Remote Hoanib Skeleton Coast rests in Namibia’s ancient and famed Kaokoveld, an otherworldly landscape hewn over the ages into immense dunes and rocky mountains.
Explore the Namib Desert’s rust-coloured crags and arid plains in search of desert-adapted wildlife – elephants, lions, hyaenas, giraffes, oryxes among the regular sightings. Take a rollicking drive over the floodplain and dunes to the Skeleton Coast, a wild stretch of the Atlantic where the desert meets the sea, where white sand beaches are littered with whale bones and shipwreck remains. Fly back to camp for an aerial view of what seems uninhabitable, but is full of life. Walk with a guide to witness that life, including the smaller creatures, a fascinating variety of birds and unusual flora. Discover the remnants of Strandloper – Beachcomber – lifestyle from centuries past. Linger in the camp’s wildlife research centre to learn about the latest local conservation initiatives.
Hoanib’s eight pale olive, luxury tented suites peak like whitecaps on an ocean of sand. Totally solar-powered, Hoanib has a fresh, contemporary design, with a colour palette reflecting the surrounding desert. The camp (suites, common areas, pool) looks out on a wide, rugged valley that slopes down to the usually dry Hoanib River. One of many highlights: dining under impossibly starry skies, perhaps perhaps at the firepit as a jackal cries, or a lion roars, punctuating the stillness of the inky night.
Hoanib Skeleton Coast’s location – close to the Skeleton Coast and within the true Namib Desert – is home to a rich diversity of wildlife, boasting the Kaokoveld’s best viewing of desert-adapted wildlife and access to vast, remote and isolated wilderness. Almost miraculously it seems, in this stark environment, enormous elephant thrive along with giraffe, lion and brown hyaena. Gemsbok (oryx), springbok, steenbok, scrub hare, and inquisitive ground squirrel are also seen. Entirely different to the rugged mountains and valleys inland, the Skeleton Coast hosts Cape fur seals in their thousands along with black-backed jackals and brown hyaena. Birds are equally diverse, with regular endemics like Rüppell’s korhaan, Benguela long-billed lark and lark-like bunting. Towards the coast, the bird community changes and tractrac chat can be seen, as well as jaegers and skuas found around the seal colonies.
Nature drives showcase the magnitude of the landscape and offer the best possibilities of seeing desert-adapted wildlife. Morning or afternoon drives are available, as well as full-day excursions.
These oases offer an inviting respite from the dry surrounds of the desert and the chance to see wildlife coming to drink, as well as plenty of birdlife. These full-day trips are undertaken in our semi-closed game drive vehicles, with a stop for a picnic at a scenic spot along the way.
Birding enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the diverse avifauna of the northern Palmwag Concession, from soaring raptors to charming Namaqua sandgrouse and other regular endemics, including Rüppell’s korhaan and Benguela long-billed lark.
Nature walks from camp take in the magnificent surrounds as well as offer a glimpse at vestiges of the Strandloper (Beachcomber) lifestyle from hundreds of years ago. It is also a good opportunity to study the smaller creatures and the fascinating plant life of the concession.
On a stay of three or more nights, full-day excursions to the Skeleton Coast are offered. The fascinating 4×4 trip to the coast takes you via the wilderness of the Hoanib River and floodplain, the dune fields and Klein Oasis, while the Skeleton Coast itself reveals huge Cape fur seal colonies and shipwreck remains. Weather-dependent, a flight back to camp can offer a magnificent perspective of your journey from the air.