Join us on a once in a lifetime experience, exploring the Skeleton Coast of Namibia!
A coast of loneliness and contrast and history. A journey to the most North-Western part of Namibia.
To be on this route is a privilege, as not many people pass through this part of Namibia and is one of the most remote areas of this beautiful country, Namibia. A route from Swakopmund to Puros or Sesfontein, covering about 1.500km,with the most unusually sceneries, from mountains to plains and beaches quite a few shipwrecks and over dunes.
We offer two options of driving for this tour:
• With your guide in the same vehicle and he will give you some driving time where suitable, this is recommended for people with little or no 4x4 driving experience and you do not have to worry about insurances for the vehicle should the guide damage it.
• You in your own vehicle and follow our guides in the lead vehicle and recovery vehicle, this option is for people with good 4x4 driving experience and bear in mind with this option the insurance is limited.
We meet with our guides early morning (6.30)on the first day at the Shell petrol station and last circle on the Hentiesbay road (time may differ)
Armand supplies each car with a radio transmitter so that he can keep in touch with the convoy, warning us and telling us on route what to do and the don'ts. He is very strict about the tracks we follow as not to make new ones.
2. Stop at Zeila wreck that stranded 25th August 2008
Hentiesbay just a short stop, and drive to the entrance gate of the park.
Our first of many ship wrecks we see is the South West Seal, that was beached in 1976 .
We also visit the old rusted Toscanini oil rig which closed in 1976. Diamonds were never found in that area or the ones that were found had not much value. It is now a breeding place for cormorants and we saw fresh tracks of Hyena, but I think they smelt us before they saw us! The patterns of the rust of the rig make splendid photographic opportunities.
On we go to Terracebay ,also a very popular place for fishing ,where we have lunch and is the last opportunity for all to refuel as for the next 1000 km there won't be any shops or any live except ourselves! And animals.
• Diesel: 220 liter per motor
• Petrol: 290 liter per motor
Mowe bay is the un- official border between Damaraland and Kaokoveld and is our last contact with people as here we enter a park only assessable with someone that has a permit. Away from pollution-people and any sight of life from here onwards ,only to hear your own heartbeat and the sound of the waves on the beach, and absolute quietness ,pure bliss.
Just North of Mowe Bay our guides is looking for a nice overnight spot and finds one between some dunes. Nessie,our cook, puts on a fire and we all set up our tents. We enjoy a "boesman's TV "fire and have a wonderful "potjie" Of lambs meat and veggies. Our first day has passed too quickly but very enjoyable.
What is nice about this trip is that we are not too much in a hurry in the mornings,
having first a nice hot cup of coffee or tea made by Nessie and breakfast and from now on, every morning after breakfast we make our own lunch packed. Cold meat-tomato's-cucumber -cheese etc is put on a table and you can built your own sandwich. Somewhere along the way we have a stop and eat our lunch or just eat whenever you like while still driving
The scenery varies as we travel along from barren landscape to mountains, riverbeds and here you realize the intense loneliness of this part of the country. The colors vary too from yellow of the sand to black on the mountains and red from the Garnet.a sillicate mineral.
Again we see a wreck and is quite something to see the way the elements worked with the wood and again a lot of rusted parts. Very surprising the bolts on the engine were not rusted at all and still shining. Must have been top quality!
We pass a rusted and forlorn bulldozer and tractor, left behind by the van der Westhuizen brothers who tried to mine diamonds here,the area is now called the Westhies . Or perhaps they were part of the famous rescue of the Duneden Star??If only they could talk!
Very interesting are the parts of the Ventura Bomber plane who also was part of the rescue team. Some parts are still visible. The plane crash dived into the sea, nearby the shore and all 3 in the plane could get out alive and had minor injuries.
The wreck of the plane washed ashore which we could see spread around.(try to look up the book "The Skeleton coast by John Marsh)
We drive long stretches on the beach but also on the dunes and again, the scenery varies so often .
Something amazing were the many "Ghost Grabs" popping out of the holes on the beach by the vibration of the cars ,they are so beautiful and we had a good stop to have a proper look at them. They raced like little cars on the beach towards the sea, quite amusing.
We crossed the dry river bed of the Hoariseb ,the dried mud making the most beautiful curls. Up and along some dunes again and our guides will show you if you ask him to how it sounds if the dune talk back at you, beautiful the roaring of the dunes. We get the opportunity to climb the dunes, one step up and 2 steps down !
Then we pass the most amazing rock formations who are nestled between die dunes, contrast of the hard and soft.
We enter the Hoariseb dry river with high mountains around us, go through some water pools with lots of green and of course the men want to show off by going vast through the water and almost like a competition, who can make the highest splash!
We put up our camp against a dune again. fire is put on for hot water for the shower and either nice relaxing or wander around.
This day is going to be an interesting day as the scenery changed from the riverbed and high mountains right next to us to plains with the most stunning colors. .Barren, with dark brown colors and the yellow of the sand. The orange of the lichen that brightened the whole area up. Lichens are a symbolic relationship between fungus and algae and are well adapted to survive in harsh conditions. The desert hosts 120 species. Some are black on rocks and even fields of them, putting some water on them and than watching them getting green is something amazing to see.
Onward we go along the beach to Cape Fria and see hundreds of seals.
Interesting to read is the book Skeleton coast ,written by John H Marsh where he writes the true story around the history of the Duneden Eden Star shipwreck and the rescue that took place in 1942.Almost unbelievable how so many people were stranded on the beach for almost 14 days and how they survived. We made camp that night where they had their shelter without hardly anything to eat or drink and how they endured the sun..wind and the absolute nothingness around them. Thinking of them makes you very quiet. You are well organized, have food and shelter ,but except for2 rescuers everyone was brought to safety from their horrible ordeal. Well advised to read the book. Or even Google Skeleton coast by John Marsh.
Today we will reach the Kunene mouth,first over some dunes and stop to have a beautiful view over the "borsluisbaai:
Before arriving at the Kunene you will be warned not to go too near the water as there could be some crocodiles. Be on the outlook for the turtles,we have a good look here and see Angola on the other side!
From there we go over the dunes, beautiful contrasts with the color of the sand against the dark mountains. Look back every now and then.
Looking for a place to camp, discussing around the fire we experienced.
Over the dunes our guides will take you to a lovely spot where you have a beautiful view over the mountains at the Angola side and dunes at Namibia side and the river far down..
A visit to a cave is on the list and we stop and have a look around, very unusually and beautiful.
Going down over the dunes we stop near the river and a walk to the river is a must.
Nessie gets the fire going for a nice braai.
Before departing you can walk again to the river and see the rapids, climbing over huge boulders. Warned again to be careful as crocodiles may have the same thought as you and go for a walk !!
Dune driving is on the list next ,but soon the scenery changes again and leave the dunes and here you will see lonely trees and plains and some riverbeds, yes, it is the Hartmans valley, beautiful open spaces and see quite a lot of Oryx.
Stopping at the green drum,for the fun someone left an old laptop there you can send a "mock" email!! Suddenly you remember that you were almost a week without any connection to the outside world.
You might see some Welwitschia's today on route.
The "Castles of clay in the Hoarusib river will leave you speechless, Someone wrote: " If there are any doubts as the incredible power of the ancient forces that played havoc in Western Namibia many millions years ago than the white grayish sedimentary clay walls high up in the Hoarusib will dispel them " And here we are, walking along them and we look so tiny next to them. Sleeping that night we stop not far from the castles and we can wonder around a while the next morning again.Try and google and read more about it, it is amazingly stunning.
We camp nearby these castles and the next morning you can walk and see some more.
This day is a river day, descending to the Hoarusib river and driving through water streams...and the most beautiful mountains on both sides.
Till we come to the famous "poort", entering the Puros Canyon.
Depending on the time and if you saw the desert elephants you may perhaps sleep over in Puros,if you didn't see the elephant Your guides will go further in the river to look for them, do you get some ellies on your way he might go further to Sesfontein.
The next day we have to say goodbye, you will have wonderful memories.
The tour is finished and today you start to travel back to Windhoek with one overnight, before reaching Windhoek on day 11, once in Windhoek you will be dropped at our accommodation or at the airport for your flight out. (please make sure you take an afternoon flight out).
Alternatively, you might decide to extend your tour for a few more days and visit Etosha National Park, inform our office in advance.
The overnight places vary from tour to tour, depending on the weather conditions or the speed the convoy travels
Prices below per person and in Namibian Dollar
With guide in vehicle:
• 2 people @ 39 400
• 3 people @ 20 934
• Note: should the group be 4 people, we will use anotehr vehicles wiht guide and the price will be calculated as above
Self-Drive without Namvic guide in your vehicle:
• 2 pax @ 25 000
• 3 pax @ 21 883
• 4 pax @ 20 325
Prices of the tour include the following:
• Concession fees payable to the Ministry
• Park entrance and usage fees per person per day payable to the Ministry
• Radio communication between vehicles (important and compulsory)
• Two guide vehicles
• Three meals per day
• Namvic vehicle hire and fuel (fuel not included in self-drive option)
• Namvic tour guide and his accommodation and meals (not on self-drive basis)
• 2 nights accommodation before and after the tour, on DBB basis
• Personal items
• Personal travel insurance
• Anything optional not mentioned on itinerary
• Fuel when doing self-drive option
• Drinks, snacks and water
Available Dates for 2018:
• 26 March to 02 April
• 12 – 23 April
• 29 April to 07 May
Each car must bring:
. Enough fuel as mentioned before.
. Tent, mattress, sleeping bag/blankets and chairs.(it can get very cold at night)
. Minimum of 60 liter water (20 liter is for the use in the kitchen(plus 2 liter per day for
per person drinking water.) Water for the shower you can get by the river,
. 2 large bags of wood and 1 bag charcoal.
. Strong green garbage bags
. Enough drinks for by the fire(boesmans TV)
. Snacks (biltong) etc.(lekkerssoosjou hart smaak)!!
. Your own cutlery & crockery ( we will supply dishwashing facilities after each meal )
Other necessary items:
Warm jacked, bedding, clothes for cold and warm weather.
son protection, medicine, lip ice. hats..........
. Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition.
. 4x4 must have "high flotation tyres "(no tube type tyres)
. Pump and pressure gauge. 2 spare wheels
• “Emergency gear, tools and parts. (Land Rovers – your own recovery vehicle !!!)”
• Recovery point / hook front and rear
• Roof racks only be loaded with maximum weight of 50 kg (i.e. bedding and tents)
• Preferably no roof tents.