A Desert Adventure

A REMOTE SLICE OF DESERT WILDERNESS

Namibia is the King of wild and rugged safaris, bursting with contrasting landscapes and mind-boggling scenery. But there’s one area of the country that’s worth every superlative in the dictionary and that’s the north, in particular the Kaokoland and the Skeleton Coast – and that’s exactly where this desert adventure will be taking you.

You’ll begin in the Hoanib Valley region of Kaokoland, with game drives through dust-blown landscapes in search of desert giraffe and elephant and interactions with the fascinating Himba people. Then, you’ll drive from the inland valleys of the Hoanib, past the cracked pans and sandy rivers, to the ochre dunes of the Skeleton Coast. The sheer beauty of the area is striking and it’s all yours to explore for the next three nights…

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Price from:

From NAD 59,300

Convert NAD to USD

Duration:

7 days/6 nights

Departure Dates:

Year round

Min / Max Group Size

Enquire with reservations

Trip Begins / Ends

Hoanib Valley / Shipwreck Lodge

Includes Mobile Camping:

No

Details, Details

Highlights

  • This itinerary is a beguiling mix of culture and excitement, wildlife watching and bewilderingly beautiful landscapes.
  • Come face-to-trunk with desert-dwelling elephant, track black rhino across the sandy riverbeds, and spot the iconic giraffe of the Hoanib Valley.
  • Meet the nomadic Himba tribe, follow them and their livestock across the desert, and learn about their customs and traditional way of life.
  • Spend time on Namibia’s enthralling Atlantic coast and explore historic shipwrecks and watch the seals at the Mowe Colony.
  • Explore the mighty dunes of the Skeleton Coast and clamber to the top for a beautiful evening sundowner before slipping and sliding all the way back down!

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From NAD59,300 per person sharing (based on a minimum of 2 people travelling). Single supplements apply for groups of 3 and above. Please contact reservations for single traveller pricing, as rates will vary. Please note that the price is dependent on actual travel dates. Prices are valid until 31 December 2019.

Included: Accommodation, all meals & local beverages, full day scenic drive from Hoanib Valley Camp to Shipwreck Lodge, road transfer from Orutjandja Airstrip to Hoanib Valley Camp, road transfer to Mowe Bay from Shipwreck Lodge, guest laundry, daily activities, expert guiding, park entrance fees & VAT.

Excluded: Light aircraft/road transfers to/from Hoanib Valley Camp or Shipwreck Lodge, car rental, premium brand drinks, gratuities and fully comprehensive travel insurance & any other services not mentioned here (Please contact reservations for flying and/or driving quotations).

Child Policy: Children of all ages welcome. Please contact reservations for child pricing and policies.

 Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations. 

Wifi: Wifi is available at both Hoanib Valley Camp and Shipwreck Lodge.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

When to Go & What to Pack

This trip that can be taken at any time of year. November to January is the hot, summer season in Namibia and temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees! By April, the temperature cools down a little and by June, it can be very cold at night and in the morning, especially in the northern, desert areas. Generally speaking, the temperatures in the winter dry season (from June to September) are pleasant and you can expect lovely, sunny days and blue skies.

The weather in the desert can change at the drop of a hat and we highly recommend bringing clothes to suit all eventualities on this trip. As well as your usual safari attire, pack a light jacket, fleece and hat for the cold mornings, and some flip flops and t-shirts for the hotter days. Suncream and a hat are a must, as always!

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Highlights

  • This itinerary is a beguiling mix of culture and excitement, wildlife watching and bewilderingly beautiful landscapes.
  • Come face-to-trunk with desert-dwelling elephant, track black rhino across the sandy riverbeds, and spot the iconic giraffe of the Hoanib Valley.
  • Meet the nomadic Himba tribe, follow them and their livestock across the desert, and learn about their customs and traditional way of life.
  • Spend time on Namibia’s enthralling Atlantic coast and explore historic shipwrecks and watch the seals at the Mowe Colony.
  • Explore the mighty dunes of the Skeleton Coast and clamber to the top for a beautiful evening sundowner before slipping and sliding all the way back down!

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From NAD59,300 per person sharing (based on a minimum of 2 people travelling). Single supplements apply for groups of 3 and above. Please contact reservations for single traveller pricing, as rates will vary. Please note that the price is dependent on actual travel dates. Prices are valid until 31 December 2019.

Included: Accommodation, all meals & local beverages, full day scenic drive from Hoanib Valley Camp to Shipwreck Lodge, road transfer from Orutjandja Airstrip to Hoanib Valley Camp, road transfer to Mowe Bay from Shipwreck Lodge, guest laundry, daily activities, expert guiding, park entrance fees & VAT.

Excluded: Light aircraft/road transfers to/from Hoanib Valley Camp or Shipwreck Lodge, car rental, premium brand drinks, gratuities and fully comprehensive travel insurance & any other services not mentioned here (Please contact reservations for flying and/or driving quotations).

Child Policy: Children of all ages welcome. Please contact reservations for child pricing and policies.

 Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations. 

Wifi: Wifi is available at both Hoanib Valley Camp and Shipwreck Lodge.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

When to Go & What to Pack

This trip that can be taken at any time of year. November to January is the hot, summer season in Namibia and temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees! By April, the temperature cools down a little and by June, it can be very cold at night and in the morning, especially in the northern, desert areas. Generally speaking, the temperatures in the winter dry season (from June to September) are pleasant and you can expect lovely, sunny days and blue skies.

The weather in the desert can change at the drop of a hat and we highly recommend bringing clothes to suit all eventualities on this trip. As well as your usual safari attire, pack a light jacket, fleece and hat for the cold mornings, and some flip flops and t-shirts for the hotter days. Suncream and a hat are a must, as always!

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Transfer Hoanib Valley Camp, Kaokoland

Today, you’ll arrive at the stylish Hoanib Valley Camp and get settled in to the safari way of life with a G&T at the camp fire and a hearty dinner under the stars.

Days 2 & 3: Hoanib Valley Camp, Kaokoland

Spend the next two days in your vehicle, searching for desert-adapted elephant and giraffe, enjoying morning coffee in the shadow of the mountains, and visiting the traditional villages of the nomadic Himba peoples.

Day 4: Drive to Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast

Just when you thought you couldn’t get any more remote, you’ll drive west to the Skeleton Coast, a strange yet utterly beautiful slice of Namibian wilderness.

Days 5 & 6: Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast

Some might say this is when the adventure really begins! Visit the seals at Mowe Colony, walk across the lunar landscapes and discover the secrets of the desert, and clamber over the whale-bones and shipwrecks on the coast.

Day 7: Continue your adventure…

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Accommodations

Hoanib Valley Camp is tucked deep into the mountainous landscapes of the Kaokoland in a sheltered cocoon overlooking the Hoanib riverbed. A joint venture between the local communities and Dr Julian Fennessy, Africa’s foremost giraffe expert, the camp is a stylish and peaceful retreat, perfect for returning to at the end of the day to wash off the dust and relax with a G&T.

The ‘shipwrecked’ cabins of the aptly-named Shipwreck Lodge are scattered amongst the wind-rippled dunes of the Skeleton Coast with magnificent views over the surrounding sands. Each cabin is cosy and comfortable and the main area is equally so, with plenty of plush armchairs and squashy cushions to relax in. You might be in one of the harshest landscapes on earth, but there is no comfort to be sacrificed…

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Wildlife

In Namibia, the breath-taking scenery is just as much of an attraction as the wildlife. The stark, dry landscapes of the north are an inhospitable place for animals to survive – but dig a little deeper and you’ll find an astonishing and varied assortment of wildlife hidden in these desert plains.

In the Hoanib Valley, you’ll spot desert elephant digging deep holes in the river bed and stately giraffe trimming the leaves from the trees. There’s also the chance to track black rhino and we highly recommend bringing your binos along for the ride so you don’t miss any of the smaller creatures that call the desert home. Then, there’s the Skeleton Coast, which brings with it sightings of rare brown hyena, lion (if you’re very lucky), jackals, desert elephant and the ever-present seals of the Mowe Bay colony.

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