My husband enjoying the morning clouds in the main pavillion Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
One of the things that makes Namibia’s landscape so beautiful is it’s star-filled skies and shape shifting clouds. When you’re on safari, you wake up early to grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee before you head out on your morning game drive. That’s when I set up my iPhone to capture the morning clouds just as the sun was beginning to peek beyond the horizon.
Morning clouds and sky time lapse at Hoanib
The moon was still clearly visible in the December morning sky.
The moon still visible in the morning skies of Namibia
Morning cloud reflections
This elephant mock charged so close I got this shot with my iPhone 6
While I enjoyed all the wildlife sightings I had on safari at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, I have a soft spot for the elephants. Other than dogs, elephants are my favorite animals. They have very distinct and often charming personalities. One male in the local herd, Papa G, is so much of ham he even wound up on the December 2014 cover of Conde Nast Traveler. He’s the Derek Zoolander of the Hoanib River Valley.
The local elephants are all named after guides and staffers at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
African elephants are HUGE– which means I could easily photograph them with my iPhones. All the images in this post are mobile photography images.
This video of a juvenile elephant mock charging was caught on my husband’s iPhone 6+
I could have watched this herd of elephants all day long, especially against the stunning desert backdrop and ever-changing Namibian clouds. Here’s some video of the action at the watering hole:
Elephants at the watering hole in the Hoanib River Valley, Namibia
Elephants at the watering hole in the Hoanib River Valley
I loved how playful the juveniles are, and how they only get serious about drinking the water (instead of playing in it) when the older ones tell them it’s time to get going. They also take dirt baths to cool off from the desert sun.
I hope you enjoy this time lapse video I shot on my iPhone 5s of the elephants at the watering hole:
Elephants at the watering hole time lapse video (shot on my iPhone 5s)
Elephants leaving the watering hole in the Hoanib River Valley
Enjoying the sunset with a gin & tonic in the Hoanib River Valley
Interaction with wildlife and stunning scenery are two given highlights of any safari. But the safari tradition of having a sundowner is one of my favorite moments of any given day on safari.
During my trip last month to Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia my guide, Emms, parked up on a ridge above the Hoanib River Valley and set up a table of cocktails and local snacks like nuts, chips, and biltong (dried game meat). Then he poured us a round of gin & tonics and we watched the sunset.
Check out this time lapse video I made on my iPhone:
Sunset in mirror in the Hoanib River Valley (look at those clouds!)
I don’t know why, but gin & tonic just tastes better when you’re on safari.
Gordon’s gin bottles lined up to meet their sundowner destiny
Added excuse to enjoy a sundowner– the quinine in tonic water helps keep mosquitos away (not that there were any in the Hoanib River valley). You’d also have to drink a lot of tonic water… but hey… you just go with it!
Land Cruiser at sunset in the Hoanib River Valley
Sunset as seen through the Land Cruiser seats
One day I was back at camp to watch the sunset. You can have an enjoyable sundowner experience there too.
Sunset at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
The colors at camp change and get vivid at sunset. You can enjoy the view and kick back and enjoy your sundowner near the camp fire.
Enjoying a sundowner back at camp
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Hoanib River | Kaokoveld,
Skeleton Coast Park, Namibia
+27 11 807 1800
+27 21 702 7500
Obligatory feet-in-the-sand selfie
I recently spent a few days at Maia Luxury Resort. Located on a private peninsula on the west coast of Mahé island in the Seychelles, Maia Luxury Resort is surrounded by natural beauty including a private beach and the Indian Ocean.
Maia’s location is most gorgeous during the golden hour before sunset. The light is warm and the clouds take on pastel hues.
I made this time lapse using the TimeLapse app on my iPhone 6 using the sunrise & sunset preset:
Clouds at Sunset at Maia Luxury Resort, Mahé island, Seychelles Time Lapse
I still prefer using this app over the native time lapse feature on the iPhone 6 camera because it offers presets for situations like clouds, traffic, and sunrise/sunset and will shoot and speed up accordingly.
The private beach at Maia Luxury Resort
This gives me one less thing to think about so I could focus on dipping my toes in the warm waves of the Indian Ocean.
A friendly snail I met in villa 208 at Maia Luxury resort
One tip for shooting sunset time lapse videos… don’t stop shooting as soon as the sun disappears. Let the camera run for a few minutes. Usually this is when you get the most vivid hues, and you can always trim the video if the afterglow is less than gorgeous.
Sunset stroll at Maia Luxury Resort, Seychelles
Arches cut through books at the Last Bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles
Good brick and mortar bookstores are few and far between these days. Fortunately Los Angeles has a few, including The Last Bookstore.
The Last Bookstore puts the crime section cleverly in a bank vault
The Last Bookstore combines two things I love: books and re-purposed buildings. Located in Downtown LA’s Old Bank District, The Last Bookstore is over 16,000 square feet of inspired space filled with books, records, and pop up galleries filled with the works of local artists. Best of all, it smells like books.
One section of the bookstore is organized by color of the book spines
The Crime section tucked away inside an old bank vault. There’s a section arranged by the color of the book spines. And there are plenty of nooks and crannies where you can grab a chair and read.
Comfy seating chairs at The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore has become a hot spot for everything from intellectual hipster weddings, holiday parties, and movie shoots (that steamy “library” sex scene in Gone Girl was shot here).
If you get a chance, check it out.
The Last Bookstore
453 S. Spring Street, ground floor
Downtown LA | 213.488.0599
Mon-Thurs: 10 AM-10 PM
Fri-Sat: 10 AM-11 PM
Sun: 10 AM-6 PM