Hoanib Skeleton Camp
Hoanib Skeleton Coast’s is within the true Namib Desert. This area is home to a rich diversity of wildlife.The Kaokoveld has the best viewing of desert-adapted wildlife and access to vast, remote and isolated wilderness. Despite the barren landscape and seemingly lack of water many elephant thrive here along with giraffe, lion and brown hyena. Various antelope have been seen including Oryx, Springbok and small Steenbok.
In stark contrast to the rugged mountains and valleys inland the Skeleton Coast hosts Cape fur seals in their thousands. This seal colony attracts black-backed jackals and brown hyena. Interactions between the seals, jackal and hyena are fascinating to watch. Birds are equally diverse, with regular endemics like Rüppell’s korhaan, Benguela long-billed lark and lark-like bunting. Near the the coast the bird community changes drastically and sightings of rare sea birds are quite common. Jaegers and Skuas are often observed around the seal colonies.
Eight large en-suite tents, including one family tent, keep the camp small and personal. At the main area and pool you can look out over a rugged valley that slopes down to the dry Hoanib River.
Hoanib Skeleton Camp is in a very remote area of northern Damaraland in North Western Namibia. The camp is about 1 kilometre outside the Skeleton Coast National Park. Built close to the Hoanib River the camp is surrounded by plains, mountains and miles of sand dunes.
Hoanib means “the place of elephants” and if you are fortunate enough to witness these pachyderms it truly is special. They lumber along with no particular rush, life centers around food and water, especially water. Elephants are able to hear water underground so they’re often observed in dry river beds digging with their feet or trunks.
Read our Country Information for travel to Namibia.
For a more affordable accommodation option have a look at Kulala Desert Lodge.
Read the UNESCO report on the Namib Sand and Sea.
How to get there
Fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, capital of Namibia with Qatar Airways, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, South African Airlines or Ethiopian Airlines.
On arrival your safari representative will assist you onto a light aircraft for your onward flight to the lodge airstrip.
For ground arrangements and domestic flight advice, get in touch, we’ll ensure your safari arrangements are seamless.
- Morning or afternoon nature drives include the Hoanib riverbed and floodplains.
- Guided nature walks (seasonal and subject to the availability of a qualified walking guide).
- Pre-dinner and fireside discussions by staff on research being conducted in the area.
- Star-gazing with a laser pointer, weather permitting and according to moon phases (not offered around full moon).
- Olympus Photo Hub experience.
- Included in the rate and available to all guests staying for three nights or more.
- Should the availability of aircraft, pilots and guides allow, a flying option may be offered to guests staying for less than three nights. However, this cannot be guaranteed, and will be at an additional cost to the guest.
This is an extended excursion as the drive to the coast is approximately 4 to 5 hours and a return flight (departing at 14:00) of approximately 20 minutes. The drive includes stops at the Klein Oasis Spring, dune surfing on the roaring dunes, visit to seal colonies, exploring the coastline, viewing shipwreck remains plus a picnic lunch on the beach. This excursion is not possible on a private basis.
Typically harsh desert conditions prevail in this area with regards to heat, fog rolling in from the sea, high winds and flooding rivers. On occasion, these conditions may affect the duration and routing of the coastal excursion and should this occur guests are driven both ways or – as is the case when it rains and the floodplains fill with water – are flown both ways. In this case, departure from camp will be at 10:00 to allow time for the fog to clear and return to camp at the scheduled 14:00. With safety and overall comfort being the major criteria, decisions on the format of the excursion on any given day may only be finalised in camp.
These trips leave camp early in the morning, include a picnic lunch, and return to camp in the mid to late afternoon. This is subject to the availability of a guide and vehicle, to guarantee this excursion a private vehicle needs to be booked and paid for.
- Mudorib Springs: Explore the remote areas in the south of our allocated exclusive concession area, with the red basalt landscapes of the Damaraland. Amongst other general game species, guests have the chance of seeing Hartmann’s mountain zebra and the desert-adapted rhino.
- North and Eastern Hoanib Area: These northern valleys offer spectacular scenery, and are also good areas for the Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok etc.