Hoanib Skeleton Coast: The Lowdown

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Hoanib Skeleton Coast in many ways epitomises the experience of luxury adventures in Namibia: a stylish tented camp set amongst nature at its most raw. This is wild desolate and remote, with roaring sand, swirling dust, extreme heat and chill winter nights. This is place where mankind meets some of the extremities of nature.

What’s the accommodation like at Hoanib?

First off, it’s important to note that the Skeleton Coast includes a vast area inland from the crashing waves of the Atlantic, and Hoanib Camp is a good way inland from the tempestuous weather and swirling mists that have lead so many sailors to their death. Instead, the eight modern and stylish tents are tucked into a wide valley amongst craggy hills and look out towards a small waterhole (it’s not unusual for desert elephants to visit camp, so keep your eyes peeled!) Bathrooms are en-suite, there are fans for hot weather, and hot water bottles are provided during winter, though we should note that here, as with many other places in Namibia, temperature differences can be extreme, so it is essential to pack accordingly. There’s a pool in the main area of the camp, and a stylish central mess that forms the heart of camp life.

Although Hoanib is, by any means, a chic and stylish camp, where guests are sheltered as much as possible from the elements, it’s worth remembering that you are, after all, here to experience the harsh environment of the Skeleton Coast, and despite the camp’s best efforts sometimes Mother Nature wins. Elephants can dig up water pipes and harsh weather may mean the best-laid plans need to be changed at very short notice- go prepared with a spirit of adventure and this is many people’s favourite camp in Namibia..

What can I do at Hoanib Skeleton Coast?

Astonishingly, for such a desolate area, there’s actually a fair bit of wildlife on the Skeleton Coast if you know how to look. Guests are taken out on game drives to look for desert elephants, giraffe and springboks, but if you get lucky there are also lions and hyeanas and jackals about too. (You’ll sometimes be lucky enough to meet researchers in camp who can share their wisdom with you). Seasonally, there are nature walks- focusing on all of nature, not just the big-name animals and for birders it’s well worth considering a full day trip out to one of the distant desert oases. At night, there’s captivating stargazing around the campfire. The highlight for most people who visit Hoanib is the day trip out to the coast itself, a 4-5 hour nature drive through the concession (but just a scenic 20 minute flight back!) Heading beyond the river floodplains and desert you reach the Atlantic, where you’ll find a Cape fur seal colony and tiny fragments of broken ships. This is included for stays of 3 nights or longer, though may be possible for guests on a shorter stay for an additional fee.

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