Landrover excursions explore the scenery and wide diversity of flora and fauna. Highlights include the desolate coast with its roaring dunes, the Ugab rock formations made up of numerous black ridges in stark contrast to the white desert surface, the colourful red lavas and yellow sand-stones of the Huab environs, ancient Bushman rock engravings, the living 'fossil' tree, We1witschia mirabilis, a visit to a settlement of the nomadic Himba people, who still live and dress according to ancient customs and traditions, and the panoramic vistas of the Hartmann Valley which extends to the Angolan border.
Accommodation is in three fully-equipped
camps. The first of these is in the lower reaches of the Huab River in
Damaraland, the second under camelthorn trees in the Hoarusib Valley in
Kaokoland and the third on the perennial Kunene River.
Skeleton Coast Map and Desert Regions
|The SKELETON COAST starts south
of the Orange River in South Africa, includes the whole Namibian coastline,
and continues 200 km into Angola. The coastline forms a sparsely populated
desert area with the adjoining Namib Desert. A unique feature is the the
fog-belt along the coast created by the cold Benguela current flowing north
from Antarctica. Much of the wildlife has adapted to derive moisture from
this source in an otherwise arid region.. Even in summer cool temperatures,
rather than hot, are the norm. In the interior, although warm in the mornings,
it usually starts cooling off in the afternoons. The lack of moisture,
a clear night sky and consequent rapid radiation of heat, give rise to
The SKELETON COAST PARK...
The NAMIB-NAUKLUFT PARK...
ITINERARIES/PRICES (all inclusive)
A. SKELETON COAST SAFARI - 4 days / 3 nights - $2585
DAY ONE: depart Windhoek for the Skeleton Coast via Conception Bay. The flight includes an aerial view of the Kuiseb canyon and adjoining red dunes and the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay. After refuelling at Swakopmund, a low-level flight north past the seal colony at Cape Cross for a light picnic lunch near the beach. After lunch we cross the desert by aircraft to the Ugab formations, a nearly lifeless 'moon landscape' of numerous black ridges, in stark contrast to the white desert floor. From here we cross to our camp Kuidas in the Huab Valley where we stay for the night. Amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp are ancient rock engravings.
DAY TWO: Explore the colourful red lavas and yellow sandstones of the Huab River formations and the wide diversity of flora and fauna of the area including the Welwitschia mirabilis. Depart by aircraft along the coast for Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta, still relatively intact. At Terrace Bay we access the roaring dunes by Landrover. Visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agates, lavas, granites and others. Interesting to see are old whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the airfield and continue north to our camp Purros in the Hoarusib Valley where we stay for the night.
DAY THREE: Scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might come across the desert-dwelling elephant which frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the perennial Kunene River on the Angolan border. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck and pieces from old sailing vessels lie scattered along this part of the coast. From the airfield we take a scenic drive by Landrover through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley arriving at camp on the Kunene River.
DAY FOUR: An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those which inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After the boat trip we depart by Landrover through the mountains of the Hartmann Valley and then fly back to Windhoek, arriving in the late afternoon.
B. SKELETON COAST / SOSSUSVLEI - 4 days / 3 nights - $2770
C. SKELETON COAST / SOSSUSVLEI / ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK - 5 days / 4 nights - $3040
We spend the night at one of the lodges outside the park. Early the next morning, after breakfast, we make use of the services of an Etosha safari operator to drive us through the park where we visit several water holes. Springs provide numerous drinking places for the animals, which congregate in spectacular numbers especially during the dry season (June to December). Animals such as lion and steenbok may be found in specific home ranges, while others such as springbok, eland, zebra, wildebeest and elephant wander all over in search of better grazing or browse. After lunch at one of the rest camps, we embark on an afternoon game drive. Our flight back to Windhoek commences at about four in the afternoon to ensure that we land before dark.
D. SKELETON COAST / SOSSUSVLEI, NAMIBRAND / LÜDERITZ - 6 days / 5 nights $3575
This combination provides a safari
which includes a drive into Sossusvlei, the NamibRand Nature Reserve and
a unique opportunity to experience the mystique and splendour of the 'Sperrgebiet',
the forbidden Diamond Area, situated on the far south-west coast of Namibia.
We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 7h00 for an early morning flight to
Sossusvlei in the Namib- Naukluft Park as for SAFARI B. After our picnic
lunch among the dunes we transfer by aircraft to the Wolwedans Dune Camp
in the NamibRand Nature Reserve where we stay for two nights. An afternoon
drive through the nature reserve concludes our day. The following day we
fly to Lüderitz and back to participate in the day-long Elizabeth
Bay safari which is offered by the Kolmanskop Tour Company. The Elizabeth
Bay safari introduces visitors to the town Lüderitz, old ghost town
relics and mining plants of the early German pioneers, the forbidden coast
and a fur seal colony at Atlas Bay. The flight from Lüderitz during
the late afternoon passes over Spencer Bay, with its picturesque Otavi
shipwreck, seals basking on the rocky slopes, penguins and other birdlife.
This is possibly the most desolate and impelling part of the Skeleton Coast.
This safari combination continues on the third day from Wolwedans according
to the SAFARI A schedule with the flight along the coast to Swakopmund.
Namib Desert Flora
A lack of rainfall, combined with Coastal Fog that penetrates far inland has lead to unique adaptations. Perhaps the most extraordinary is the Welwitschia mirabilis. This plant has only two leathery leaves which grow and shrivel into a tangled mass that can measure more than two meters accross. The largest plants are probably 2000 years old. This plant has a very modest root system and derives most of its moisture by condensing fog onto its porous leaves.
Another unusual plant is the Kokerboom or "quiver tree" because the the San hunters used hollowed out branches to make lightweight quivers. This plant is a member of the aloe family and grows to heights of 8 meters.
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