Review: Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Review: Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Namibia


If any place in our around-explored world can however be called a wilderness, it is the Skeleton Coastline in northwest Namibia. The gates that mark the conclude of the general public road at its southern boundary really don’t really say “here be dragons”, but they may as perfectly: a huge painted skull and crossbones greets intrepid drivers – and an all-far too-genuine assortment of whale bones. People who do venture in by street will have to deal with deep sand, tyre-shredding rocks and a sparse street network that peters out just as items get attention-grabbing.

Considerably better, then, to set oneself in the much more skilled hands of Wilderness Safaris’ Hoanib Skeleton Coastline Camp, where by their expert guides, autos and even mild plane will support your exploration of this normally impenetrable landscape. 

Skeleton Coastline adventure: the five-star desert safari in whole

In which is it?

The camp is on the fringe of the Skeleton Coast nationwide park, about 50 % way amongst the coastal city of Swakopmund and the Angolan border. Between the two is an region which is virtually as massive as Wales nonetheless dwelling to just a couple dozen folks. Most attendees arrive by plane, which will take a couple of hrs from the intercontinental airport in Windhoek.

Wilderness Safaris, Namibia

The landscape

The camp sits in a dry valley, with mountains guiding it and in entrance an expanse of sand top down to the Hoanib river. For much of the yr (and from time to time numerous several years in a row) the river is dry, but the steep river cliffs it has carved into the floodplain are evidence of its power when the rains do occur. As you development downstream towards the Atlantic, the floodplain widens and the dim rocky mountains give way to golden sand dunes, which increase and slide till they achieve the sea.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Things to do and video game drives

A desert safari is extremely different from a single in the h2o-loaded grasslands of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, or even Namibia’s have Etosha nationwide park, exactly where prey and predators acquire in substantial numbers. In its place of sitting down back again and seeing as herds of animals go you by, you will be actively trying to get out a couple of really adapted species – the desert lions and elephants, for instance – and stopping off to see the other birds, insects, snakes and compact mammals that capture your guide’s interest on the way.

Desert lion, Hoanib Skeleton Coast

Obtaining a lion or elephant is by no suggests guaranteed provided the floor they have to cover to endure in this sort of a severe surroundings, but the talent of the guides dramatically improves your prospects. And you will absolutely see giraffe, springbok and oryx as you make your way through the valley – often in opposition to the strange and highly photogenic backdrop of sand dunes. You will also have the option to converse to the scientists based at Hoanib Skeleton Coastline camp, understanding extra about how wildlife has found a way to endure in these kinds of dry circumstances.

Giraffes in the Hoanib Valley, Namibia

A working day journey to the coastline is bundled if you commit a few evenings or far more at Hoanib (and if not obtainable for an added rate). An practical experience like no other, it commonly commences with a pre-dawn travel throughout the flood basic. As the sun rises, you might do some elephant monitoring on route, or transpire throughout some hyenas scavenging on the river financial institution. You will make time for a bush breakfast far too, in advance of rising into the dunes that mark the western edge of Africa. Outside of them is the coast itself, a spooky, misty strip littered with whalebones and the occasional shipwreck – as nicely as countless numbers of seals. Just after in all probability the most distant lunch you will at any time take in, you will return to the camp by light plane – a scenic, lower-level flight together the program of the river. 

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Lodging and foods

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp consists of eight visitor cabins, all with tented roofs that resemble the peaks and ridges of the nearby dunefield. Within, the glass-and-canvas suites are generously sized, with significant and really comfy beds and roomy loos. The entire camp is furnished to complement the desert landscape, using a good deal of untreated timber and muted fabrics. The overall influence is contemporary, crisp but unobtrusive.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Namibia

A comparable aesthetic extends to the widespread area, which is made up of a little swimming pool as effectively as a restaurant, bar and lounge. The top quality of food items, as at all the Wilderness Safaris camps, is fantastic, with a great deal of option on an a la carte menu which modifications day-to-day (and is coordinated with other lodges in Namibia to ensure range even when you’re hopping from camp to camp). Foods are served at particular person tables.

When to go

Offered its desert area, Hoanib Skeleton Coastline Camp can get scorching at any time of the 12 months, but the heat is at its most extreme from Oct to January. Temperatures in the higher 30s are not unusual and the solar feels robust. Rain is most most likely from January to March, usually in the variety of impressive thunderstorms. Some areas of the river mattress may well become inaccessible soon after rain – but those that can continue to be achieved are carpeted in grass and bouquets. Peak time operates from April to September, when daytime temperatures are cooler (even though still up to 30C in the center of the working day). 

Price and scheduling

Off-peak fees at Hoanib Skeleton Coastline (involving January and March 2023) commence from about £765 per particular person for every evening, primarily based on two-people today sharing. The area amount involves meals, beverages and most things to do. Flights to and from the lodge are additional. The lodge is section of Wilderness Safaris’ Normal Wonders of Namibia itinerary – or can be incorporated in a tailor-created vacation. Get hold of Wilderness Safaris for far more info. Flights to Windhoek are obtainable from about £700 with Lufthansa (via Frankfurt) or Qatar Airways (by way of Doha).

Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Namibia

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