Skeleton Coast Kaokoland Encounter is a 14-day tour which starts in Swakopmund and ends in...
Skeleton Coast Kaokoland Encounter is a 14-day tour which starts in Swakopmund and ends in Windhoek. It explores the Uniab River Delta, the Skeleton Coast beaches, the Palmwag concession area, and the Hoarusib River area.
The package includes all transport as per the itinerary's routing, accommodation on a shared basis, meals as specified in the itinerary, activities and park fees as specified in the itinerary, and mineral water.
The package excludes expenses of a personal nature, i.e. laundry, telephone expenses, gratuities and other personal purchases, all drinks, personal as well as medical and evacuation insurance, and any additional activities.
Departure from Swakopmund along the Atlantic Coast towards the North. Visit the lichen fields near Wlotzka’s Baken before continuing to Henties Bay, a small holiday town. Onwards to the seal colony at Cape Cross where, after visiting the seals, the journey continues via Ugabmund to the southern Skeleton Coast Park to inspect a shipwreck. We leave the Skeleton Coast Park in the early afternoon via Springbokwasser and will experience the harsh transition from the Namib Desert to the Damaraland Highlands with its impressive landscape and rugged valleys. Here, one can perhaps sight the first springbok, zebra and oryx and, with some luck, the desert elephant. Tonight we will stay in bungalows at Twyfelfontein on a fully inclusive basis.
DAY 2 and 3:
After breakfast we visit the world-famous rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountain, and Organ Pipes. Our journey then continues through central Damaraland and the Khowarib Gorge via Sesfontein into the Hoanib River. We follow the course of the river on a game drive where we have a good chance of encountering the desert elephants living in this harsh environment. Abundant tree growth offers the desert elephant a healthy diet and provides shade to a variety of game against the intense Namibian sun. Arrival at our luxury tented camp situated in one of the side valleys of the main river. It is not unusual for the elephants to pass by the camp during the night.
Today we depart early travelling in a northerly direction following the course of the Tsuxub River along the eastern Skeleton Coast boundary into the Hoarusib River. This area offers a good opportunity to encounter plains game and desert elephants. After a delightful picnic lunch we will arrive at Okahirongo Elephant Camp, which is located on the slopes of the massive Hoarusib River Valley. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner from the deck of the lodge where we overnight on a fully inclusive basis.
After breakfast we head in a northwestern direction and enter the Skeleton Coast Park. Here we will meet the Skeleton Coast Concession guide and continue towards Angra Fria via an old track that leads to the Angra Fria Radio Station and airstrip. After crossing a big salt pan we will reach the Atlantic Ocean. Camp will be set up by the back-up team while we explore the area around Cape Fria. Camping in bow tents which have a bucket shower and short-drop bush toilets.
From here the route turns northwards where we drive on the beach to reach the wreck site of the Dunedin Star, a freighter that ran aground during WW2. Explore the historical little camp where the survivors lived while waiting for a rescue convoy from Kamanjab. After a great lunch on the beach our safari continues along a track on either the high- or low-tide mark. We arrive at the Kunene River mouth in the late afternoon and spend some time exploring the area with its fresh water lagoon and abundant birdlife. Return along the beach for a night's camping at Bosluis Bay or surrounds. This evening we will be camping in bow tents which have a bucket shower and short-drop bush toilets.
After an early breakfast our group prepares for an intense dune drive through the fields of the northern Skeleton Coast Park. This is an area that very few people have the privilege of travelling through. The trail leads our safari to an area directly across from Foz de Cunene Police Station which is located on the Angolan side of the Kunene River. From there onwards we follow the course of the river through the dune and boulder fields reaching the western border of the Hartmann’s Valley in the late afternoon. Weather and time permitting we enjoy a cool dip in the numerous rock pools along this stretch of river. Camp is set up in a ravine close to a small waterfall on the banks of the Kunene River.
DAY 8 and 9:
After breakfast we navigate through the last few dunes until we reach the Hartmann Valley where we bid farewell to our Skeleton Coast guide. Our onward trail leads into a neighbouring valley, the Marienfluss River Valley, with one of the most awe-inspiring views this area has to offer. Here man can only feel dwarfed and helpless in comparison. After a short picnic our journey continues on to the bottom of the mighty Kunene River in time to check-in at Okahirongo River Camp situated on a natural granite platform overlooking the river. Okahirongo River Camp is our base for the next two days where we get to explore the scenic gorges, valleys, and desert-like dune fields of this isolated part of the North West by 4x4 and boat.
Today we bid farewell to the Kunene River and continue our journey to Hobatere Lodge via the Sanitatas and Kaoko Otavi regions. We will meet various Ovahimba herdsmen who remain with their stock and are continually on the move in search for better grazing areas. Again our guests experience the primitive but interesting lifestyle and traditions while visiting the en-route traditional villages. The usual reception from the Ovahimba is friendly and most of them are willing to engage in conversation. Our journey continues further across a scenic mountain pass into an area densely populated with overgrown palm trees and continuous flowing water in the Hoarusib River Valley. Yet another perfect region to visit a number of Ovahimba villages and families who have settled in this rich vegetation grazing area. The desert elephants often return to this section of the Hoarusib River as it forms part of its natural breeding region. Camping in this part of the Kaokoland offers a good opportunity to encounter these animals feeding on the nutritious acacia pods close to the camp. Camping tonight is in the river bed on a fully inclusive basis.
This morning we depart early and drive further east past the historical site of Kaoko Otavi which served as a transition and logistical stopover point for the Boers in the early days of the Dorsland Trek. After a visit to the last ruins of the Dorsland church we continue via the small town of Opuwo on to Hobatere Lodge where we overnight.
Today we enter the western side of Etosha National Park at Galton Gate past the research station of Otijivazandu. We will enjoy a full day of game viewing while driving through the park towards Okaukuejo Rest Camp in the centre of the park. We leave the park at Anderson’s Gate to check-in to Ongava Lodge in the late afternoon. Overnight at Ongava Lodge on a fully inclusive basis.
Up early for a morning game drive into Etosha National Park where we explore the area around Okaukuejo and the edges of the massive salt pan. We will return to the lodge in the early afternoon to freshen up before heading out on our final game drive within Ongava’s own private reserve.
We bid farewell to Ongava and return to Windhoek via Okahandja. This is a great place to stop for those wishing to pick up their last souvenirs. On arrival in Windhoek you will be transferred either to Hosea Kutako International Airport for check-in to your outbound flight or to your accommodation establishment.