The name “Skeleton Coast” conjures up romantic images of desolate beauty, and proudly remote Wilderness Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in the Kaokoveld does not disappoint. The dry bed of the Hoanib River supports a thin green ribbon of vegetation and the wild beaches of the Atlantic coast are within reach, with their noisy seal colonies and eerily quiet shipwreck remnants.
Eight large en-suite tents (including one family unit) and the main area provide shady viewpoints, while nature drives into the surrounding area reveal a wealth of desert-adapted wildlife. Desert-adapted lion and brown hyena may also be glimpsed in this vast but far from lifeless landscape.
INSIDER'S TIP: On a stay of three nights or more, a coastal excursion to The Skeleton Coast is included. Usually involving a drive down to the coast and a flight back to camp, to see such a diverse area both on the ground and in the air.
The camp comprises seven pale olive, luxury tents peaking like whitecaps on an ocean of sand. These well-insulated tented suites – with free-flow stretch canvas roofing, floating concrete foundations on stilts, en-suite facilities, and spacious private deck – offer a perfect escape from the excursions of the day. Gravel pathways link the tents to the convivial main area.
One stylish family unit consists of two bedrooms, each with two three-quarter beds and own en-suite facilities. Separate entrances lead to each bedroom, while a shared spacious outdoor deck offers shaded seating for relaxing and taking in the spectacular views of the surrounding desert with a sundowner in hand.
Bar, Library, Pool
Electrical Outlets, En-Suite, Fan, Hair Dryer, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mini Bar, Safe, Tea / Coffee, Verandah
Nature drives showcase the magnitude of this wondrous lunar-like landscape and offer the best possibilities of seeing unique desert-adapted wildlife. Morning or afternoon drives are available, as well as full-day excursions. Attractions include true desert oases found in the Hoanib floodplains; as well as habitats being home to desert-adapted elephants, gemsbok, giraffe, and springbok.
Guided nature walks from camp take in the magnificent surrounds, as well as offer a glimpse at vestiges of the Strandloper (Beachcomber) lifestyle from hundreds of years ago. A thought-provoking opportunity to study the smaller creatures that survive in this seemingly barren landscape, and be astonished at the fascinating plant life of the concession.
* Weather permitting and subject to the availability of a qualified walking guide.
On a stay of three nights (or more) full-day excursions to the Skeleton Coast are offered. This fascinating 4x4 trip to the coast takes you via the wilderness and wildlife of the Hoanib River and floodplain, which include Klein Oases Spring and driving through a dune field – while the Skeleton Coast itself reveals a rocky coastline with its huge Cape fur seal colonies and shipwreck remains. Following a picnic lunch, the return flight back to camp offers a magnificent perspective of your journey from the air.
* Typically, harsh desert conditions prevail in this area with regards to heat, fog rolling in from the sea, high winds and flooding rivers. On occasion, these conditions may affect the duration and routing of the excursion, with guests being driven both ways or – as is the case when it rains and the floodplains fill with water – flown both ways.
Operating within our concession area and on offer to all guests, these trips leave camp early in the morning, include a picnic lunch, and return to camp in the mid to late afternoon. It includes Mudorib Springs, exploring remote areas in the south of our allocated exclusive concession area, with the red basalt landscapes of the Damaraland. Amongst other general game species, guests have the chance of seeing Hartmann's mountain zebra and the desert-adapted rhino. In the northern and eastern area of the Hoanib, the valleys offer spectacular scenery.
* Subject to private vehicle availability, to guarantee this excursion a private vehicle needs to be booked and paid for.
At the Hoanib Research Centre, presentations by, and interactions with, wildlife researchers are possible when they are in camp. These valuable insights cover all current research being supported at Hoanib, in particular the vital work conducted by Dr Philip Stander and his team studying the unique desert-adapted lion. Learn about the tragic Vanishing Kings lion coalition, as well as the ancient stories and legends of the Skeleton Coast.
* Subject to the availability of researchers when in camp, and conducted in the research centre.
Birding enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the diverse avifauna of the northern Palmwag Concession, from soaring raptors to charming Namaqua sandgrouse; as well as other regular endemics including Rüppell's korhaan, Benguela long-billed lark and Verreauxs' eagle.