ARTS AND NATURE WILDERNESS CAMPING EXPERIENCE WITH FREEMAN PATTERSON

Dates: 12th -26th March 2017

Cost: R25390 per participant (single accommodation)

            R23690 per participant (shared accommodation)

 Deposit: R7500

 

The Kamieskroon Hotel is organizing a two-week event for photographers, painters, naturalists, and others interested in wilderness. We want to bring good people together in “wild places.” The maximum number of participants, excluding staff, will be fifteen (15).

Except for brief stays at the Kamieskroon Hotel at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, we will be visiting and camping in two very different locations.

First, we will spend five days and four nights at Boulderbaai in the coastal section of Namaqualand National Park. Here we will hike the white sand dunes and visit a seal colony and several different beaches. The beaches feature striking rock formations and tumbled, polished rocks, gigantic breakers, myriad shells, aquatic plants, brightly-coloured lichens and other land plants. Also, you are likely to see wild ostriches, as well as small antelopes and various bird species.

Second, we will travel to Kokerboomkloof in a remote section of Richtersveld National Park, a stunningly beautiful, mountain desert with old mountains and enormous boulders. The Milky Way will be a highway of light in the night sky and/or the moon will light your way across the veld. You will be able to photograph kokerbome or quiver trees against the Milky Way or with a rising moon. Above all, the enormous spaces, hidden valleys, and rocky hiding places provide solitude. There is no better place to hike or walk alone. One “feels” eternity in this immeasurably ancient land, the sense that today might be two million years ago or two million years in the future.

This event is not a workshop of any sort; however, experienced photographers  will provide useful information and active guidance. Also, there will be one or two introductory presentations at the hotel before the departures to the two main locations and a day after each trip to share images and other recollections.

If you are a photographer, make certain you know how to operate your camera well before you come, no matter how simple or complicated it may be. You should be ready to take advantage of the visual opportunities.

You must be reasonably fit, healthy and accustomed to walking (especially on your own in the Richtersveld), and willing to rise every morning between five and six-thirty o’clock (5h00 and 6h30) depending on weather and opportunities announced the preceding evening.

General Information

1/ Participants
must arrive at the Kamieskroon Hotel by 16h00 (4 pm) March 16.

2/ For camping
Kamieskroon Hotel will supply tents, cots, light mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets, towels, wash basins, and all food and water. (We will also provide at least one shower.) You must supply your own face cloth and drinks (available from the hotel bar before departure). Vegetarians are welcome, but please specify any/all food requirements when you make your deposit.

3/ Important items to bring
(a) torch/flashlight (it is very useful when camping and we have found that the headlamp type works best), plus extra batteries,     (b) sunscreen (rated 30 or higher; a higher rating adds cost with little additional protection), (c) wet wipes or something similar, (d) your own converters and adapters for use at the hotel. We use 220 – 240V electricity. The pins of our electrical plugs are round (not the flat ones used elsewhere in Africa).

4/ Clothing
should be basic, casual and comfortable. Layer for warmth. It may be quite cold at the coast, especially at night. You can expect some very warm days and nights in Kamieskroon, and the Richtersveld will probably be very warm – hot days and mild nights – but conditions can vary a lot. Rain is possible everywhere, but unlikely, and humidity is low, except at the coast. Whatever else you may bring, we suggest you include the following:

  • 2 long-sleeved light cotton shirts (over-sized for maximum air circulation)
  • sweat shirt
  • waterproof anorak
  • fleece vest or jacket
  • comfortable hiking shoes (extra shoelaces) high enough to keep sand out
  • cotton or wool socks only (no acrylics, as they will make your feet too hot)
  • sweat pants, overalls, shorts, jeans or similar (avoid tight trousers)
  • hat or cap (for protection from the sun)/wool beanie (for the coast)
  • sunglasses or photo-grey glasses

Do not bring too many things! Although you may leave part of your luggage at the hotel while you are camping, having less rather than more will make your longer trip much more pleasant.

The hotel has a same day (if possible) laundry service at reasonable rates. No laundry service on Sundays.

5/ Photographic Equipment:
You should be prepared to carry your photographic equipment for some distances. Therefore, we recommend a photographic vest or lightweight backpack.

Serious photographers should bring a tripod such as the Manfrotto ART 190 (Bogen in the USA) – with a Joystick or similar head, i.e. the Manfrotto head #222, 322 to 327, as these are sturdy and relatively light.

Bring two camera bodies. You will find uses for lenses from 17mm to 300mm but probably need nothing longer. You will also find uses for a macro or close-up lens.

We strongly suggest you bring a polarizing filter for both film and digital capture, also film photographers may want to use a graduated neutral density filter (#1 or 2) and an 81A (warming) filter.

Bring extra batteries for your cameras and other devices. If you are shooting digital, bring your own laptop, extra memory cards, or other storage devices. Please note: there is NO electricity at the coast or in the Richtersveld, and no cell phone reception. Expect to be out of touch with the virtual world.

6/ Transport:
Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the coast.  A 4×4 vehicle will be most suitable, but 2×4 vehicles can be used for the coastal trip, as all secondary roads are gravel/unpaved and not always in very good condition. A 4×4 vehicle is essential for the Richtersveld. If you are interested in sharing a vehicle, let us know and we may be able to put you in contact with another participant who also wants to share.

7/ Other:
You will not require large amounts of cash when in Kamieskroon. Visa and Mastercard are accepted virtually everywhere. However, you cannot buy gas with a credit card, only with a debit or petrol card. The hotel will exchange US Dollars and Euros for rand. You will not be near any major centres for most of your trip. Tour price includes accommodation, camping fees and all meals. Laundry, drinks and daily conservation fees in the National Park are not included.

You do not require any immunization shots for the areas in which you will be travelling, but if you are planning to travel to the northern regions of Namibia or the north eastern regions of South Africa, you should have malaria protection. Also, we strongly recommend that all travellers everywhere have Hepatitis A and B inoculations.

Daily schedules may be adapted or changed depending general weather conditions.

 So. Day1 (12th March): Arrive during the day (please arrive before 16h00), informal meeting on front porch at 17h00 followed by an introductory program in the hall and dinner.

Ma. Day (13th March): Departure for Atlantic coast via Hondeklip Bay (boulders, huge breakers, shipwreck) and arrival at the campsite at Boulder Bay.

Days 3, 4 & 5 (14th ,15th and 16th March):  Photographing white dune fields, rocks of all sorts, beaches, wave action, sea shells, a seal colony, etc.

Vr. Day 6 (17th March): Early morning photography at coast, depart after breakfast for hotel or other spots en route. For example, participants may choose to go directly to hotel or via Hondeklip Bay (huge breakers, shipwreck).

Sa. Day 7 (18th March):  All day for viewing your new work and seeing that of others. There will also be time for photography in the vicinity of the hotel and introductory programs on Richtersveld National Park.

So. Day 8 (19th March): Depart for Richtersveld National Park. Spend evening at Sendelingsdrift on the Orange River (Gariep)

Day 9 (20th March): Depart For Kokerboomkloof via Helskloof Pass.

Days 10, 11 and 12 (21st , 22nd and 23rd March): Photographing remarkable landscapes, huge boulders, quiver trees, rock formations, etc.

Day 13 (24th March): Early morning photography and depart for hotel after breakfast.

Day 14 (25th March): All day for viewing your new work, sharing images.

Day 15 (26th March): Depart after breakfast.

 

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 TOUR TO SOUTHERN NAMIBIA:

Vincenzo (Dido) Didomenico of Cape Town, an experienced photographer, tour guide, and gracious host is happy to discuss organizing a small group tour into southern Namibia (including such places as the abandoned diamond-mining town of Kolmanskop and Sossusvlei in the vast region of huge sand dunes) to begin immediately after our two-week camping tour ends. His annual tour provides the opportunity to extend your stay in southern Africa without having to do a lot of extra or difficult planning yourselves. If you are interested, please contact Dido directly at:

 

Vincenzo (Dido) Didomenico

Email: imajika@mweb.co.za