NAMIBIA-Skeleton Coast

This adventure begins and ends at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport, Namibia.

Day 1

Upon your arrival at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport you will be met by a member from the &Beyond team who will drive you to the Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel.

Windhoek, the country’s capital is a bustling metropolis that is unexpectedly neat and orderly – though this is perhaps less surprising when one considers it was a German territory for many years. This is the main port of call for most tourists and all travellers pass through the city at least once. Windhoek lies in a pretty valley with buildings very much in the German architectural style. The German presence can be strongly felt in the food, restaurants – and of course the beer. The Namibian beer is said to be the best in Africa, and is brewed in Windhoek. Enjoy a one night stay at the Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel in a junior suite with ensuite bathroom. Your stay includes dinner and breakfast.

Day 2

After a wholesome breakfast you will be driven to Eros for your departure at 10h00 to the Skeleton Coast via Conception Bay. The Kuiseb canyon and adjoining red dunes are a spectacular view from the air. The flight includes an aerial view of the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay.  After landing and refuelling at Swakopmund, we continue with a low-level flight north along the Skeleton Coast 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 proceed to our Kuidas camp in the Huab River Valley where we stay for the night. Ancient rock engravings are found amongst the rocks within walking distance of the camp.

Day 3 

After breakfast we depart by Land Rover to explore the colourful red lava and yellow sandstone of the Huab River environs and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this area with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. This includes the Welwitschia Mirabilis, a tree that has been dwarfed by the rigors of the encroaching desert climate. We have lunch at Kuidas camp before flying along the coast to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park. The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta.

At the coast we access the roaring dunes by Land Rover, which always proves to be a stimulating experience. We also visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agate, lava, granite and quartz. Interesting to see are old bleached whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the aircraft and continue north to our Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in the Kunene Region, where we stay for the night.

Day 4

After breakfast we embark on a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might be lucky enough to come across the desert-dwelling elephant that frequent this valley. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the Kunene River acting as a border to Angola. 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 Land Rover to our favourite lunch site. After lunch we continue through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley – which extends to the Kunene River – reaching our Kunene River camp in the late afternoon.

Day 5 & 6

Today, you can look forward to an early morning boat cruise along the Kunene River that snakes its way through the desert landscape. Enjoy exceptional bird (and perhaps some crocodile) sights.  You will arrive back in time for lunch at the Camp before climbing back into your light aircraft for your flight to Swakopmund Airport, arriving late afternoon. A member from the &Beyond team will be waiting to collect you for your drive to the beautiful Swakopmund Boutique Hotel.

Swakopmund is a charming little seaside town, on Namibia’s western coast, retains a strong German flavour – from the cobbled streets and picturesque buildings, down to the typical German restaurants and pubs. This town is traditionally a holiday spot for locals and foreigners alike, with many opportunities for adventure sports and some good old-fashioned fun. Swakopmund is an ideal place to relax after a few days in the desert; wash off the sand and sample some of the finely-brewed local beer and renowned Swakopmund fare such as fish, lobster and the utterly delicious Swakopmund oysters.

Spend two nights at the Swakopmund Boutique Hotelin a suite with ensuite bathroom. Your stay includes breakfast.

Day 7, 8 & 9

Today you will be collected from the hotel for your short flight to the Sossusvlei Airstrip.

One of the highlights of any trip to Namibia is a visit to Sossusvlei in the heart of the enormous, almost 50 000km² Namib-Naukluft Park. Easily accessible to visitors, Sossusvlei is a clay pan, only rarely filled by water, but a place of awe-inspiring beauty. Visitors to the region will be left spellbound by the magnificent ochre-coloured sand dunes, which rise over 300m into the sky – the highest sand dunes in the world.

Unwind for 3 nights at &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in a desert villa with an ensuite bathroom and a private veranda. Your stay is on a full board basis, including scheduled activities within the NamibRand Nature Reserve as well as complimentary balloon safari (2013 only – weather dependant).

Adventures include scenic drives with an opportunity to encounter a variety of desert-adapted animals such as gemsbok, zebra, springbok, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, caracal and jackal. Guided walks and hiking trails are also available, as are guided quad bike trails on set paths through the dunes. A resident astronomer and high-powered telescope provide breathtaking views of the clear desert night skies. A Sossusvlei excursion is also included for 2013.

Day 10

After a mouth-watering breakfast, we wave a fond farewell as you board your light aircraft for your flight to Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport.

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