Explore the Skeleton Coast & Damaraland
A. SKELETON COAST
The Skeleton Coast is a rugged and inhospitable stretch of coastline located in the northern part of Namibia, along the southwestern coast of Africa. It is known for its hauntingly beautiful landscapes, shipwrecks, and desolate environment. The name "Skeleton Coast" derives from the numerous whale and seal bones that used to litter the shoreline from the whaling industry and the rough seas that have claimed many ships over the years. The Skeleton Coast National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna adapted to the harsh desert environment. The park also provides opportunities for self-drive safaris and guided tours.
1. Explore the Landscapes: The Skeleton Coast is characterized by its stark desert landscapes, towering sand dunes, and rugged terrain. Take the time to explore the unique beauty of the area, from the shifting sands of the dunes to the rocky shores.
2. Visit the Shipwrecks: The coastline is dotted with numerous shipwrecks, remnants of vessels that have run aground due to the treacherous conditions. Some of these can be explored up close, offering a glimpse into the area's maritime history.
3. Wildlife Viewing: Despite its harsh conditions, the Skeleton Coast is home to a surprising variety of wildlife. You might spot desert-adapted elephants, seals, seabirds, and even rare desert lions. Guided wildlife tours can provide insight into these remarkable creatures.
4. Fly Over the Coast: A unique way to experience the vastness of the Skeleton Coast is to take a scenic flight over the area. This perspective provides a stunning view of the dramatic coastline, sand dunes, and shipwrecks.
5. Cape Cross Seal Colony: Visit the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. It's a fascinating sight to see thousands of seals gathered on the beach and rocks.
6 Stargazing: Due to its remote location and minimal light pollution, the Skeleton Coast offers excellent stargazing opportunities. On clear nights, you can witness a stunning display of stars in the desert sky.
Remember that visiting the Skeleton Coast requires careful planning, as the environment is rugged and remote. It's advisable to join guided tours or work with local operators who are familiar with the area and its challenges. Respect the fragile ecosystem and follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on this unique and delicate environment.
SLEEP @ SHIPWRECK LODGE
Located in the famous Skeleton Coast concession between the Hoarusib and Hoanib rivers in the Skeleton Coast National Park, Shipwreck Lodge is only 45 km from Möwe Bay. The shipwreck-shaped cabins are nestled between the dunes with a view of the Atlantic Ocean where the cold Benguela current provides guests with a refreshing breeze. Their 10 chalets, cleverly designed to resemble shipwrecks, are spread out along the sand dunes. Wake up to spectacular desert views with the sound of waves crashing in the distance and fall asleep to a crackling fire in the stove.
Damaraland is a semi-arid region located in northwestern Namibia, characterized by its rugged landscapes, unique geological formations, and diverse desert-adapted wildlife. The region is named after the Damara people, one of Namibia's indigenous ethnic groups. Damaraland is known for its striking scenery, ancient rock art, and opportunities to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
1. Visit Twyfelfontein: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its ancient rock engravings and petroglyphs, showcasing the artistic skills of early San inhabitants. Guided tours are available to help you understand the significance of these carvings.
2. Explore the Petrified Forest: The Petrified Forest is an interesting geological site where ancient trees turned into stone over millions of years. You can take a self-guided walk to see these fascinating petrified remains.
3. Marvel at the Organ Pipes: The Organ Pipes are a unique rock formation resembling a giant pipe organ. This natural wonder is a result of volcanic activity and erosion. It's a great spot for some unique photographs.
4. Visit the White Lady Painting: Located in Brandberg Mountain, the White Lady Painting is one of the most famous rock paintings in the area. It's a bit of a hike to get there, but the panoramic views and the historical significance of the painting make it worth it.
5. Go Elephant Tracking: Damaraland is home to a population of desert-adapted elephants. Guided tours allow you to track these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
6. Experience Traditional Culture: Interact with local communities like the Damara people and learn about their traditional way of life. You might have the opportunity to participate in cultural experiences, such as traditional dancing and craft demonstrations.
Damaraland is a stunning region to explore by car. Drive through the rough terrain and enjoy the stunning vistas, unique rock formations, and the sense of adventure. Remember that Damaraland is a remote and relatively untouched area, so respecting the environment and local communities is crucial. Always follow ethical and sustainable tourism practices while visiting this remarkable part of Namibia.
SLEEP @ AI ABA THE ROCK-PAINTING LODGE
Ai-Aiba -The Rock Painting Lodge is dramatically set against imposing granite boulders in the foothills of the Erongo Mountain range. Steeped in history these ancient rock formations are the eroded remains of a volcanic complex about 130 million years old. Famous for its countless rock painting sites Ai-Aiba is a mystical exploration of nature.
SLEEP @ ERONGO WILD
After a dusty drive in the heat of the day, you will arrive at the Erongo Wild. Set in a secluded valley encircled by the stunning Erongo Mountains, this piece of wilderness is a magical place where the desert, mountain, and bushveld ecosystems combine.
Dramatically set in the foothills of the Grootberg massif, Etendeka Mountain Camp appeals to the traveller who is prepared to step outside of their comfort zone and experience this remote wilderness with its harsh beauty in an authentic way. Here one is reminded that we are all guests of Mother Nature.
SLEEP @ GROOTBERG LODGE
Perched on the rim of the Etendeka Plateau, Grootberg Lodge stands sentinel over the Klip River Valley. 12 000 hectares have been set aside by the Khoadi//Hoas community for conservation and tourism, and it is through this pristine wilderness that you can explore either on foot or by car to encounter the inhabitants of this remote area.
SLEEP @ HOADA CAMPSITE
Hoada Campsite is the perfect stopover for exploring the north-western reaches of Namibia. The area is home to a large variety of flora, wildlife and geological wonders. An unforgettable experience for nature lovers. Rough it out in style at Hoada Campsite as the perfect stop over for travelers on their way to the coast or Windhoek from the Kunene region.