Across African Landscapes

April 13th 2023  |   Unique Experiences, Miscellaneous  |  by   Alice Gully
Across African Landscapes

Africa is a continent of incredible diversity and natural beauty, with landscapes ranging from vast deserts and soaring mountains to lush rainforests and endless savannahs. The continent is home to some of the most stunning landscapes on earth, and it’s no wonder that photographers from around the world are drawn to its beauty. I’ve gathered a selection of some of the best landscape photographs from seven different countries. These have been chosen by our team of experts to highlight the range of natural wonders on offer as part of your safari holiday alongside the wildlife that draws so many. Whether you’re a seasoned African traveller, a photography enthusiast, or simply an admirer of the natural world, we hope these breathtaking images inspire and captivate you.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

The landscapes around Sossusvlei in Namibia are something that every nature and photography enthusiast should experience at least once in their lifetime. The towering red sand dunes are a sight to behold, and the interplay of light and shadow on their curved tops, in the early mornings and late afternoons, is a photographer’s dream. A highlight of a guided excursion from a nearby lodge such as Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is Dead Vlei with its stark white clay pan providing a striking contrast to the surrounding red sand and blue sky. The blackened, dead trees that dot the pan add a touch of eerie beauty to the scene.

A dead tree sits on a salt pan with a large red sand dune in the distance. A couple are silhouetted walking towards to dune. The sky is blue with a few wispy clouds

A couple walk on Dead Vlei, Namibia

Kaokoland, Namibia

Less visited, the far north of Namibia, just south of the Kunene River and Serra Cafema, is a region of stark and otherworldly beauty, where towering sand dunes stretch for miles across the landscape. Explored by vehicle or quad bike these dune fields are a photographer’s dream, with their sweeping curves, intricate patterns, and constantly changing colours. From sunrise to sunset, the dunes are bathed in a soft, warm light that brings out the subtle nuances of their form and texture. The contrast between the inhospitable red sand dunes and jagged desert mountains and the thread of vibrant greenery either side of the Kunene River is also spectacular.

A sea of pale yellow sand dunes disappear into the distance. An oryx appears tiny as it trots right to left in the mid distance

An oryx on dunes in Kaokoland, Namibia

Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

While the Okavango Delta certainly deserves its reputation as a must-see location for wildlife enthusiasts, there are other regions of Botswana that are equally deserving of attention, particularly for those who appreciate striking and unusual landscapes. The Makgadikgadi Pans offer an entirely different safari experience, one that is focused not just on spotting wildlife but also on experiencing the beauty of the natural world.

Three quad bikes travel left to right in the mid distance across a salt pan with a small amount of scrubby vegetation in the foreground and a small number of out of focus palms in the distance

Quad biking on Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

A stay at Jack’s Camp or San Camp allows easy access to the expansive salt pans, towering baobab trees, and rugged wilderness areas by vehicle, quad bike, or on foot alongside San people who can bring the desert to life.

Six people walk from left to right across a salt pan. Five appear to be San dressed in traditional clothing with the sixth a woman in western clothes

A walk with the San on Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

Tuli Block, Botswana

The Tuli block is a triangle of Botswana wedged between Zimbabwe and South Africa and bordered by the Shashe and Limpopo rivers. The area is characterized by dramatic rock formations, rugged hills, and vast open plains that are home to an abundance of wildlife. Its ancient baobab trees, and more recent euphorbias, stand like sentinels across the landscape, and its red sandstone cliffs and rocky granite outcrops, like the one below Mashatu Euphorbia Villas, provide a stunning contrast to the surrounding vegetation.

Euphorbias surround the roof of a building in the background with a rocky outcrop topped with a wooden fence in the foreground

The lookout at Mashatu Euphorbia Villas in Botswana

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

In neighbouring Zimbabwe, the Zambezi River is one of the most iconic waterways in Africa, with its mighty flow and breathtaking waterfalls attracting visitors from around the world. However, it’s not just the river itself that is worth exploring, but also the floodplains and riparian woodlands that surround it, particularly in Mana Pools. On the floodplain around Ruckomechi, the river is flanked by a range of ecosystems from lush riverine forests to open grasslands and rocky escarpments.

A woman sits looking away from the camera with a drink in her hand on a comfortable chair on a wooden deck. Another drink and a pair of binoculars or on a small table beside her. In the mid distance a herd of elephants grazes on the flood plain of a river. The river and an escarpment are in the background.

The view from Ruckomechi in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

South Luangwa, Zambia

To the north, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife. The camps in the park, such as Puku Ridge, are typically close to the Luangwa River, which mostly meanders along its eastern boundary, providing a lifeline for its flora and fauna.

A river winds through African bush with sandy banks in the foreground and hills in the background

The Luangwa River and its floodplains in Zambia

The landscapes here are diverse, ranging from lush riverine forests to vast open grasslands and wooded hills. In the winter months, the river slows considerably, revealing vast floodplains that provide a fascinating landscape for visitors to explore by vehicle or on foot – South Luangwa is known as the home of the walking safari.

Four people, two clients, a guide and an armed ranger, face away from the camera in the foreground looking across a river channel or small lagoon. Six giraffes and a hippo stand on sand in the mid distance and the riverbank and trees and bushes are in the distance

A walking safari in the South Luangwa, Zambia

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Peering into Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater from the rim close to Crater Lodge is an awe-inspiring experience, with the landscape below taking your breath away. The crater, formed from the collapsed caldera of an extinct volcano, is a massive, almost perfectly circular depression in the earth. Its steep walls plunge down over 600 metres to the floor below, which are a patchwork of grasslands, swamps, and forests. The colours of the landscape are stunning, with shades of green, brown, and gold blending together in a mosaic that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Two cushions covered in traditional Masai red plaid fabric sit in the foreground on a granite rock. Behind them the wall of the Ngorongoro Crater fall away to the crater floor in the mid distance and the far wall of the crater in the distance

A viewpoint at the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans is dominated by a chain of dramatic volcanoes, including the iconic Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, and Mount Muhabura. These majestic peaks rise up to over 4,000 metres, forming a stunning backdrop to the park’s lush forests and misty valleys, home to mountain gorillas among other species. In the mornings, the view from Bisate Lodge is of clouds that form on the summits of these volcanoes, creating magical white ‘caps’. As the day progresses, the clouds dissipate, revealing the rugged and rocky terrain of the volcanoes themselves.

The thatched roofs of Bisate Lodge in the foreground. Bushes and farmed areas in the middle distance. a cone shaped volcano in the distance with the sun just above the horizon and a cloudy sky

Looking from Bisate to the volcanoes in Rwanda

Laikipia, Kenya

Solio Game Reserve in Kenya offers visitors some of the most spectacular views of Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak in Africa. The snow-capped summit of the mountain dominates the skyline, creating a stunning backdrop to the reserve’s diverse habitats and abundant wildlife. Visitors staying at Solio Lodge can enjoy views of the mountain from a variety of vantage points, including on foot, on a bike, by horse or in a vehicle.

Two rhinos grazing in the foreground with cloud in the mid distance and the peak of Mount Kenya visible above the cloud in the distance

Rhinos graze on Solio Reserve with Mount Kenya in the distance

Last but not least, we transport you to the inspiration for a film location. The real ‘Pride Rock’ on Borana Conservancy in Kenya stands tall and majestic against the sweeping plains of the reserve, offering a jaw-dropping view of the immense wilderness of the Northern Frontier District stretching away north towards Lake Turkana and Ethiopia. The reserve is a mix of open grasslands and acacia woodlands at the foot of Mount Kenya, with numerous rocky outcrops and rugged hills. It’s a landscape in which lovers of the Lion King film will feel right at home and a thrilling place to explore from Borana Lodge by safari vehicle, mountain bike, horse or on foot.

Tiny figures are just visible on top of a rocky outcrop on the right of the scene with scrubby plains and hills stretching into the distance

Figures stand on top of Pride Rock in Borana Conservancy, Kenya

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a specialised photographic safari or simply a trip where you get the opportunity to enjoy some of Africa’s best landscapes. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and a number are photographers themselves. They can offer expert advice on where and when to travel and what equipment to take with you.

Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.