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Hoanib Skeleton Coast Safari

We explore one of more remote areas of the Kaokoveld with rugged dramatic landscapes, long cold coastlines, shipwrecks and seals  on this Hoanib Skeleton Coast safari.

  • Hoanib valley in the Kaokoveld
  • Skeleton Coast National Park
  • Palmwag
  • 5 days/4 nights

Highlights of the Skeleton Coast safari

The exclusive 5* Hoanib Camp is in a broad valley along two Hoanib River tributaries. Privacy is utmost so we access the camp by light aircraft.

  • We stay for 4 nights in one of seven stylish en-suite tents with shaded outdoor lounges. There’s one family unit which sleeps four
  • Contemporary bedrooms are beautifully furnished with draped beds, crisp fresh linens, club chairs and rush matting
  • main camp area with lounge, bar area, dining room, library, fire pit and deck with swimming pool. Its low impact design reflects the fragile desert environment
  • five day itinerary includes one of the highlights of Namibia – a scenic Skeleton Coastal flight over the Namib landscape to Mowe Bay.
  • visit a seal colony
  • We view shipwreck debris and head south to the Hoanib mouth and Klein Oase on the look out for gemsbok, black-backed jackal and the odd lion or brown hyena.
  • You take game drives along dry riverbeds in search of giraffe, gemsbok, springbok and the legendary desert-adapted elephants.
  • We explore a series of phenomenal oases which provide sustenance to the adapted wildlife surviving in this arid environment.

This safari suits seasoned travellers.

When’s the best time to do the Skeleton Coast safari?

  • May to October – cool dry season, days are cool, clear and sunny. Temperatures can drop to around freezing during the night time. The weather warms up dramatically by the end of the dry season. As a result temperatures can be uncomfortably hot in the Kaokoveld and Etosha National Park. So this is the best time of year for game viewing
  • October to December – ‘little’ rains with high temperatures and sporadic showers
  • January to April – main rainy season
  • It gets extremely hot in Mid-summer with often violent thunderstorms and flash floods especially in the north
  • November to March – is best for bird watching.

ItineraryFrom $3995

Day 1 - Arrival Day 1 - Arrival View More

Transfer to camp. Drive to Hoanib Riverbed, Amspoort and possibly visit the President's waterhole. Sundowners night drive home to spot elephant, giraffe, gemsbok and springbok.

Day 2 - Skeleton Coast flight Day 2 - Skeleton Coast flight View More

Scenic Skeleton Coast flight to Mowe Bay, visit the seal colony and view shipwreck or go south to Hoanib Mouth and Klein Oase. Evening presentation on the unique desert adapted lion.

Day 3 - Mudorib Spring and Hoanib Day 3 - Mudorib Spring and Hoanib View More

Drive to Mudorib Spring, afternoon game drive to Hoanib Riverbed then downstream to Hoanib Floodplains in search of elephant and giraffe.

Day 4 - Skeleton Coast Day 4 - Skeleton Coast View More

Take a morning walk or game drive, lunch at the camp, sundowners on the dunes followed by night drive back to camp.

Day 5 - Departure Day 5 - Departure View More

Breakfast then transfer to the camp airstrip for your onward flight to Windhoek.

View full digital itinerary here
Useful info How to get thereTips and notesWildlife

How to get there

Fly into Windhoek or Swakopmund Airport [SWP]

By scheduled private charter from Windhoek although we can customise a pick-up for another location within Namibia if required.

We will take care of all arrangements “on the ground” in Africa or we can arrange your international flights from UK, USA or elsewhere in Africa if required.

Tips and notes

The safari includes:

  • Scheduled air transfers
  • 4 nights at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp fully inclusive of meals and drinks
  • Activities include scenic flight along the Skeleton Coast
  • Professional Guides
  • Park and concession fees
  • laundry

The safari excludes:

  • International flights to Namibia
  • Tips, Visa fees as applicable
  • items of a personal nature.

Daily scheduled activities change now and again due to fog and the local weather conditions, wildlife whereabouts and availability of researchers, but in general each day will be filled with two different sessions of activities. These notes are a guideline to the activities you will experience but not always in the same order as on this itinerary.

This safari is unlike any other of our safaris. The area is so vast and there is so much to see and experience. We leave camp after breakfast and spend the full morning exploring the park. We return to base camp for lunch and then head out again in the afternoon. We travel in 4 x 4 Land Rovers and cover an extraordinary variety of terrains. In the evenings we join our researchers for talks on the ecology of the area.



Desert Lions of the Kaokoveld

Lions are recorded as living along the Skeleton Coast and the Northern Namib Desert as early as 1934 when they were plentiful between the Kunene and the lower Kuiseb River in the coastal regions and mountains.

In 1967 the Skeleton Coast was declared a Park and there are records of occasional sightings. Records show that in the 22 years between 1970 and 1991, 477 lions were sighted during 238 observations.

Over recent years the story of the desert lion population has unfolded. Namibia’s Desert Lion Conservation Project was started by Dr ‘Flip’ Stander in 1998. These lions have survived against all odds and continue to strive to exist in one of the world’s harshest environments. Today their continued success is partly due to the commitment of Dr Stander. His understanding and continuous monitoring of the ‘Vanishing Kings’ has been crucial to their survival.

The area around the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is where the Floodplain pride appear to spend most of their time.

Desert-adapted elephants of the Kaokoveld

A small population of around 120-150 desert adapted elephants is resident in Namibia’s Kaokoveld. They’re found in the true desert areas of the Hoarusib-Hoanib and Huab-Ugab ephemeral river systems. A further 400-600 savannah elephants live outside of the desert zone in the wetter highlands of Kaokoland and Damaraland forming part of the combined Etosha and north-west population estimated at around 3000 elephants in 2004.

This truly desolate area around Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp provides a realistic chance of seeing desert elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion but is strictly off-limits to independent travellers.


Desert adapted elephant by Olwen Evans courtesy Wilderness Safaris

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