A recent trip took me to Swakopmund on the coast of Namibia for a week of work. At the end of our last day a group was able to visit the Namib Desert on an eco-focused tour in the form of a custom 4 hour trip. The thing that became apparent is how "lucky" you can be when you are with experienced people who really know the terrain. Our guide had over 20yrs experience and it was great as when you are guided you -
1. Don't get lost
2. See much more than you otherwise would
3. Can get around with much less impact on the environment than if you do it by yourself
4. Get to learn much more than with a basic guide book
and much more ...
Oh and in this case you need to go with a registered guide or have your own permit.
There can be disadvantages to guides giving you the tourist only view of things, but in this case it was well worth it.
On the tour we were able to see the sidewinder snake, Palmato gecko, articulated desert lizard, scorpion amongst other things. What we didn't see were the chameleons which the guide is concerned of being poached, they are slow and good at hiding but apparently people are going on the tour taking a GPS reading and returning and steeling the poor animals. Not sure how often it happens but very unfortunate - such a shame hard not to get angered by it.
The tour was Tommy’s and leaves from Swakopmund and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to visit the desert without spending, especially if you don't have much spare time.
I've included a series of my favorites - most taken with a 105mm macro lens and off camera flash.
Hope you get a chance to visit too some day - I hope next time to be able to take the family and spend some more time exploring.