A photographic tour of Namibia

Over two weeks, photographer Gordon Donovan traveled across nearly 4,000 kilometers of deserts, grasslands and mountains throughout Namibia … alone.

Armed with only two camera bodies and an assortment of lenses, he trekked up the Skeleton Coast to see shipwrecks and a seal colony at Cape Cross. He turned inland toward the rustic hills of Damaraland, where wild animals roam free outside the Palmwag nature reserve. Several times, he had to sign waivers acknowledging the risk of being eaten alive.

The final nine days of his journey were a one-man road trip through the vast landscapes of Etosha National Park, where Donovan was able to capture the region’s thriving wildlife and natural beauty. (Yahoo News)

Photography by Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News

Read More: The deserts of Namibia: Life and photography on nature’s terms »

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<p>A lioness holds a young springbok after capturing it near the Namutoni camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Lioness and captured springbok

A lioness holds a young springbok after capturing it near the Namutoni camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A herd of zebras graze in the plains near the Okaukuejo camp of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Zebra in the open plains of Etosha

A herd of zebras graze in the plains near the Okaukuejo camp of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>The sun begins to set over the Atlantic Ocean on the shores of Swakopmund, Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Sunset in Swakopmund

The sun begins to set over the Atlantic Ocean on the shores of Swakopmund, Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>On the way north, I passed the Zeila, a fishing trawler stranded on a sand bar since 2008, about 15 kilometers south of Henties Bay. This vessel, just offshore, was covered with cormorants, which have made it their home. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Shipwrecked on Skeleton Coast

On the way north, I passed the Zeila, a fishing trawler stranded on a sand bar since 2008, about 15 kilometers south of Henties Bay. This vessel, just offshore, was covered with cormorants, which have made it their home. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Visitors need to be careful. These are not the cute seals in the circus or zoo. Humans are dangerous to wildlife and can get themselves in trouble too. I watched people try to get close to seals and then realize they were dangerous. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Seals fight for territory

Visitors need to be careful. These are not the cute seals in the circus or zoo. Humans are dangerous to wildlife and can get themselves in trouble too. I watched people try to get close to seals and then realize they were dangerous. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>I stopped at Cape Cross, home of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. Its nickname is “The Smelliest Place on Earth.” (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
“The Smelliest Place on Earth”

I stopped at Cape Cross, home of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. Its nickname is “The Smelliest Place on Earth.” (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A Cape fur seal sleeps on a wall near the parking area for visitors at the Cape Cross seal colony along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Nap time for seal

A Cape fur seal sleeps on a wall near the parking area for visitors at the Cape Cross seal colony along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>The spectacular view from the top of a vista in the Palmwag concession. The terrain reminded me of the southwest United States. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
View of Palmwag nature reserve

The spectacular view from the top of a vista in the Palmwag concession. The terrain reminded me of the southwest United States. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Two elephants are seen moving through a dry riverbed in the Palmwag concession while searching for food. The elephants were part of a herd that moved across the riverbed eating vegetation and posing for hundreds of photos. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Elephants in a rocky riverbed

Two elephants are seen moving through a dry riverbed in the Palmwag concession while searching for food. The elephants were part of a herd that moved across the riverbed eating vegetation and posing for hundreds of photos. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>An oryx finds a cool place in the shade as the temperature begins to soar well above 100 degrees on the rocky red terrain of Palmwag. The oryx is the national animal of Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Namibia’s national animal

An oryx finds a cool place in the shade as the temperature begins to soar well above 100 degrees on the rocky red terrain of Palmwag. The oryx is the national animal of Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A pair of giraffes peak up from behind the trees along the main road in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Bobbing heads from trees

A pair of giraffes peak up from behind the trees along the main road in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A blue wildebeest pauses to look around while grazing in the grasslands of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Break for blue wildebeest

A blue wildebeest pauses to look around while grazing in the grasslands of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A giraffe pulls away from drinking at a watering hole after the clicks of a camera frighten the tall mammal, in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park in Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
A giraffe gets frightened

A giraffe pulls away from drinking at a watering hole after the clicks of a camera frighten the tall mammal, in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park in Namibia. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>“Stay in your car” is clearly posted on a road marker as one of the rules of the park near the Etosha Pan. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Warning for visitors

“Stay in your car” is clearly posted on a road marker as one of the rules of the park near the Etosha Pan. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>An elephant moves through the plains of Etosha National Park. Just driving along a road in Namibia, you may encounter one of these beauties. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
The plains are filled with elephants

An elephant moves through the plains of Etosha National Park. Just driving along a road in Namibia, you may encounter one of these beauties. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A springbok stands alongside a road in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Springbok portrait

A springbok stands alongside a road in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A family of giraffes inspects the area before moving in towards the Renostervlei watering hole in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Giraffes move in slowly

A family of giraffes inspects the area before moving in towards the Renostervlei watering hole in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A rhinoceros peeks out from rolling around in the mud near a creek inside Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Rhinoceros needs a bath

A rhinoceros peeks out from rolling around in the mud near a creek inside Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Zebras drink from the Renostervlei watering hole in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Down by the waterhole

Zebras drink from the Renostervlei watering hole in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A red hartebeest rubs his face into the soil after drinking water at the Goas watering hole near the Halali camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Face into the dirt

A red hartebeest rubs his face into the soil after drinking water at the Goas watering hole near the Halali camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A jackal searches for scraps for dinner near a watering hole in the Namutoni section of Etosha. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Scavenger looks for food

A jackal searches for scraps for dinner near a watering hole in the Namutoni section of Etosha. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A dramatic sunset at Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park with storm clouds moving in. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
The Okaukuejo waterhole at sunset

A dramatic sunset at Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park with storm clouds moving in. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

Giraffes gather at the Batia watering hole for a midday drink in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Herd gathers at Batia watering hole
Giraffes gather at the Batia watering hole for a midday drink in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
<p>A pair of ostriches sit in grasslands to cool off on a hot day in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Too hot for these birds

A pair of ostriches sit in grasslands to cool off on a hot day in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Two impalas lock horns after playing at the Goas watering hole in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Impalas battle it out

Two impalas lock horns after playing at the Goas watering hole in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Two elephants move down the W-shaped road leading from Gaseb to Gembokvlakte toward a watering hole created by heavy rains days earlier. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Elephants hit the road

Two elephants move down the W-shaped road leading from Gaseb to Gembokvlakte toward a watering hole created by heavy rains days earlier. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Two zebras stare at the camera of a passing photographer crossing Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Don’t stare at the camera

Two zebras stare at the camera of a passing photographer crossing Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A young lion peaks out from behind a tree in a wooded area at the Olifantsbad watering hole. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Lion plays hide-and-seek

A young lion peaks out from behind a tree in a wooded area at the Olifantsbad watering hole. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A herd of giraffes keep a careful eye out for predators while drinking from the Chudop watering hole in Etosha National Park. The Chudop hole, near the Namutoni camp, is always active with animals. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
The Chudop watering hole

A herd of giraffes keep a careful eye out for predators while drinking from the Chudop watering hole in Etosha National Park. The Chudop hole, near the Namutoni camp, is always active with animals. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A herd of blue wildebeest relax in the grass along the side of a road in Etosha National Park. Many times the creatures will move if a vehicle gets too close. These guys did not move as the midday temperatures soared. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Hot day for wildebeest

A herd of blue wildebeest relax in the grass along the side of a road in Etosha National Park. Many times the creatures will move if a vehicle gets too close. These guys did not move as the midday temperatures soared. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A zebra stands and stares back at the photographer driving by from the thick vegetation along the road near the Okaukuejo camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Zebra peeks out

A zebra stands and stares back at the photographer driving by from the thick vegetation along the road near the Okaukuejo camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>An elephant opens his mouth as he moves up a grassy knoll after an afternoon cool-down at the Batia watering hole in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Elephant opens wide

An elephant opens his mouth as he moves up a grassy knoll after an afternoon cool-down at the Batia watering hole in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Two kudu drink from Owakao springs in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Kudu enjoy a spring

Two kudu drink from Owakao springs in the Dolomite section of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A spotted hyena licks its chops after eating a bird for dinner near the Namutoni camp. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Hyena licks its chops

A spotted hyena licks its chops after eating a bird for dinner near the Namutoni camp. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A zebra lifts his head up toward the sky as if laughing while other zebras graze in the plains of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
A zebra laughs towards the sky

A zebra lifts his head up toward the sky as if laughing while other zebras graze in the plains of Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A giraffe drinks from a pool at Klein Namutoni watering hole at the Namutoni camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Getting down to drink

A giraffe drinks from a pool at Klein Namutoni watering hole at the Namutoni camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A gabar goshawk sits above the action at a busy watering hole just before sunset near the Namutoni camp. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Gabar goshawk at sundown

A gabar goshawk sits above the action at a busy watering hole just before sunset near the Namutoni camp. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>A lioness walks from a wooded area and heads back toward an open field at the Namutoni camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Lioness at sundown

A lioness walks from a wooded area and heads back toward an open field at the Namutoni camp in Etosha National Park. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Another dramatic sunset at the Moringa watering hole. It is always worth the price of admission. Sunsets are quiet, with only the sounds of wildlife and cameras clicking. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
Sunset at the Moringa watering hole

Another dramatic sunset at the Moringa watering hole. It is always worth the price of admission. Sunsets are quiet, with only the sounds of wildlife and cameras clicking. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

<p>Standing in the dunes in Namib-Naukluft park. I climbed to the top of one of these massive dunes, which stand hundreds of feet high. I enjoyed the challenge of climbing the dunes, though I was kicking sand out of my shoes for days. Thanks to <a href="https://www.yoursafari.co.uk/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Your Safari" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Your Safari</a> for arranging this special trip. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News) </p>
On the dunes in Namib-Naukluft park

Standing in the dunes in Namib-Naukluft park. I climbed to the top of one of these massive dunes, which stand hundreds of feet high. I enjoyed the challenge of climbing the dunes, though I was kicking sand out of my shoes for days. Thanks to Your Safari for arranging this special trip. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

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