Shipwreck Lodge

Freedom, beauty and solitude

Uniquely designed around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like Shipwreck Lodge. In fact, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like the Skeleton Coast. It’s a raw, rugged and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas.

But there’s much more to the area than simple isolation. Stay at Shipwreck Lodge and game drive in search of desert-dwelling fauna; discover the enchanting desert flora (succulents and lichens); sit atop the dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon; spend the day beach-combing for whale bones and debris from centuries of shipwrecks; and marvel at the geologically-remarkable Clay Castles. Really, there’s nowhere like it on earth.

For more information about combining a stay at Shipwreck Lodge with Hoanib Valley Camp in the Hoanib River, please contact us. 

Per Person From

NAD 10200

Interested in learning more about the prices? View Rates

Details, Details

Why Book this Camp?

  • This is a chance to explore a raw, rugged and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness.
  • Stay in some of the most unique and dramatic accommodation on the continent- not many can say they’ve slept in a shipwreck after all!
  • Spend a day exploring the dry riverbeds, starting with a sunrise breakfast overlooking the incredible landscape and ending with a climb to the top of the great roaring dunes. Magical!
  • Learn about the history behind the dramatic shipwrecks that line the mist-enshrouded coastline.
  • Look for tok-tokkie beetles and the unusual plants and lichens that survive in the cold fog that rolls off the ocean.

At-a-Glance

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 10 rooms: 8 twin/double, 2 family (triples on request).
  • Ensuite bathrooms with indoor showers.
  • Wifi available: Yes.
  • Hairdryers: Available on request.
  • Battery charging facilities: In the main area & in room.
  • Complimentary laundry service.
  • Child policy: We welcome children of all ages.
  • Disabled access: Please enquire with reservations

What’s included?

  • All meals and local drinks; activities (NB some activities at an extra surcharge)

What’s not included?

  • Flights; premium brand beverages; tips & gratuities; insurance

Camp dates

Shipwreck Lodge is open all year round from 1st June 2018 (introductory rate available until 31st July 2018)

Green season: 11th January to 31st March

Shoulder season: April to June; November to January

High season: July to October

Activities

  • Game drives within the Skeleton Coast National Park.
  • Sundowners and walks on the beach.
  • Fishing at the coastline (equipment provided).
  • 4×4 excursions to the Clay Castles, the Hoanib River Delta and the Mowe Bay seal colony.
  • Visits to the Suiderkus and Karimona shipwrecks.
  • Drive along the Hoarusib River and explore the incredible dunes and landscapes of the area.

Location

The Skeleton Coast at first glance looks like another planet where surely none of earth’s species could possibly survive. But look closer and you will discover an incredible variety of highly specialised and endemic desert species. This is the very reason that this park is so important. The Namib Desert is the second driest desert in the world and considered to be the oldest, so species have had a long time to evolve into the incredible creatures they are today. But just as you come to terms with the lunar landscape of hidden creatures, quite bizarrely an elephant or kudu appears on the beach, having followed one of the ephemeral rivers that seasonally spill into the Atlantic along the coastline. Initially, we plan to support the rehabilitation of this park where trucks have scarred some of the landscape leading into the park. Then after that, where to begin in further understanding this amazing ecosystem?!

When To Go

The Skeleton Coast is an excellent year-round destination, and it stays relatively cool throughout the year – that’ll be that eerie Atlantic fog. But the desert temperatures can change at the drop of a hat, going from freezing to boiling in a matter of minutes, and you should always travel with a warm jumper (or two).

November to April are the summer months at the Skeleton Coast. In the desert, rainfall patterns are never guaranteed, but you can expect some showers at this time. The rain does, however, keep the air clear and crisp. The mornings are also less foggy, and this is an excellent time of year for birders to visit as the migrants are out in force.

May to October are the winter months. During the day, temperatures hover around a very pleasant 21 to 25 degrees Celsius, but be warned – the mornings and evenings can be chilly, especially on an open game drive. There’s virtually no rain at this time of year and the desert is at its iconic, splendid best.

Logistics

Several airlines fly directly to Windhoek from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Addis Ababa and Doha. The easiest way to reach Shipwreck Lodge is to fly to Windhoek with an international carrier of your choice, and then switch to a light aircraft and fly to Mowe Bay, the nearest airstrip to the lodge. Flight transfers are also available between Hoanib Valley Camp and Shipwreck Lodge, and Swakopmund and Shipwreck Lodge – please contact us for more details.

Alternatively, you may be guided by one of our expert guides in an air-conditioned 4X4 from Swakopmund (8 hours; recommended overnight stop at Cape Cross), Windhoek (11.5 hours; recommended overnight stop), or from Hoanib Valley Camp. Self-drivers can make their way to Mowe Bay to leave their car, and from there be transferred into camp. Our transfers will leave Mowe Bay for the lodge at around 15h00, and depart from the lodge back to Mowe Bay at around 07h00.

Please note that self-drivers are not allowed to drive through the Skeleton Coast National Park. In order to move between Shipwreck Lodge and Hoanib Valley Camp, you must park at either Mowe Bay (for Shipwreck) or Sesfontein (for Hoanib Valley) and take the Natural Selection road transfer (or flight) back to your original starting point to collect your vehicle.

Camp Story

The Skeleton Coast National Park is officially the least visited of all of Namibia’s parks. Just the sort of place, then, that we at Natural Selection like to have our lodges. Shipwreck Lodge is located in the Skeleton Coast Central Concession Area, a critically important piece of land for protecting vulnerable wildlife species. The lodge is a joint venture between Natural Selection and local Namibian companies Trip Travel and Journeys Namibia, as well as the local communities that border the park. We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome you to this incredible part of the country!

Why Book this Camp?

  • This is a chance to explore a raw, rugged and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness.
  • Stay in some of the most unique and dramatic accommodation on the continent- not many can say they’ve slept in a shipwreck after all!
  • Spend a day exploring the dry riverbeds, starting with a sunrise breakfast overlooking the incredible landscape and ending with a climb to the top of the great roaring dunes. Magical!
  • Learn about the history behind the dramatic shipwrecks that line the mist-enshrouded coastline.
  • Look for tok-tokkie beetles and the unusual plants and lichens that survive in the cold fog that rolls off the ocean.

At-a-Glance

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 10 rooms: 8 twin/double, 2 family (triples on request).
  • Ensuite bathrooms with indoor showers.
  • Wifi available: Yes.
  • Hairdryers: Available on request.
  • Battery charging facilities: In the main area & in room.
  • Complimentary laundry service.
  • Child policy: We welcome children of all ages.
  • Disabled access: Please enquire with reservations

What’s included?

  • All meals and local drinks; activities (NB some activities at an extra surcharge)

What’s not included?

  • Flights; premium brand beverages; tips & gratuities; insurance

Camp dates

Shipwreck Lodge is open all year round from 1st June 2018 (introductory rate available until 31st July 2018)

Green season: 11th January to 31st March

Shoulder season: April to June; November to January

High season: July to October

Activities

  • Game drives within the Skeleton Coast National Park.
  • Sundowners and walks on the beach.
  • Fishing at the coastline (equipment provided).
  • 4×4 excursions to the Clay Castles, the Hoanib River Delta and the Mowe Bay seal colony.
  • Visits to the Suiderkus and Karimona shipwrecks.
  • Drive along the Hoarusib River and explore the incredible dunes and landscapes of the area.

Conservation

The Skeleton Coast at first glance looks like another planet where surely none of earth’s species could possibly survive. But look closer and you will discover an incredible variety of highly specialised and endemic desert species. This is the very reason that this park is so important. The Namib Desert is the second driest desert in the world and considered to be the oldest, so species have had a long time to evolve into the incredible creatures they are today. But just as you come to terms with the lunar landscape of hidden creatures, quite bizarrely an elephant or kudu appears on the beach, having followed one of the ephemeral rivers that seasonally spill into the Atlantic along the coastline. Initially, we plan to support the rehabilitation of this park where trucks have scarred some of the landscape leading into the park. Then after that, where to begin in further understanding this amazing ecosystem?!

When To Go

The Skeleton Coast is an excellent year-round destination, and it stays relatively cool throughout the year – that’ll be that eerie Atlantic fog. But the desert temperatures can change at the drop of a hat, going from freezing to boiling in a matter of minutes, and you should always travel with a warm jumper (or two).

November to April are the summer months at the Skeleton Coast. In the desert, rainfall patterns are never guaranteed, but you can expect some showers at this time. The rain does, however, keep the air clear and crisp. The mornings are also less foggy, and this is an excellent time of year for birders to visit as the migrants are out in force.

May to October are the winter months. During the day, temperatures hover around a very pleasant 21 to 25 degrees Celsius, but be warned – the mornings and evenings can be chilly, especially on an open game drive. There’s virtually no rain at this time of year and the desert is at its iconic, splendid best.

Logistics

Several airlines fly directly to Windhoek from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Addis Ababa and Doha. The easiest way to reach Shipwreck Lodge is to fly to Windhoek with an international carrier of your choice, and then switch to a light aircraft and fly to Mowe Bay, the nearest airstrip to the lodge. Flight transfers are also available between Hoanib Valley Camp and Shipwreck Lodge, and Swakopmund and Shipwreck Lodge – please contact us for more details.

Alternatively, you may be guided by one of our expert guides in an air-conditioned 4X4 from Swakopmund (8 hours; recommended overnight stop at Cape Cross), Windhoek (11.5 hours; recommended overnight stop), or from Hoanib Valley Camp. Self-drivers can make their way to Mowe Bay to leave their car, and from there be transferred into camp. Our transfers will leave Mowe Bay for the lodge at around 15h00, and depart from the lodge back to Mowe Bay at around 07h00.

Please note that self-drivers are not allowed to drive through the Skeleton Coast National Park. In order to move between Shipwreck Lodge and Hoanib Valley Camp, you must park at either Mowe Bay (for Shipwreck) or Sesfontein (for Hoanib Valley) and take the Natural Selection road transfer (or flight) back to your original starting point to collect your vehicle.

Camp Story

The Skeleton Coast National Park is officially the least visited of all of Namibia’s parks. Just the sort of place, then, that we at Natural Selection like to have our lodges. Shipwreck Lodge is located in the Skeleton Coast Central Concession Area, a critically important piece of land for protecting vulnerable wildlife species. The lodge is a joint venture between Natural Selection and local Namibian companies Trip Travel and Journeys Namibia, as well as the local communities that border the park. We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome you to this incredible part of the country!

Accommodations

We felt it only fair that we build a camp to match the remarkable scenery of the Skeleton Coast, and each of the 10 rooms have been constructed to resemble the shipwrecks that line the beach. There are eight twin or double rooms, and two cabins can take extra beds if you’re bringing the kids, all ensuite and solar-powered. Well, apart from the wood burning stove but on the chilly evenings and mornings, it’s most definitely a welcome addition! In the centre of camp, you’ll find an equally as innovatively-designed lounge and restaurant with a wide, wraparound deck and uninterrupted views across the sand all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Explore Shipwreck Lodge

Wildlife

The Skeleton Coast is an area known for its extraordinary landscapes and wildlife sightings are rare – but when do you spot something, it’s a magical experience. First up are the desert-adapted elephant, digging deep beneath the sand for the last vestiges of water. Then, making use of the wells left behind by the pachyderms are giraffe, lion and baboon, and perhaps even a brown hyaena or two, but sightings are rare. There are also thousands of plants and insects that flourish in the sand, surviving from the moisture of the cold fog that drifts inland from the ocean. Incredible stuff – but that’s not all. Marine life positively thrives, feeding off the nutrients in the Atlantic, and the most iconic species are the Cape fur seals that line the rocky shoreline in large colonies. Birdlife is also prolific and you should most certainly pack your binos for Rüppell’s korhaans and Benguela long-billed larks. Further toward the coast, you should also be able to spot tractrac chats, as well as jaegers and skuas around the seal colonies.

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The Landscape

The words ‘eerie’ and ‘mysterious’ are often bandied around when it comes to describing Africa’s most interesting locations, but the Skeleton Coast has to be one place that truly deserves the metaphors. Shrouded in mist, the jaw-droppingly beautiful National Park begins at the Uqab River and runs roughly 500 kilometres up the Atlantic Coast to the Kunene River. Described by the San Bushmen as ‘the Land God Made in Anger’, the beaches are strewn with bleached whale bones and the wrecks of over a thousand ships, and the interior is an uninhabited desert of rolling, endless sand. But it’s magical and hauntingly picturesque, and, in our books, that makes it an absolute must-see.

Shipwreck Lodge itself is located in an unrivalled spot in the Skeleton Coast Central Concession Area, a piece of land between the Hoarusib and Hoanib rivers. The lodge is within the Skeleton Coast National Park and roughly 45 kilometres from Mowe Bay. The area contains irreplaceable and vulnerable wildlife habitat for species of the highest conservation importance, including elephant and the elusive brown hyena. Importantly, it also hosts the only other viable lion population in Namibia outside of Etosha National Park.

 

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