Thursday, 2 October 2014

Wildlife shooting in Walvis Bay, Namibia

Visitors to the town of Swakopmund in Namibia might be well aware of the amazing array of wildlife in and around its massive lagoon.   Most do a tour of the harbour.  Some go as far as Sandwich Harbour, another massive lagoon 25kms to the south of Swakop.  This place is popular because it's where the massive dunes of the Namib Naukluft National Park spill into the ocean.

View of the dunes meeting the South Atlantic. Sandwich Harbour used to be a whaling station - now it's a national park

We did both: a boat trip into the lagoon and a 4WD drive into the dunes.  For a photographer this is a great opportunity because there’s so much to shoot - landscapes, wildlife - even the commercial salt pans are impressive viewed from atop one of the nearby dunes. 

All shots were taken using a Canon EOS 5D MkIII and EF300mm f2.8 lens with a 1.4X or 2X Extender - I prefer the 1.4 as this makes almost no difference to the final quality (I find images shot with the 2X Extender are often soft unless shot at smaller apertures).

Lucky shot. Six pelicans came gliding and soaring along the dunes at the end of the day. 
We saw them coming but were not really fast enough to set up and wait for them.
This was a lucky shot, taken from the Land Rover's side window as they glided past.
From the top of one of the higher dunes we say this ostrich determinedly plodding north towards the edge of the sand.
It made a great off-centre shot to emphasise the size of the bird against the massive backdrop of the dunes.
I could say this was shot after days trekking into the deep interior of the Namib Naukluft park
- but it's actually a snap taken out of the car window as we drove to Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay is famous for the mass of Lesser and Greater flamingos that populate the shallows along the town waterfront.
This is a lesser flamingo walking over the mud flats, Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay: Avocet trawling for food in the shallows
Walvis bay: Little Egret
Walvis Bay lagoon: Great White Pelican

Walvis Bay lagoon: flying kelp gull
Walvis Bay lagoon: Heaviside dolphin jumping out of the swell
Walvis Bay lagoon: Heaviside dolphin jumping out of the swell
Walvis Bay lagoon: Heaviside dolphin riding the bow wave of a tourist boat
Walvis Bay lagoon: Fur seals frolicking just off the coast
Great white pelican in Walvis Bay harbour
Bull seal protecting his harem of females. Walvis bay lagoon.
Close up, Great White Pelican
Commercial salt pans to the south of Walvis Bay.
Namibia 'mines' in excess of one million tonnes of industrial grade salt from the sea each year.

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