Skeleton Coast Safaris

Home | Namibian Safai Page

SKELETON COAST SAFARIS specializes in providing you with a unique experience of the beauty and strange solitude of the remote desert and wilderness areas of Namibia. Small plane transfers between camps offer arial views of shipwrecks scattered along the coast; diverse and ever-changing geological formations; and the refuge of desert-dwelling animals.

Landrover excursions explore the scenery and wide diversity of flora and fauna. Highlights include the desolate coast with its roaring dunes, the Ugab rock formations made up of numerous black ridges in stark contrast to the white desert surface, the colourful red lavas and yellow sand-stones of the Huab environs, ancient Bushman rock engravings, the living 'fossil' tree, We1witschia mirabilis, a visit to a settlement of the nomadic Himba people, who still live and dress according to ancient customs and traditions, and the panoramic vistas of the Hartmann Valley which extends to the Angolan border.

Accommodation is in three fully-equipped camps. The first of these is in the lower reaches of the Huab River in Damaraland, the second under camelthorn trees in the Hoarusib Valley in Kaokoland and the third on the perennial Kunene River. 

Skeleton Coast Map and Desert Regions
The SKELETON COAST starts south of the Orange River in South Africa, includes the whole Namibian coastline, and continues 200 km into Angola. The coastline forms a sparsely populated desert area with the adjoining Namib Desert. A unique feature is the the fog-belt along the coast created by the cold Benguela current flowing north from Antarctica. Much of the wildlife has adapted to derive moisture from this source in an otherwise arid region.. Even in summer cool temperatures, rather than hot, are the norm. In the interior, although warm in the mornings, it usually starts cooling off in the afternoons. The lack of moisture, a clear night sky and consequent rapid radiation of heat, give rise to chilly nights.

a bone bleaching wilderness area, famous for its roaring barchan dunes shaped and driven by winds from the sea, multi-coloured pebbles and old whale bones scattered on the beach.

One of the most remote areas of Namibia, Kaokaland is inhabited by the nomadic Himba people who still dress and live according to ancient customs and traditions. This rugged region is renowned for its desert-adapted elephant and the endangered black rhino.

weathered by coastal fog and wind, a 'moon landscape' of red lavas and yellow sand-stones in the north. In the south numerous black ridges contrast the white desert surface, and the southern boundary is formed by the Brandberg, "fire mountains" a granite massif that glows red with the setting sun. Here the strange 'fossil' tree Welwitschia mirabilis, dwarfed by the rigours of the desert climate, is found. Desert wildlife here include elephant, springbok, gemsbok. Twyfelfontein is the site of one of Africa's most extensive set of petroglyphs, some at least 6000 years old.

49,000 square kilometers of granite mountains, sandy plains, canyons, rocky bays, estuarine lagoons and mountainous red dunes reputed to be the oldest and highest in the world.


ITINERARIES/PRICES (all inclusive)

A. SKELETON COAST SAFARI - 4 days / 3 nights - $2585

DAY ONE: depart Windhoek for the Skeleton Coast via Conception Bay. The flight includes an aerial view of the Kuiseb canyon and adjoining red dunes and the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay. After refuelling at Swakopmund, a low-level flight north 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 cross to our camp Kuidas in the Huab Valley where we stay for the night. Amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp are ancient rock engravings.

DAY TWO: Explore the colourful red lavas and yellow sandstones of the Huab River formations and the wide diversity of flora and fauna of the area including the Welwitschia mirabilis. Depart by aircraft along the coast for Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta, still relatively intact. At Terrace Bay we access the roaring dunes by Landrover. Visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agates, lavas, granites and others. Interesting to see are old whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the airfield and continue north to our camp Purros in the Hoarusib Valley where we stay for the night.

DAY THREE: Scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might come across the desert-dwelling elephant which frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the perennial Kunene River on the Angolan border. 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 Landrover through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley arriving at camp on the Kunene River.

DAY FOUR: An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those which inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After the boat trip we depart by Landrover through the mountains of the Hartmann Valley and then fly back to Windhoek, arriving in the late afternoon.

B. SKELETON COAST / SOSSUSVLEI - 4 days / 3 nights - $2770


We spend the night at one of the lodges outside the park. Early the next morning, after breakfast, we make use of the services of an Etosha safari operator to drive us through the park where we visit several water holes. 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 in search of better grazing or browse. After lunch at one of the rest camps, we embark on an afternoon game drive. Our flight back to Windhoek commences at about four in the afternoon to ensure that we land before dark.


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. We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 7h00 for an early morning flight to Sossusvlei in the Namib- Naukluft Park as for SAFARI B. After our picnic lunch among the dunes we transfer by aircraft to the Wolwedans Dune Camp in the NamibRand Nature Reserve where we stay for two nights. An afternoon drive through the nature reserve concludes our day. The following day we fly to Lüderitz and back to participate in the day-long Elizabeth Bay safari which is offered by the Kolmanskop Tour Company. The Elizabeth Bay safari introduces visitors to the town Lüderitz, old ghost town relics and mining plants of the early German pioneers, the forbidden coast and a fur seal colony at Atlas Bay. 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. This safari combination continues on the third day from Wolwedans according to the SAFARI A schedule with the flight along the coast to Swakopmund. 

Namib Desert Flora

A lack of rainfall, combined with Coastal Fog that penetrates far inland has lead to unique adaptations. Perhaps the most extraordinary is the Welwitschia mirabilis. This plant has only two leathery leaves which grow and shrivel into a tangled mass that can measure more than two meters accross. The largest plants are probably 2000 years old. This plant has a very modest root system and derives most of its moisture by condensing fog onto its porous leaves.

Another unusual plant is the Kokerboom or "quiver tree" because the the San hunters used hollowed out branches to make lightweight quivers. This plant is a member of the aloe family and grows to heights of 8 meters.

Cape To Cairo:  African Business and Adventure Travel
2761 Unicorn Ln NW, Washington DC 20015
Tel (202) 244 5954 Fax (202) 244 5993
 (800) 356-4433
home: /