Skeleton Coast Safari, Namibia

The Skeleton Coast conjures up mysterious visions of mist-enshrouded beaches strewn with bleached whalebones and rusted shipwrecks. Stretching from the south of Namibia up into Angola, the Skeleton Coast and its hinterland is a landscape of haunting beauty, a vast area of rolling sand dunes, expanses of uninhabited desert plains, fossil beds, unique geological formations, desert-adapted animals and strange vegetation.

Louw Schoeman, pioneer of ecotourism in Namibia, came to know and love the Skeleton Coast and surrounding areas. This led him to take a leading role in its conservation and in the proclamation of the Skeleton Coast National Park in 1971. He then started the well known Skeleton Coast Safaris, the enterprise that his family have continued and expanded upon, retaining his high standards and personal attention to detail.

Skeleton Coast Safaris offer fantastic safaris through out Namibia using their own aircraft for low level flights between destinations and then you will explore in landrovers and on foot. Guests are accommodated in exclusive, privately owned, fully equipped tented camps. The camps are comfortable and each is situated in a spot carefully chosen for its unique beauty.

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Here is a selection of safaris to choose from or itineraries can be tailor made.
Safari A: Skeleton Coast Safari
Safari B: Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei
Safari C: Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei and the Etosha National Park
Safari D: Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei, Namibrand Nature Reserve and Lüderitz

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SAFARI A:

Skeleton Coast Safari
(Four days & three nights)

A four-day safari leaving Windhoek at 10h00 in the morning, following the Skeleton Coast from Conception Bay to the Huab Valley during the first day. The second day continues up the coast as far as the Hoarusib Valley and the third day as far as the Kunene river, being the northern border of Namibia. The safari ends in Windhoek on the fourth day, arriving just before sunset.

Day one

We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 10h00 for departure to the Skeleton Coast via Conception Bay. The Kuiseb canyon and adjoining red dunes are a spectacular view from the air. The flight includes an aerial view of the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay.

After landing and refuelling at Swakopmund, we continue with a low-level flight north along the Skeleton Coast past the seal colony at Cape Cross for a light picnic lunch near the beach. After lunch we cross the desert by aircraft to the Ugab formations, a nearly lifeless 'moon landscape' of numerous black ridges in stark contrast to the white desert floor. From here we proceed to our Kuidas camp in the Huab River Valley where we stay for the night. Ancient rock engravings are found amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp.

Day two

After breakfast we depart by Land Rover to explore the colourful red lava and yellow sandstone of the Huab River environs and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this area with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. This includes the Welwitschia Mirabilis, a tree that has been dwarfed by the rigours of the encroaching desert climate. We have lunch at Kuidas camp before flying along the coast to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta.

At the coast we access the roaring dunes by Land Rover, which always proves to be a stimulating experience. We also visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agate, lava, granite and quartz. Interesting to see are old bleached whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the aircraft and continue north to our Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in the Kunene Region, where we stay for the night.

Day three

After breakfast we embark on a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might be lucky enough to come across the desert-dwelling elephant who frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the Kunene River acting as a border to Angola. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck and pieces from old sailing vessels lie scattered along this part of the coast. From the airfield we take a scenic drive by Land Rover to our favourite lunch site. After lunch we continue through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley - which extends to the Kunene River - reaching our Kunene River camp in the late afternoon.

Day four

An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and possibly some crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those that inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After lunch at the camp, we fly back to Eros Airport, Windhoek, arriving in the late afternoon.

SAFARI B:

Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei
(Four days & three nights)

A four day safari leaving Windhoek at 07h00 in the morning with a flight to Sossusvlei which is reputed to have the highest sand dunes in the world. From there following the Skeleton Coast via Conception Bay to the Huab Valley during the first day. The second day continues up the coast as far as the Hoarusib Valley and the third day as far as the Kunene river, being the northern border of Namibia. The safari ends in Windhoek on the fourth day, arriving just before sunset.

Day one

We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 07h00 for an early morning flight to Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park. Sossusvlei is reputed to have the highest dunes in the world, and the view of the shadow-lined dunes from the air is spectacularly breathtaking. We land at Sesriem from where we undertake an excursion by vehicle into the dunes. The dunes reach heights of 300m or more and for those inclined and fit enough to climb them, this might pose a challenge. We return to the aircraft and fly along the coast via Conception Bay towards Swakopmund. The flight includes an aerial view of the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay.

After landing and refuelling at Swakopmund, we continue with a low-level flight north along the Skeleton Coast past the seal colony at Cape Cross for a light picnic lunch near the beach. Thereafter we fly east, over the desert, to the Ugab formations - a nearly lifeless 'moon landscape' of numerous black ridges that stand out in stark contrast to the white desert floor - before landing at our Kuidas camp in the Huab River Valley, where we stay for the night. Ancient rock engravings are found amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp.

Day two

After breakfast we depart by Land Rover to explore the colourful red lava and yellow sandstone of the Huab River environs and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this area with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. This includes the Welwitschia Mirabilis, a tree that has been dwarfed by the rigours of the encroaching desert climate. We have lunch at Kuidas camp before flying along the coast to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta.

At the coast we access the roaring dunes by Land Rover, which always proves to be a stimulating experience. We also visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agate, lava, granite and quartz. Interesting to see are old bleached whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the aircraft and continue north to our Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in the Kunene Region, where we stay for the night.

Day three

After breakfast we embark on a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might be lucky enough to come across the desert-dwelling elephant who frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the Kunene River acting as a border to Angola. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck and pieces from old sailing vessels lie scattered along this part of the coast. From the airfield we take a scenic drive by Land Rover to our favourite lunch site. After lunch we continue through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley - which extends to the Kunene River - reaching our Kunene River camp in the late afternoon.

Day four

An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and possibly some crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those that inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After lunch at the camp, we fly back to Eros Airport, Windhoek, arriving in the late afternoon.

SAFARI C:

Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei and the Etosha National Park
(Five days & four nights)

A five day safari leaving Windhoek at 07h00 in the morning with a flight to Sossusvlei which is reputed to have the highest sand dunes in the world. From there following the Skeleton Coast via Conception Bay to the Huab Valley during the first day. The second day continues up the coast as far as the Hoarusib Valley and the third day as far as the Kunene river, being the northern border of Namibia. On the fourth day a flight to one of the lodges outside the Etosha National Park from where the park is visited on the fifth day. The safari ends in Windhoek, arriving just before sunset on the fifth day.

Day one

We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 07h00 for an early morning flight to Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park. Sossusvlei is reputed to have the highest dunes in the world, and the view of the shadow-lined dunes from the air is well worth seeing. We land at Sesriem from where we undertake an excursion by vehicle into the dunes. The dunes reach heights of 300m or more and for those inclined and fit enough to climb them, this might pose a challenge. We return to the aircraft and fly along the coast via Conception Bay towards Swakopmund. The flight includes an aerial view of the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay.

After landing and refuelling at Swakopmund, we continue with a low-level flight north along the Skeleton Coast past the seal colony at Cape Cross for a light picnic lunch near the beach. Thereafter we fly east, over the desert, to the Ugab formations - a nearly lifeless 'moon landscape' of numerous black ridges that stand out in stark contrast to the white desert floor - before landing at Kuidas camp in the Huab River Valley, where we stay for the night. Ancient rock engravings are found amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp.

Day two

After breakfast we depart by Land Rover to explore the colourful red lava and yellow sandstone of the Huab River environs and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this area with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. This includes the Welwitschia Mirabilis, a tree that has been dwarfed by the rigours of the encroaching desert climate. We have lunch at Kuidas camp before flying along the coast to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta.

At the coast we access the roaring dunes by Land Rover, which always proves to be a stimulating experience. We also visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agate, lava, granite and quartz. Interesting to see are old bleached whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the aircraft and continue north to our Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in the Kunene Region, where we stay for the night.

Day three

After breakfast we embark on a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might be lucky enough to come across the desert-dwelling elephant who frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the Kunene River acting as a border to Angola. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck and pieces from old sailing vessels lie scattered along this part of the coast. From the airfield we take a scenic drive by Land Rover to our favourite lunch site. After lunch we continue through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley - which extends to the Kunene River - reaching our Kunene River camp in the late afternoon.

Day four

An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and possibly some crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those which inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After lunch at the camp, we fly directly from the Kunene River to the eastern side of the Etosha National Park, where we spend the night at a lodge outside the park.

Day five

After breakfast we drive/fly into the park for a game drive by vehicle. Springs provide numerous drinking places for the animals, which congregate in spectacular numbers especially during the dry season (June to December). Animals such as lion and steenbok may be found in specific home ranges, while others such as springbok, eland, zebra, wildebeest and elephant wander all over browsing or in search of better grazing. Our flight back to Windhoek commences in the afternoon to ensure that we land before dark.

SAFARI D:

Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei, Namibrand Nature Reserve and Lüderitz
(Six days & Five nights)

This combination provides a safari which includes a drive into Sossusvlei, the NamibRand Nature Reserve and a unique opportunity to experience the mystique and splendour of the 'Sperrgebiet', the forbidden Diamond Area, situated on the far south-west coast of Namibia. From there the safari continues along the Skeleton Coast via Spencer Bay to the Huab Valley during the third day. The fourth day continues up the coast as far as the Hoarusib Valley and the fifth day as far as the Kunene river, being the northern border of Namibia. The safari ends in Windhoek, arriving just before sunset on the sixth day.

Day one

We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 07h00 for an early morning flight to Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park. Sossusvlei is reputed to have the highest dunes in the world. The view of the shadow-lined dunes from the air is well worth seeing. We land at Sesriem from where we undertake an excursion by vehicle into the dunes. The dunes reach heights of 300m or more and for those inclined and fit enough to climb them, this might pose a challenge. After our excursion at Sossusvlei we fly to the Wolwedans Dune Camp in the NamibRand Nature Reserve where we stay for two nights. (A similar alternative will be offered if Wolwedans is not available) An afternoon drive through the nature reserve concludes our first day. Your pilot-guide will arrange for a light picnic lunch to be served during the day's itinerary.

Day two

We fly to Lüderitz to participate in the day-long Elizabeth Bay safari. This introduces visitors to the town of Lüderitz with its old ghost town relics at Kolmanskop and mining plants of the early German pioneers, the forbidden coast and a fur seal colony. The flight from Lüderitz during the late afternoon passes over Spencer Bay, with its picturesque Otavi shipwreck, seals basking on the rocky slopes, penguins and other birdlife. This is possibly the most desolate and impelling part of the Skeleton Coast.

Day three

The flight from Wolwedans (or alternative) to Swakopmund includes an aerial view of the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay. After landing and refuelling at Swakopmund, we continue with a low-level flight north along the Skeleton Coast past the seal colony at Cape Cross for a light picnic lunch near the beach. Thereafter we fly east, over the desert, to the Ugab formations - a nearly lifeless 'moon landscape' of numerous black ridges that stand out in stark contrast to the white desert floor - before landing at our Kuidas camp in the Huab River Valley, where we stay for the night. Ancient rock engravings are found amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp.

Day four

After breakfast we depart by Land Rover to explore the colourful red lava and yellow sandstone of the Huab River environs and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this area with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. This includes the Welwitschia Mirabilis, a tree that has been dwarfed by the rigours of the encroaching desert climate. We have lunch at Kuidas camp before flying along the coast to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta.

At the coast we access the roaring dunes by Land Rover, which always proves to be a stimulating experience. We also visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agate, lava, granite and quartz. Interesting to see are old bleached whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the aircraft and continue north to our Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in the Kunene Region, where we stay for the night.

Day five

After breakfast we embark on a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might be lucky enough to come across the desert-dwelling elephant who frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the Kunene River acting as a border to Angola. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck and pieces from old sailing vessels lie scattered along this part of the coast. From the airfield we take a scenic drive by Land Rover to our favourite lunch site. After lunch we continue through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley - which extends to the Kunene River - reaching our Kunene River camp in the late afternoon.

Day six

An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and possibly some crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those that inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After lunch at the camp, we fly back to Eros Airport, Windhoek, arriving in the late afternoon.

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