ITINERARY: THE SKELETON COAST SAFARI
This safari has bi-weekly departures based on a minimum of 2 guests travelling. The scenic flight from Windhoek to one of the most inhospitable and desolate, but hauntingly beautiful places in Namibia is an awesome experience in itself. Life on the Skeleton Coast is an ongoing struggle for survival, a coast of mammal skeletons, shipwreck sites, roaring dunes, windswept plains, seal colonies and wild desolation.
Day 1 Arrival Wednesday (4 day safari)
The flight from Windhoek (2 ½ hrs) to Skeleton Coast Camp takes you northwest over the interior plateau of Namibia. We fly over the striking geological features of Damaraland, over craters of long-dead volcanoes and meteorite impact sites meeting the coastline at the Hoarusib River mouth. From there we do some low level flying along the coast as far as Rocky Point, viewing the coastal plains and dunes from the air.
Arrive in time for lunch and settle into camp on the Khumib River. An afternoon introduction to the desert environs of the region includes a drive through dry riverbeds, gravel plains, natural springs and dunes, concluding with sundowners on the rugged coast near the loneliest grave in the world!
Day 2 + 3
After breakfast, we depart on the selected excursion for the day taking in the highlights of this harsh environment. Activities are usually full day nature drives with a picnic lunch, returning to camp in the evening. The areas we traverse are vast and excursions vary somewhat depending on weather, season, animal movements etc. Areas you may visit include the clay castles of the Hoarusib River, Rocky Point, seal colonies, cultural Himba villages, natural fresh water springs, lichen fields, roaring dunes and more. Your guide also provides an in-depth look at the specially adapted reptiles, birds, insects and plants that have evolved over the ages to survive in this seemingly inhospitable place.
Return to camp at sunset for dinner.
Departure Day 4 (Saturday)
On the morning of departure guests may either spend their time at leisure in and around camp, or go on a regular early morning activity returning with ample time to pack and have lunch.
After lunch, depart for Windhoek by light aircraft, flying over the interior of Namibia. Arrival is in Windhoek late afternoon.
Special interests and weather conditions
Each group may have different interests, i.e. photography, botany, ornithology etc. The above itinerary will be flexible enough to accommodate this, and to allow the guides to concentrate on the interests of their guests.
Activities are influenced by weather conditions, and we will endeavour to arrange an itinerary, which maximizes optimum weather conditions in each area.
This camp is built in a sheltered bend on the dry Khumib River, within the private concession of the Skeleton Coast National Park. The concession stretches from south of the Hoarusib River to Cape Fria in the north and covers the width of the National Park. This National Park was Diamond district No. 3 before being proclaimed. Due to restricted access very few people have visited this enchantingly desolate and windswept piece of paradise.
The cold Benguela current sweeping up from Antarctic allows little moisture to be picked up from it by the prevailingly onshore winds, hence the very low rainfall and the desert conditions. This cold current is also highly oxygenated, nutrient rich resulting in a plankton and krill heaven that forms the basis of the food chain for the teeming marine life along this coast.
The camp has 6 tents with doors, as opposed to the old style zips. Each tent is stylishly appointed with en suite facilities, the interiors are in keeping with the environment and the ' shipwrecked ' feel of this coastline. Each tent is on decking off the ground and has a veranda area with private view. The main area consists of a comfortable, stylish lounge and bar with a small library and dining area should the elements cause retreat from the open air dining area under an aged Leadwood Tree (Combretum imberbe). The tents all have 12V power for lighting and solar geysers for hot water.
Activities & Wildlife
Because of the uniqueness and vastness of this area, most activities are done in 4x4 vehicles that are closed to the elements. All vehicles have pop-top roofs and sliding windows to enjoy the fine weather. There is however plenty of opportunity to walk and stretch the legs too.
Activities include usually full day nature drives with a picnic lunch, returning to camp in the evening, and only sometimes include half day nature drives returning to camp for lunch and venturing out again in the afternoon. Excursions may include visits to the clay castles of the Hoarusib River, Rocky Point, the roaring dunes, lichen fields, seal colonies, Himba villages, shipwreck sites and secret water seeps that attract game like Oryx, Springbok, Giraffe, Ostrich, Brown Hyena, Jackal and other smaller mammals.
This area can only be accessed by air and there will be bi-weekly departures from Windhoek on a 4 day (departs Wednesday) or 5 day safari (departs Saturday).
Due to the shortage of water at the Skeleton Coast, laundry facilities are NOT available. Please make sure that all guests have enough clothes to last them for the duration of their trip to the Skeleton Coast.
For rate information contact dmAFRICA
Namibia - Sample Itinerary