• Namibia Gallery 2
  • Namibia Gallery 1
  • Namibia Gallery 6
  • Namibia Gallery 5
  • Namibia Gallery 4
  • Namibia Gallery 3
  • Namibia Gallery 18
  • Namibia Gallery 17
  • Namibia Gallery 12
  • Namibia Gallery 7
  • Namibia Gallery 16
  • Namibia Gallery 15
  • Namibia Gallery 11
  • Namibia Gallery 20
  • Namibia Gallery 9
  • Namibia Gallery 2
  • Namibia Gallery 1
  • Namibia Gallery 6
  • Namibia Gallery 5
  • Namibia Gallery 4
  • Namibia Gallery 3
  • Namibia Gallery 18
  • Namibia Gallery 17
  • Namibia Gallery 12
  • Namibia Gallery 7
  • Namibia Gallery 16
  • Namibia Gallery 15
  • Namibia Gallery 11
  • Namibia Gallery 20
  • Namibia Gallery 9

Northern Namibia Explorer with Skeleton Coast

Rate this item
(7 votes)

Priced from $5,995   Days: 12

The Skeleton Coast and Kaokoland are Namibia's most remote regions, with access allowed only to those few who know the area intimately. An area free of game fences and home to some of the most specialized mammals on earth, including desert-adapted black rhino, elephant and lions, these areas are also home to the ancient Himba culture.

This combined with some of the most spectacular scenery in Namibia makes for one of the most authentic and pioneering safaris available in Namibia. A great choice for an off-the-beaten track Namibia safari.

 


 

  • Itinerary
  • Date - Rates
  • Lodging
  • Map
Itinerary:

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

[list class="checkmark green"]

  • Travel with one of Namibia's most well-known full time naturalist guides.
  • Experience first-hand the world's single-most successful conservation success story.
  • Explore the borders of the Skeleton Coast National Park and surrounds from the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
  • Visit the Skeleton Coast coastline.
  • Search for desert adapted elephant, rhino and lion along the Hoanib and Hoarusib Rivers.
  • Travel through vast tracts of unfenced and pristine wilderness.
  • Visit the ancient Kunene River, which forms the border with Angola.
  • Enjoy boat excursions on the Kunene River.
  • Explore the picturesque Hartmann's and Marienfluss Valleys.
  • Visit authentic Himba settlements.
  • Track the last free roaming population of black rhino on foot.
  • Stay at Namibia's only wholly owned conservancy lodges (Grootberg and Etambura Lodges).[/list]

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Windhoeck
Day 2: Fly into Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Day 3 & 4: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, boundary of Skeleton Coast Park
Day 5: Etambura Camp, Orupembe Conservancy
Day 6 & 7: Okahirongo River Camp, Marienfluss Conservancy, Kunene River
Day 8: Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Puros Conservancy
Day 9 & 10: Grootberg Lodge, Khoadi-Hôas Conservancy
Day 11: Departure from lodge, fly to Windhoek
Day 12: Departure home

Day 1, Monday: Arrive Windhoek, transfer to Galton House. Dinner included. 

Day 2, Tuesday:  Skeleton Coast Park boundary

Your tour starts at the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp with a quick exploration of the Hoanib River, a recovering wildlife refuge. We return to camp around sunset, in time to freshen before dinner and an evening around the campfire, where we learn more about this remarkable area from our hosts and guides.

Overnight: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 3, Wednesday: Skeleton Coast Park boundary

Today we explore the Park with local guides.  Activities include game drives searching for desert adapted wildlife, guided walks to observation platforms, longer trail hikes, and afternoon drives.

Overnight: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 4, Thursday: Skeleton Coast Park boundary

After breakfast we will embark on an aerial adventure as we board a light aircraft and fly to the scenic Skeleton Coast, where we land on the beach. From here we continue in a safari vehicle, exploring the impressive coastline, looking for Cape Cross fur seals and seabirds. We will picnic on the beach, then fly back to Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to relax and enjoy a 'sundowner.'

Overnight: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 5, Friday: Skeleton Coast Park boundary to Orupembe Conservancy

After an early breakfast, we leave Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and head north through rough and rugged terrain and dramatic scenery. We arrive at the Onjuwa Plains, an area set aside where local tribes have not allowed hunting for centuries. This practice has created an interesting sanctuary of livestock grazing side by side with game animals in natural harmony.  We will have a picnic lunch en route, and arrive at the camp in the late afternoon with plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent view and a drink. Tonight is spent around the campfire absorbing the tranquility of the area while your guide prepares and serves a tasty dinner.

Overnight: Etambura Camp Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 6, Saturday: Orupembe Conservancy to Marienfluss Conservancy, Kunene River

Our day begins with a magical drive north to the Kunene River. The trip starts by traversing the rocky Hartmann's Pass to Rooidrom, a major intersection in the middle of nowhere. We head up the famous Hartmann's Valley, making our way over Hartmann's Mountains and into the Marienfluss Valley. This area is filled with fairy circles, a msyterious phenomenon still unexplained by science.  We will lunch at the wild Kunene River, keeping an eye out for large crocodiles that inhabit the river.

We arrive at the luxurious Okahirongo River Camp at the top of the Marienfluss Valley in time for lunch, after which you will have some time to relax and enjoy the camp.  During the afternoon, we will take a boat ride on the Kunene River, looking out for local birdlife and crocodiles.  We return to camp just after sunset, in plenty of time to freshen up in time for dinner.

The Kunene River: The mighty Kunene River forms part of Namibia's border with Angola for about 325km. Winding through a primeval landscape, the Kunene is characterized by thundering waterfalls, raging white-water rapids and tranquil streams. Green turtles are encountered year round at the Kunene River mouth, but there is no confirmed nesting in Namibia. The two most breathtaking attractions along the river are the Epupa and the Ruacana Falls.

Overnight: Okahirongo River Camp Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 7, Sunday:  Marienfluss Conservancy, Kunene River

Today is filled with interesting and unusual guided activities. We start the morning with a scenic nature walk through the areas along the Kunene River.  During the midday heat we retreat to our comfortable lodge. We enjoy lunch at the camp, then depart to search for the Himba tribe, the last nomadic tribe of Namibia.  The Himba people sometimes move locations with no notice, so our search may take us to various places. The Himba are one of the last and most traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. You will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine. After time spent at the settlement you will take a scenic drive back to the lodge and stop on top of a mountain for an always stunning sunset. We return to camp for dinner.

The Himba: The Himba, Tjimba and other Herero people who inhabit Namibia's remote north-western Kunene Region are loosely referred to as the Kaokovelders. Basically Herero in terms of origin, language and culture, they are semi-nomadic pastoralists who tend to tend from one watering place to another. They seldom leave their home areas and maintain, even in their own, on which other cultures have made little impression. For many centuries they have lived a relatively isolated existence and were not involved to any noteworthy extent in the long struggle for pasturelands between the Nama and the Herero.

The largest group of Kaokovelders is the Himba, semi-nomads who live in scattered settlements throughout the Kunene Region. They are a tall, slender and statuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly bearing. The women especially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skins against the harsh desert climate. The homes of the Himba of Kaokoland are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The men build the structures, while the women mix the clay and do the plastering. A fire burns in the headman's hut day and night, to keep away insects and provide light and heating. A family may move from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing for their goats and cattle. Men, women and children wear body adornments made from iron and shell beads.

A Himba woman spends as much as three hours a day on her appearance. First she bathes, then she anoints herself with her own individually prepared mixture which not only protects her skin from the harsh desert sun, but also keeps insects away and prevents her hair from falling out. She uses another mixture of butter fat, fresh herbs and black coals to rub on her hair, and 'steams' her clothes regularly over the permanent fire. Men, women and children adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, anklets and belts made from iron and shell beads. With their unusual and striking designs, these items have gained a commercial value and are being produced on a small scale for the urban market. Sculptural headrests in particular are sought-after items.

Overnight: Okahirongo River Camp Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 8, Monday:  Marienfluss Conservancy to Puros Conservancy

After an early breakfast we head south along the picturesque Marienfluss Valley.  We pass the Holy Mountain of the Himba as well as the towering peaks of Mt Ojiunaune and Mt Otjiomuhana. Depending on the season, our guide will either head along the Hoarusib and Khumib Rivers, hopefully spotting desert adapted wildlife, including elephant and giraffe.  If the season does not allow, we will instead head through the western vast and silent plains. After a scenic picnic lunch stop under the welcoming shade of towering camel thorn and ana trees we will make your way down the river. This is also well known area for desert adapted wildlife, including elephants and lions. We will visit Puros, a small settlement of a population of less than 300 Himba and Herero herders. You will arrive at the luxurious Okahirongo Elephant Lodge in the late afternoon, with time to revel in the luxury of the lodge and enjoy an entertaining evening reminiscing about the experiences of the past days while enjoying the comforts of the lodge.

Desert Adapted Elephant: In habitats with sufficient vegetation and water an adult elephant consumes as much as 300 kg of roughage and 230 liters of water every day of its life. Consider what a herd of them would eat and drink in a week or a month or a year. Finding an African elephant in a desert? Well, yes, and not only elephant, but also other large mammals as well, such as black rhinoceros and giraffe. Their ranges extend from river catchments in northern Kaokoveld as far south as the northern Namib. Apart from the Kunene River, seven river courses northwards from the Ugab provide them with possible routes across the desert, right to the Skeleton Coast. The biggest are the Hoarusib, the Hoanib, the Huab and the Ugab Rivers. Desert adapted elephant in Kaokoland and the Namib walk further for water and fodder than any other elephant in Africa. The distances between waterholes and feeding grounds can be as great as 68 km. The typical home range of a family herd is larger than 2,000 km², or eight times as big as ranges in central Africa where rainfall is much higher. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day. To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. Not a separate species or even a subspecies, they are an ecotype unique to Namibia in Africa south of the equator, behaviorally adapted to hyper-arid conditions. Elephant in Mali on the south western fringe of the Sahara Desert are the only others known to survive in similar conditions.

Overnight: Okahirongo Elephant Lodge Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 9, Tuesday: Puros Conservancy to Khoadi-Hôas Conservancy

After an early breakfast you set off on your long and scenic drive to the Grootberg Mountain to reach the scenic Grootberg Lodge on the edge of a mountain overlooking the Klip river valley. We head south through the small town of Sesfontein and then travel in between the Etendeka and Palmwag Concessions, often seeing wildlife along the side of the road. This trip will take most of the day and we will have a picnic lunch en route. Arrival at Grootberg Lodge will be in the late afternoon where we have ample time to enjoy the spectacular views from the lodge.

Overnight: Grootberg Lodge Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 10, Wednesday: Khoadi-Hôas Conservancy

After an early breakfast we head out for a rhino tracking adventure. You will head out with your guide and experienced local trackers to track these highly endangered animals, by identifying their tracks and following them - a truly remarkable experience. You will enjoy lunch in the field, and return to the lodge in the late afternoon.

Desert Black Rhinoceros: Namibia is home to the larger of two subspecies of the black rhinoceros found in southern Africa. The only population that remains in the wild, unfenced and outside reserves occupies an arid range in the western Kaokoveld. Their preferred habitat is the mountainous escarpment, but they follow ephemeral rivers into the northern Namib as well, especially when conditions are favorable after rains. They are the only black rhinoceros in Africa that are internationally recognized as a "desert group". Like desert-adapted elephant, they cover great distances. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day. To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. One of the few animals to eat fibrous welwitschia leaves; they even feed heavily on the milkbush (Euphorbia virosa) with its sharp spines and toxic latex, presumably because of the high water and fat content. They are physical defences of dry land plants without apparent harm. Once widespread in the subcontinent, black rhinoceros are an endangered species. The smaller subspecies, Diceros bicornis minor, does not range into Namibia.

Overnight: Grootberg Lodge Fully Inclusive (drinks included)

Day 11, Thursday: Departure to Windhoeck

After a leisurely breakfast you make your way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein, to take a walk through history to view ancient rock art. You will then head to the Doro !Nawas Airstrip, having a picnic lunch in the vicinity of the airstrip. From there you fly back to Windhoek or continue on an extension if you have booked that with International Wildlife Adventures. For those flying back to Windhoeck, you are met at the airport, transfered to Galton House. Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Day 12, Friday: Depart for home

Transfer to the airport for your flight to home. No meals included

Date - Rates:

2015 Group Departure Dates

Safari 1: May 4 - 15, 2015

Safari 2: June 15 - 26, 2015

Safari 3: July 20 - 31, 2015

Safari 4: August 17 - 28, 2015

Safari 5: September 7 - 18, 2015

NOTE: Other dates are available. Please inquire with our office for your date preferences.

Rates

All prices US dollars

$5,995 per person based on two sharing

$1,295 Single supplement

Included: All prices from Windhoek are based on double occpuancy per person, exchange rates at time of publication but are subject to exchange rate fluctuation. Price may vary slightly depending on exchange at time of booking.  Price includes meals as indicated, drinks as indicated, internal transportation by vehicle (air not included), lodging on itinerary, all activities listed and guide services.

Not included: air from Windhoek to Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp or return to Windhoek.  Estimated cost: $1,495 pp subject to exchange rate fluctuation.

Registration

To confirm your space on this tour, a 25% deposit is required.  Balance is due 90 days prior to departure.

The day-to-day itinerary is subject to weather and animal activity.  Flight delays can happen due to weather and neither IWA nor the in-country operator is responsible for any additional costs due to delays.

Cancellation Policy

In the event you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule: Deposit is nonrefundable. 90 to 61 days prior to departure, 50% of total is nonrefundable; less than 60 days prior  to departure, 100% nonrefundable.

Insurance

Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy.  In light of this, we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance.  A quote will be sent to you upon request. Evacuation insurance is mandatory for trips to Africa.

 

 

Lodging:

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp: The new Hoanib Skeleton Coast camp is located on the border of the Skeleton Coast National Park in the new concession on the Hoanib River, in one of the most remote parts of the Kaokoveld. The Kaokoveld is a land of rugged scenery, mountains, vast plains, and dry riverbeds inhabited by incredible desert-adapted plant and animal life. Here, despite the arid environs, elephant thrive along with giraffe, antelope, lion, leopard and cheetah. The exclusive camp, comprising just seven twin-bedded tents and one family unit, is a Classic Camp with all the attendant luxuries and amenities.


 

Etambura Camp: Etambura is the first Himba co-owned camp situated in the Orupembe conservancy on top of one the highest hills above the holy plains of Onjuva. The holy plains are steeped in mystery, with several different stories of why the area was consecrated by the semi-nomadic Himba herders who live here. Etambura is the ideal place to relax with five canvas and thatch chalets, each with its own private deck extending from the hill and into the beyond, conjuring illusions of "stepping into air". Built on a wooden platform and, in some cases, on stilts, each unit is positioned to optimize the view.


 

namibia tours okahirongo campOkahirongo River Camp: Okahirongo River Camp, one of the most unique and remote camps in Namibia, is an eco-friendly lodge built on a sweeping ridge which opens up to breath-taking views of the Kunene River. The central area, constructed above the rapids, comprises two lounges, a library and dining room, pool and sundeck, decked out in African elegance.

The luxurious en-suite tents are cleverly built into the rocky terrain and are constructed out of wood and canvas, and each has a magnificent view over the surrounding area. The interiors have been furnished with a minimalist African chic. Lavish four-poster beds, splendid indoor and outdoor showers and spacious decks guarantee utmost comfort and the exclusive right of being at one with nature. The camp is situated along the banks of the Kunene River, the only permanent source of water in this area, which also forms Namibia's natural northern border with Angola. Okahirongo River Lodge is surrounded by spectacular desert scenery, inhabited only by the nomadic Ovahimba people, giving you the opportunity to learn about this culture's relatively untouched lifestyle and traditions (if there are currently villages in the area). Activities include 4x4 nature drives to explore the surrounding area of golden sand dunes and rugged mountains, as well as boat trips, fishing, birding and guided walks.


 

Okahirongo Evening namibia toursOkahirongo Elephant Lodge: Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is located near Puros in Kaokoland, often described as one of the last truly wild areas in the northwest of Namibia, where elephants, black rhinos, lions and other African animals live in a desert environment. Accommodation is in seven luxury double cottages each with large en-suite bathroom containing a bath tub overlooking the surroundings and all the chalets also have a private gazebo. Take the time to be lost in stunning wrap views, to laze around the pool, to read a book in the cool comfort library, or merely to relax in one of the two open lounges, or even have a body message. The menu changes daily, a delicious fusion of Italian and African cuisine. During the stay at the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, guests can explore an amazing and untouched wilderness area in an extraordinary part of Africa.


 

Grootberg Lodge Namibia ToursGrootberg Lodge: Perched on the rim of the Grootberg Plateau, Grootberg Lodge offers unsurpassed views over the Klip River Valley below. Each of the charming en-suite rock and thatch chalets gaze out over the gorge, where black eagles hunt just below the level of your private deck. The lodge main area with restaurant, bar and swimming pool are also designed to maximize the stunning views. Grootberg Lodge is a landmark in Namibia for the tourism industry as it is the first middle-market establishment in the country that is 100% owned by the conservancy. 12 000 hectares have been set aside by the local #Khoadi //Hoas community for conservation and tourism. The European Union funded the project through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism's Development Programme with a donation of N$4.5 million to develop the 12 room lodge. The private sector was also called in to supply the training and management skills until the community becomes self-sustainable. This pristine wilderness can be explored either on foot or by vehicle to encounter the inhabitants of this remote biosphere. Desert adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, kudu, oryx and lion are just some of the animals that roam this area.


 

 

 

 

Map:

Skeleton Coast map

Login to post comments

Live Help

Click to Download Your Namibia Brochure

Sign up for our newsletter & be the first to hear of new trips and specials!

We will donate $50 to wildlife protection when you book your first trip.

Newsletter grab 175 px

Contact us

800.808.4492
(US & Canada)
206.463.1943
(Worldwide)

 or


ATTAMemberLogo_72
 
 
igtoa_logo
 
logo_iaato