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Marvel at the highly-adapted wildlife and desolate wilderness landscapes of the Namib Desert and dramatic Skeleton Coast on this guided small group trip to this unique region of Southern Africa.

Travelling as part of a small group escorted by an expert naturalist guide, and staying in comfortable camps and lodges in beautiful locations, gives you privileged access to places that would otherwise be difficult to reach. During this adventure you will walk in the Namib’s great dunes, fly over the Namib Desert and along the wild Skeleton Coastline, take a boat trip to see some magnificent Atlantic marine life, drive through the rugged landscape and track desert-adapted black rhino. 

This fun trip reveals some of the most remote areas and astonishing scenic contrasts of this magical country in the convivial company of a small group of like-minded fellow travellers, with an experienced and knowledgeable guide. 

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart UK

  2. Day 2: Arrive Windhoek; transfer to Sossusvlei

    On arrival at Windhoek airport, meet your guide after passing immigration and customs. Once the group has assembled, set off for Kulala Wilderness Reserve, a drive of 330 kilometres i.e. around six hours, through the mountains of the Khomas Hochland and into the iconic Sossusvlei region. On reaching your accommodation, you will have time to relax and recover from the journey. Depending on your arrival time, in late afternoon you will head out for a game drive on the private reserve, a 37,000-hectare tract of land bordering the Namib-Naukluft National Park, near the spectacular sights of Sossusvlei.

    Accommodation: Kulala Desert Lodge – 2-nights.

  3. Day 3: Day and night vehicle and foot safaris plus optional activities

    Soon after dawn you head to Sossusvlei to see the world’s highest dunes. In the soft morning light the dunes are flushed with an intense red colour that gradually fades as the sun rises higher and all contrast is lost. There is plenty of time to appreciate the spectacular scenery before you return to camp for a leisurely lunch and siesta. In mid afternoon, you head out again for another activity.

    On your drives and walks here, you will see desert-adapted wildlife such as ostrich, springbok and gemsbok (oryx), plus smaller creatures such as bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal and Cape fox. Other highlights include dining under star-filled skies, and watching the blood-red sunset to the accompaniment of a cacophony of barking geckos. Among the many optional activities (at additional cost), you can you can choose from  are hot-air balloon trip over the dunes, quad biking and horse-riding.   

  4. Day 4: Scenic flight to Swakopmund

    This morning you transfer to the nearby airstrip and board a light aircraft for the flight to Swakopmund, flying over the best-preserved shipwreck in Namibia and an endless sea of sand dunes. On arrival the rest of the day is free to explore the charming colonial town with its architectural beauty and distinctly Germanic air.

    Accommodation: Hansa Hotel – 2 nights.

  5. Day 5: Boat trip, Walvis Bay

    The entire day is dedicated to exploring the Atlantic coast around Swakopmund to see its incredible marine life, courtesy of a private catamaran trip from Walvis Bay (weather permitting). You'll visit the oyster beds and learn how oysters are cultivated – with an opportunity to taste them – before moving on to the lighthouse at Pelican Point. In this area you may encounter three species of dolphins: the rare endemic Heaviside's dolphin, dusky and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. As well as spotting diverse pelagic i.e. ocean-going birdlife, in season you can see pelicans, flamingos, Cape fur seals, massive sunfish, leatherback turtles, plus humpback and southern right whales. 

    You eventually disembark at a deserted beach at the jetty at Pelican Point, where a local guide for Sandwich Harbour will meet you with a LandRover. From here, you continue to the Kuiseb River Delta, to explore the saltpans and wetlands that lie just north of Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, with a possibility of seeing the famed flamingo population.

  6. Day 6: Drive northward up the Skeleton Coast

    You drive northward along the legendary Skeleton Coast for approximately 380 kilometres (some five hours without stops). Along the way you pass the lichen plains at Wlotskasbaken and visit the remains of the Zelia shipwreck near Henties Bay, the S.W. Seal shipwreck near Ugabmund, and the former mining settlement near Toscanini.

    Accommodation: Terrace Bay Lodge – 1 night.

  7. Days 7-8 : Drive through Skeleton Coast NP to the Palmwag Concession

    Today you continue through Skeleton Coast National Park to the Möwe Bay Museum, and visit the site of the Suiderkus shipwreck en route to the Palmwag Concession.  Although this is a drive of only 140 kilometres, it can take anything up to 5 hours due to the state of the rugged sand roads in some places. During your stay at Hoanib you will visit the Klein Oase and Auses Springs in the dunes, and enjoy the spectacular desert scenery.

    Accommodation: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, 2-nights.

  8. Days 9-10 : Drive through the Palmwag Concession, 2-nights

    Continue through the rugged, rocky and mountainous Palmwag Concession, with opportunities to see giraffe, gemsbok (oryx) and springbok en route. This region is particularly known for its desert-adapted plants and wildlife, and you will have an opportunity to track the rare and iconic black rhino, which is monitored and closely protected in this location by the Save the Rhino Trust.

    Accommodation: Desert Rhino Camp, 2-nights. 

  9. Day 11: Fly back to Windhoek and depart

    This morning transfer to Doro Nawas airstrip, where you board a light aircraft for the flight back to Windhoek in time to catch your international flight home. 

  10. Day 12: Arrive UK

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 12 days from £5,195 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 10 days from £4,245 pp
  • Single supplement: No additional cost
  • Group size: 7
  • Departures: View all departure dates
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Domestic flights
    • All transfers
    • 4 nights accommodation in permanent tented camps
    • 5 nights accommodation in hotels and lodges
    • Most meals
    • All activities as per itinerary
    • Services of an expert local guide
  • Activities available:
    • Boat trip
    • Culture
    • Hot-air ballooning
    • Nature drive
    • Photography
    • Walking
Featured locations:

Swakopmund

Swakopmund is a charming Germanic seaside town, from where there are many excursions. In particular, Walvis Bay has huge colonies of Cape fur seals and is a world-renowned sanctuary for over 160,000 resident birds, as well as a feeding station for around 200,000 waders and terns on their migration routes.

  • Where: Erongo Region
  • Ideal for viewing: cape fur seal, Heaviside’s dolphin, Damara tern, Namaqua chameleon, yellow mongoose

The Skeleton Coast

The Skeleton Coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth, with everything from soaring dunes and plains to deep canyons, mountains, saltpans and freshwater springs. Travelling by light aircraft provides stunning views of the shipwreck littered coastline and its remarkable natural features.

  • Where: Erongo & Kunene Regions
  • Ideal for viewing: brown hyena, cape fur seal, desert elephant, gemsbok, Hartmann’s mountain zebra
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Flying safaris, Vehicle safaris

Namib Naukluft Park & Sossusvlei

The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world and, with no light pollution and clear night skies virtually guaranteed, it is also one of southern Africa’s finest stargazing areas. However, the most remarkable sight is at Sossusvlei, where the world’s highest sand dunes tower more than 300 metres.

  • Where: Karas, Hardap & Erongo Regions
  • Ideal for viewing: aardwolf, cape fox, gemsbok, springbok, lanner falcon
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Damaraland

Damaraland is an ancient area of arid plains, deep chasms and dramatic red, rocky peaks, dominated by the huge Brandberg Mountain. With the Atlantic coast nearby, sea mists drift inland providing sustenance to various desert life forms and natural laws of food and water dictate the movement of the desert elephant.

  • Where: Erongo Region
  • Ideal for viewing: black rhino, desert elephant, springbok, white-tailed shrike, augur buzzard
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris
Featured accommodation:

Desert Rhino Camp

Operated in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust, Desert Rhino Camp is set in a wide valley amongst rolling hills with scattered euphorbia and ancient welwitschia plants. It has eight large Meru-style en suite tents, and the dining area offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

This remote camp occupies a broad valley at the confluence of two tributaries of the Hoanib River in the northern part of the private Palmwag Concession. This scenic location between the Palmwag area and the iconic Skeleton Coast National Park is one of the most isolated areas of the Kaokoveld.

Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge consists of 12 thatched and canvas chalets in the heart of the Namib Desert, in a large private reserve bordering the Namib-Naukluft Park. The main verandah overlooks a waterhole, and there are early morning guided drives to the nearby spectacular red dunes of Sossusvlei.