Experience the famous Skeleton Coast in Namibia with famous, naturalist Namibian guides and witness for yourself the the conservancy which is regarded as the epitome of success globally. Visit and stay at the brand new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp where you will be headquarted for a few days as you go to the Skeleton Coast coastline, look for desert adapted animals like: lion, rhino and elephant alongside the Hoarusib and Hoanib Rivers.You journey through enormouse tracks of spotless and unfenced wilderness, travel to the primeval Kunene River by boat on the boundary with Anglola and walk around the scenic Marienfluss and Hartmann’s gorges. The Himba people will let you into their homes and experience their ancient and beautiful way of life. Finally, you have the great opportunity to track, on foot, the only remaining roaming group of black rhino!Apart from the Hoanib camp, you'll spend precious time at Etambura and Grootberg conservancy lodges which are incredibly beautiful, unique and are 100% Namibian owned. Photography provided by: Olwen Evans, Birgit Bekker, Flip Stander, Dana Allen and Chad Case. All rights to such materials are reserved to their respective copyright owners.
Images & Videos
Custom Trip Note: Below is a popular safari to the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. We can customize these trips at every turn to fit your availability, trip preference, activities, budget, lodging preferences or any other reason. Please call us at 800-451-6034 to customize this Skeleton Coast safari trip.
Welcome to Hoanib and the Skeleton Coast!
On the first day of this Skeleton Coast safari, you will get to know your special Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp naturalist guide. The time you arrive is based on the arrangements you made (but your flight to this camp is not included). However, it is possible to still explore the Hoanib area in the afternoon. This is a refuge for recovering wildlife. At sunset, you will make it back to the camp, freshen up, take dinner, enjoy an evening campfire and learn more about this incredible place.
You will spend this day in activities that the camp has prepared for you and also discovering the area under the direction of local guides. Specifically, you will undertake game drives in search of desert animals; trek and take afternoon drives.
You will take breakfast then embark on an unforgettable excursion into the exotic Skeleton Coast National Park. Later you will take a flight in a small aircraft to get a scenic view of the coast before settling on the beautiful beach. A safari vehicle will be on hand to help you sample the coastline as directed by the camp management. A picnic lunch on the pristine beach will be followed by more exploration and the flight back to the camp in readiness for an enjoyable sundowner.
Skeleton Coast Park boundary to Orupembe Conservancy
This day begins with breakfast and proceeds with a journey north, across the Giribis plains, into the Tomikas River and further to River Hoarusib. The journey north will continue through coarse and craggy territory to the Onjuwa Plains. This area (also known as holy plains) has for centuries been protected from hunting resulting in a sanctuary in which wild and domestic animals graze harmoniously. On the way, you will have lunch in a picnic setting and reach the camp later in the afternoon, in time for a scenic view and a refreshing drink. At night, you will peacefully eat a delicious meal around a campfire.
Conservancy to Marienfluss Conservancy, Kunene River
The day begins with a magical morning drive to River Kunene in the north. The day’s trek begins with travelers traversing the jagged Hartmann’s Pass on their way to Rooidrom (also known as Red Drum), which is a key junction in the jungle. The trek moves west and later north towards the renowned Hartmann’s Valley before travelers arrive at the magnificent Hartmann’s Mountains and through to the Marienfluss Valley. Enigmatic fairy circles are abundant here and this is likely to dominate your conversation in the car as you head for River Kunene for lunch. This river originates in the Angolan Highlands and is crocodile-infested even as it provides sustenance in an arid area. This area was full of desert elephants which were decimated by poaching in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, a conservation project is ongoing to entice elephants back.
Lunch will be ready by the time you reach the lush Okahirongo River Camp which is located at the peak of Marienfluss Valley. Take time to rest and enjoy the gorgeous room you have been allocated. In the afternoon you will go for a boat ride on River Kunene and enjoy the divergent landscape as well as crocodiles and birds. You will go back to the camp after sunset, freshen up and take dinner as you relax.
Marienfluss Conservancy, Kunene River
This day will be replete with informative and thrilling guided tasks. The morning begins with a picturesque walk to the beautiful surroundings of River Kunene with your trusted guide. Midday will find you relaxing within the comfortable lodge. You will take lunch in the camp, relax and later leave for exhilarating task of looking for the Himba people, who are the only nomadic tribe in Namibia currently. This activity could time-consuming because the tribe may move to another location at short notice. This is among the last tribes in Namibia which still practice traditional life and are largely unaffected by modern life. This is also an opportunity to understand the traditions and customs of Namibians and to get a glimpse into what they believe in, their culture and daily life. Having stayed at the settlement, it is now time to come back to the lodge through picturesque landscapes and even take a break on the mountain top to watch the spectacular setting sun. At the camp you will have adequate time to rejuvenate before supper.
Marienfluss Conservancy to Puros Conservancy
After an early morning breakfast, the journey to the south to see the picturesque Marienfluss Valley begins. The Himba Holy Mountain will come into view as you wander on the road to Orupembe. Other landmarks include Mt Ojiunaune and Mt Otjiomuhana. However, your route may be determined by the season, in which case you may either use the Khumib River or River Hoarusib. You are likely to spot wildlife which has adapted to the desert like giraffe or elephant or, based on the season, travel via the salient and vast western plains. You will take your lunch under the cover of ana trees and tall camel thorns before descending to the river. Here you will find elephants and lions which have adapted to the desert. From the Himba settlement, the next destination is Puros which has not more than 300 Herero and Himba herders. Later this afternoon, you will reach the deluxe Okahirongo Elephant Lodge. You will have adequate time to enjoy the goodies of this facility and an evening in which you can reminisce on your past experiences.
Puros Conservancy to ≠Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy
On this day you will take breakfast early before leaving for a long but picturesque drive towards the Grootberg Mountain where you will find the beautiful Grootberg Lodge. The journey will take you through the little urban centre of Sesfontein and later between Palmwag and Etendeka Concessions. Expect to see a lot of wildlife along the way. Since you will be on the journey most of the day, you will eat a picnic midday meal along the way. You will reach the lodge later in the afternoon to enjoy the view of the landscape from the edge of the mountain opposite the River Klip’s valley.
Rhino tracking takes three quarters of a day as soon as breakfast ends. Your guide and experienced trackers from the local community will be on hand to help you identify the tracks of rhinos and this will be very exciting for you. Lunch is eaten in the wild and in the late afternoon, you will make your way back to the lodge.
Desert Black Rhinoceros: The two main sub-species of this animal in southern Africa are domiciled in Namibia. Western Kaokoveld actually has the only rhino population still found in unfenced wild space outside reserves. These animals prefer to live in the escarpments of the mountain although they move along transient rivers towards the northern part of the Namib if conditions allow after rains. In Africa, these are the only globally recognized ‘desert groups’ black rhinos. Just like their elephant counterparts, they traverse long distances and feed during the night and dedicate the day to resting. They feed on 74 plant species out of the 103 found in the desert to meet their dietary and mass needs. In addition, they are among the few species which consume fibrous welwitschia leaves. They even eat a lot of milkbush or Euphorbia virosa, which have toxic latex and sharp spines ostensibly because of their fat and water content. They physically protect dry areas without causing harm. Although they used to roam the sub-continent in large numbers, black rhinoceros face extinction today. Actually, Diceros bicornis, the minor sub-species, is not found in Namibia today.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site which is found at Twyfelfontein is your first stop after taking an unhurried breakfast. Here you will get time to discover history and see ancient rock art. After this, you will go to Doro !Nawas Airstrip and take a picnic midday meal in the neighborhood of this airfield. You have the option of:
- Making an extension with ROW Adventures. We suggest a 3 or 4 day extension to Victoria Falls!
- Take a flight back to Windhoek for your trip back home.
You have reached the end of your exciting safari to Skeleton Coast and Kaokoland Conservancy. We hope to host you again on your next adventure!
Dates & Rates
Please contact us and we'll be happy to start a date for you! firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-451-6034.
If you have children under the age of 12 we will be happy to quote a private departure.
- Accommodation as previously explained.
- Transportation in lavish air-conditioned safari motor vehicle.
- Timely meals as explained above.
- The services of a licensed, registered and knowledgeable natural guide who speaks English.
- Various entrance fees including those for National Parks and excursions based on the itinerary above.
- Mineral water while driving in the safari van.
- Local beverages provided as shown above but imported spirits and vintage wines not incorporated.
- Welcome package.
- Global flights to Namibia plus the airport taxes involved.
- Any meals which are excluded in this program.
- Any entry charges and expeditions not listed in this schedule.
- Imported spirits or vintage wines.
- Laundry (this service is provided at lodges at an extra charge).
- Personal nature.
- All flights to Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and away from Doro !Nawas Airstrip.
- Entry VISA fees.
FAQ & More
In 2011, due to natural fires, the camp was badly damaged. With anxious travelers awaiting for this extremely popular camp, the construction process started on the new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in 2012 and will begin taking guests again in August of 2014.
While tap water is considered safe in Namibia's cities, drinking tap water isn't generally recommended in Namibia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. In our safari vehicle we carry a container of filtered water you can use to refill your reusable water bottle or canteen.
Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels and western-style restaurants, but not by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
No vaccinations are mandatory but please consult your doctor for medical advice. Parts of Namibia are considered to be malarial so you may want to use anti-malarial prophylactics, especially if visiting during the Namibian summer (December to April) – subject to advice from your own doctor.