we arrive at our lodging at Gifberg situated in the northern part of the Western Cape, near the town of Vanrhynsdorp. Gifberg is known for its scenic beauty, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and the area is characterized by rugged terrain, unique rock formations, and diverse flora.

O/N Gifberg Holiday Farm

Day 12: 9 Sept—Gifberg/Lambert's Bay/Clanwilliam (180 km)
Leaving Gifberg, we will head south before turning west towards the coastal town of Lambert's Bay. Lambert's Bay is home to Bird Island, a small island located a short distance from the shore. Bird Island is a vital bird breeding area, hosting one of the largest colonies of Cape gannets in the world. Visitors can take boat trips to see the birds, which is especially popular during the breeding season. Bird Island lies about 100 m off the shore of Lambert’s Bay on the Cape’s West Coast. It offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the blue-eyed Cape gannet up close. Bird Island is one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed, and it is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public.

Clanwilliam is a town located in the Western Cape province of South Africa approximately 200 kilometers north of Cape Town. The town is known for its picturesque setting, historical significance, and outdoor attractions. It is set against the backdrop of the Cederberg Mountains, providing a stunning natural landscape. During the spring months (August to September), the Clanwilliam area experiences a wildflower bloom. The region is known for its vibrant display of indigenous flowers, attracting nature enthusiasts and photographers.

O/N Clanwilliam Hotel B

Day 13: 10 Sept—Clanwilliam
We will spend the day in the Clanwilliam area checking with the locals to see where the best wildflower displays are.

O/N Clanwilliam Hotel B

Day 14: 11 Sept—Clanwillian/Cape Town (230km)

O/N City Lodge Hotel V&A Waterfront B

Day 15: 12 Sept—Departure
Drop off van at the airport and catch the morning flight back to JNB or return to the US direct from Cape Town.


Arrival, Departure & Visa

​Arrival & Meeting Place 
Pre-tour: 28 Aug, 2023—Arrive Johannesburg

Early Arrival Hotel in Johannesburg
We recommend that if you arrive the day before the tour starts that you stay at the City Lodge, OR Tambo International Airport. This stylish, comfortable hotel is conveniently located directly adjacent to Johannesburg’s International Airport. A numberof Johannesburg’s most important business facilities, commercial hubs, shopping centres and restaurants are found nearby.

Cape Town on 12 Sept, 2024

Not required


August is a transitional month, and temperatures in Namaqualand during this time can vary. Daytime temperatures typically range from cool to mild, with maximum temperatures often reaching between 15 to 25ºC (59 to 77ºF).

Nighttime temperatures can be colder, ranging from around 5 to 15ºC (41 to 59ºF).


English and Afrikaans


The South African Rand

DEPOSIT: $1,000
SINGLE: $350 

Tour Price Includes

  • Ground Transportation for 15 days
  • Tour accommodation, as listed
  • National Parks entry fees
  • 3 Nights at the Kalahari Research Center with 3 cooked meals per day
  • Transport to the research sites and local guides

Tour Price Excludes

  • Arrival/departure flights
  • Meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Pre- and post-tour accommodation
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  • Meals other than specified
  • Excursions other than specified
  • Flights to and from South Africa
  • Personal medical insurance

Paying by check

If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:

Nicole Woodhouse
Pixelchrome, Inc, 
605 Rouen Drive, 
McKinney TX 75072

Paying by Wire Transfer

If you would like to pay by Wire Transfer please contact nicole@pixelchrome.com for bank account details.

Equipment Checklist

  • Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
  • Camera bodie(s)
  • Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good. A super telephoto zoom up to 400 or 600mm
  • Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
  • Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
  • Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
  • Charger for batteries
  • Spare batteries
  • Spare Memory cards
  • Memory card reader
  • USB key to exchange images

Also good to have

  • Tripod
  • Lens extenders
  • Good quality polarizing filter