Sossusvlei – Swakopmund – Skeleton Coast – Skeleton Coast – Damaraland
10 Days / 9 Nights
2 – 8 Persons
Reference: Luxury Accommodation
Namibia is a land of stunning landscapes, endless skies, barren deserts, rugged mountains and spectacular wildlife. This Exploration explores some of the most remote areas of this fascinating land; areas that have been rarely explored by others, making this a true journey of discovery. Like any trip to Namibia, the dunes of Sossusvlei are not to be missed and we therefore begin our journey here. We continue to Swakopmund to take in the amazing marine life just offshore, then on to the secluded and dramatic coastline of the Skeleton Coast littered with historic remnants of shipwrecks and the rugged and rocky landscape of Palmwag where the last free-roaming black rhino rove. The activities provide a wide range of differing experiences, from a dolphin cruise with private beach lunch, to tracking rhino and climbinb the Namib’s great dunes. Most of the journey is by road which can be lengthy and bumpy (due to Namibia’s roads being mainly gravel). But well-timed stops at local highlights, refreshments, snacks and lunches (where appropriate) all help to ensure optimal comfort. A highlight is meeting the native people of Namibia, many of whom work in the camps, while others you will have a chance to meet along the road, such as local fishermen and vendors. The scenic flight between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund and the flight out of Doro Nawas are by light aircraft, affording sensational views of the Namib Desert, the starkly scenic North West region and the dramatic, desolate coastline.
|Sossusvlei||Kulala Desert Lodge||2||FI|
|Skeleton Coast||Terrace Bay Resort||1||FB|
|Skeleton Coast||Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp||2||FI|
|Damaraland||Desert Rhino Camp||2||FI|
You will be met by your guide (airport or accommodation) and begin your journey by driving through the Khomas Hochland Mountains and down into the iconic Sossusvlei region, a driving time of approximately five to six hours (330kilometres). Kulala Desert Lodge is located in the 37,000ha private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, enjoy awe-inspiring views of the mountains and the desert floor. En route, we enjoy a lunch close to the Khomas Hochland escarpment, reaching onto sweeping vistas below. One of the most enduring impressions of this area is the early morning light on the sea of vivid orange dunes of Sossusvlei, some as high as 300metres. Nearby world-famous Sossusvlei is an enormous clay pan, flanked by the famous red sand dunes that stand out starkly against the blue sky. These dunes – the most well-known being Big Daddy or Dune 45 – have developed over millions of years, the wind continuously refashioning the contours of this red sand sea. The ‘vlei’ itself only fills after rare heavy rainfall when, in a complete turn-around, it transforms into a spectacular turquoise lake. Afternoon activities include nature walks, drives to scenic viewpoints and marvelling at the unique Namib fauna and flora in the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Here we enjoy access to the Sossusvlei dunes through a private access gate, for walks in the immense moving sands of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, game drives (by day and night) on the concession and stargazing. Photography of the dunes in the early morning and late afternoon is particularly stunning with rich reds and dark shadows completing the extraordinary vista that is the enormity of the Namib Desert. Fully inclusive is shared accommodation and standard activities; meals and standard drinks; (note does not include premium drinks)
Today fly by light aircraft transfer to Swakopmund Airport; this will be a scenic flight (weather permitting) and transfer to the grand Hansa Hotel in Swakopmund in the early afternoon. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the towns’ quaint mix of European and African culture, as well as a little shopping in the vibrant markets. On day 4 explore the ice-blue Atlantic coast, from the port town of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund to its incredible marine mammals. A boat cruise at Walvis Bay (weather permitting) provides a unique chance to see the diverse pelagic (ocean-going) birdlife, Cape fur seals and rare Heaviside’s dolphins up close. This activity is rounded off with a private seafood lunch, before returning to the hotel in the late afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. The grand Hansa Hotel forms part of Swakopmund architectural culture and dates back to 1905; it is said to be one of the oldest buildings in the town. It is ideally situated in the centre of Swakopmund within easy walking distance of town and the beach. The luxury of the hotel, its excellent cuisine and friendly service are well known and appreciated countrywide and overseas. Note that dinner on the second night is not included (BD/BL)
Depart from Swakopmund and drive north along the legendary Skeleton Coast (named for the numerous shipwrecks and treacherous shores that it’s claimed over the years) for around 380km where you can expect to see the fascinating lichen plants at Wlotskasbaken and the remains of shipwrecks along the way. There is also a stop to take in the ghostly disused diamond mine near Toscanini before arriving at the lodge to overnight (BD)
Continue through the Skeleton Coast National Park to the Möwe Bay Museum and then head inland to other attractions including two oases, an intriguing “roaring” dune and spectacular desert scenery combined with whatever wildlife presents itself. The distance to camp is only 140 kilometres, however given the “sand” roads the driving time is approximately 5 hours. A land of rugged scenery, this remote part of Namibia is inhabited by incredible desert-adapted plant and animal life in the surrounding mountains, vast plains, dunes and dry riverbeds. We spend two nights at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp on a fully inclusive basis. Fully inclusive is shared accommodation and standard activities; meals and standard drinks; (note does not include premium drinks)
Known by the Bushmen as the “land God made in anger” the Skeleton Coast is remoteness at its best. Thousands of miles of sandy desert dotted with shipwrecks meet with the cold waters on the Atlantic and somehow an amazing array of wildlife and flora manages to survive in this harsh but beautiful environment. Even to this day, much of it is inaccessible with roads from Walvis Bay, travelling north through Swakopmund and then onward to Torra Bay! The rest… well, as it’s always been. For the adventurous- specialist trips into areas further south are offered, or fly in trips to the very remote areas are offered – at a price – but once there you will still see shipwrecks, old whale bones, and can truly appreciate this wondrous coastline!
Another exciting day is spent on the road to Desert Rhino Camp. The rugged, rocky and mountainous Palmwag Concession brings with it the opportunity of seeing giraffe, gemsbok (oryx) and springbok. We bed down at Desert Rhino Camp and spend the following day tracking the rare desert-adapted black rhino which are monitored and protected by the Save the Rhino Trust. 2nights on a fully inclusive basis – at Desert Rhino Camp take part in a thrilling and exclusive conservation success story. Tracking Africa’s unique and endangered desert-adapted black rhino is an unforgettable experience. To set the scene, you will be shown into one of the eight en-suite meru-style tents elevated off the ground. Full day excursions are on offer; otherwise, between activities, relax in our tented living area. Evening meals are taken around the fire pit. As a wonderland of unusual plant life, fascinating wildlife and sparse wilderness, Desert Rhino is begging to be explored. Fully inclusive is shared accommodation and standard activities; meals and standard drinks; (note does not include premium drinks)
Say farewell to the adventure as we transfer to Doro Nawas Camp and fly by light aircraft transfer to Windhoek international airport – no flights prior to mid/late afternoon
5 May -31 May 2017 & Nov 2017
Price per person sharing: N$68,675
1 June – 31 October 2017
Price per person sharing: N$79,155
Departure Dates 2017
5, & 26 May; 20 June; 13 July; 13 August; 17 September; 15 October; 6 November
Min: 2 clients Max: 7 clients
Did you know?
Private safari options: Tailored trips are available on flexible dates, accommodation and itineraries, for groups of up to 8 guests. These are also ideal for families or for small groups of 4 guests.
Single: If a single guest is willing to share and we can match with another guest of the same gender, the single supplement will not be charged. However, if there is no suitable match, the single supplement surcharge will apply
Exclusive experience: Most areas in which we travel are private concessions, whilst at the lodges and hotels en route, as well as Wilderness Air light aircraft transfers we have the chance to meet other guests.
International air connection onto the safari: If arrival is planned for the day of the safari’s departure, please ensure that this is with the earliest possible international flight arrival, before 10h00. Arrival on a later flight may necessitate additional road or air transfers (as the main group’s departure for the first camp/lodge will already have taken place), subject to extra cost. Please note that if the guest overnights in Windhoek on the night before the safari begins, they will be collected by the guide in the Explorations’ vehicle from the hotel they stayed at. If they arrive by flight on the day the safari commences, they will be collected from the airport.
International air connections leaving the safari: Please ensure that your departure flight is booked for after 16h00 from Windhoek. For earlier international departure flights, there is a scheduled light aircraft transfer arriving Windhoek at approximately 12h20 and can be arranged at no extra cost subject to availability, please advise your consultant at the time of booking on which is preferred.
Routes: To maximize guests’ travel time, a variety of travel modes that bring out the best of each area is used: flying in light aircraft charters and overland transfers provide both a bird’s-eye view and an in-depth experience of the contrasting landscapes of Namibia.
Flashlights/ torches: Please ensure that a compact LED flashlight is brought on safari, with spare batteries. Head lamps are also useful. Wilderness Explorations does not supply flashlights. Camera battery charging facilities: 110/ 220V outlets are available at the permanent lodges/hotels.
Age Limit: Children from the age of 12 years are welcome on all scheduled departures, with the prerequisite that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 years share the same tent with a related adult as a safety precaution. For guests with children under 12 years, we can create a private tailor-made safari which is subject to an additional cost.
Vehicles: The enclosed vehicles are specially designed and extended Land Rovers, seating 8 guests in comfort. They have good forward visibility and 7 window seats – all guests are requested to change seats from one day to the next to ensure equal photographic opportunities for everyone. The roof is a “pop top” which is opened when game viewing and there are 6 sliding windows which can be opened for photography or closed in dusty or seasonally rainy conditions. Each vehicle is custom-built to our own standards and includes a fridge, 12V (cigarette lighter) charging points, seat pockets and a small library with reference books and field guides. Still water and juice are provided in the vehicle for the duration of the safari
Dietary requirements and special occasions: Due to remote locality of these camps, please ensure that full dietary requirements and special occasions are advised at the time of your booking confirmation.
Conservancy/Eco Tourism at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp: Conservancy: In line with long term commitment to community-based conservation, projects supported in the area include the Namibia Desert Lion Project – this unique population of desert-adapted lions and work/research is carried out to work between the local people and conflict of lions. Eco-friendly: the camp is 100% solar powered, break down waste water to be used by plant life and ensure guest tents maximize natural lighting, air movement and insulation to ensure there is minimal impact on the surrounding environment, The camp is run as a joint-venture partnership between the company and neighbouring community based conservancies – Anabeb, Torra and Sesfontein
Desert Rhino Camp: In the Palmwag Concession, and working closely with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT), a highly respected NGO almost single-handedly responsible for the preservation of desert-adapted black rhino in the area. The SRT focuses on the protection, monitoring and understanding of the local black rhino population and is funded by both donations and partnerships.
This safari is limited to a 12kg luggage allowance per person