Intrepid Expeditions | Skeleton Coast

Itineraries / Southern Africa / Skeleton Coast

Skeleton Coast

DAY 1-4

This morning you will depart the Windhoek International airport on your scheduled charter flight to the Skeleton Coast. You will spend 4 nights at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Tented Camp

The Skeleton Coast Park is one of our planet’s most inhospitable, but hauntingly beautiful places – it is wild, desolate and uninhabited. It has everything from roaring sand dunes and windswept plains, to towering canyons and saltpans – and even one of the most productive fishing grounds anywhere.

Fresh water springs permeate through barren sands to create rare oases in the desert that sustain pockets of wildlife. Springbok, Gemsbok (Oryx), the rare desert Elephant, Ostrich, Cape fur seals, jackal and Brown Hyena – and even cheetah on rare occasions – eke out an existence in this rugged terrain, along with the vegetation like the ancient welwitschia which has adapted to the harsh conditions.

The arid desert environment in the Skeleton Coast is within the northern reaches of the Namib Desert. The Benguela current brings cold waters all the way from Antarctica and helps to moderate temperatures. The cool air off the ocean meets the hotter desert air and nearly every morning, a cool mist envelops the coastline bringing life sustaining moisture to the desert. By about 9 or 10 in the morning the sun’s rays have burnt off this mist.

There are many regions in the Skeleton Coast. On these safaris, we visit the most isolated, beautiful, remote (and private) northern sector of the park, from just north of Mowe Bay to just south of the Kunene River. The Parks have set aside this area for low volume, exclusive safaris.

Skeleton Coast Tented Camp is a six-roomed luxury tented camp in the heart of the reserve. Skeleton Coast Camp is built onto an island in a dry riverbed about 20km inland from the coastline. Each of the 6 tents is large, roomy and has a bathroom en suite. As a result of water shortages, it is unfortunately not possible to offer a laundry service. We have a wonderful old gnarled Leadwood tree which offers shelter from the elements, and this is our dining room for our outdoor meals.

This safari is unlike any of our other safaris. Because of the uniqueness and vastness of this area, most activities are done in 4×4 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 either full day nature drives or walks with a picnic lunch, returning to camp in the evening, or half day nature drives or walks 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 (small denominations of local currency/cash should be carried if guests wish to purchase curio items from the Himba settlement as foreign currency, credit cards and travellers cheques are not accepted) and secret water seeps that attract wildlife like Oryx, Springbok, Giraffe, Ostrich, Brown Hyena, Jackal and other smaller mammals. Walking also plays a part in the activities; due to the pristine nature of this area many parts are accessible only on foot, as vehicle tracks can damage the environment. Many specially adapted species of plants like Lithops and Welwitschia can be visited in this way.

Even though this is a quality safari, the terrain is harsh, rough and rugged. We will try and make this as comfortable as possible, but we have no way of hiding from the elements. Sometimes we can experience cold temperatures – and then 400m up the valley, we encounter hot desert winds.

Accommodation: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

DAY 5

At a time to be advised by the camp management, you will be transferred from Skeleton Coast Camp to the appropriate airstrip for your scheduled light aircraft transfer to Windhoek Airport. Arrival in Windhoek will be in the later afternoon.