At this stage in my travels my family returned home while I went on to join a group of colleagues to check out the new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
Anyone looking for a remote, isolated destination – Skeleton Coast has got to be top of the charts! Three hours from Windhoek via charter flight you literally arrive in the middle of nowhere. We were quickly driven to our awesome camp just 5 minutes from the airstrip. After a welcome drink we settled into our luxury tented suites. Each one looks out onto the rugged hills and starkly beautiful scenery. There is a water hole close by that becomes the attraction of both giraffe and elephant during our stay. Management tells us that just a few weeks ago they had lion in camp every day, however this is certainly not the norm and while we were here we sadly never saw any.
We got to meet the famous desert lion researcher, Phillip Stander, better known as “Flip.” He gave us a presentation on the lions in this area which sent shivers down my spine. He is amazing. How can someone dedicate their entire life to one cause? It is beautiful. Dr. Stander has a movie coming out soon that he says shows the wilderness just like it is, this is not Hollywood this is the real deal. We also met his partner the brown hyena researcher, Emsie Verwey. For anyone who is interested in hyena she will take them to their den, however during our stay they had out of the area so we did not get to see her famous brown hyena but she did give us a lovely talk and again I was wowed by such a dedicated individual.
One of our days here we drove about 5+ hours from camp to the coast. The terrain in this area constantly changes, we drove through dry river beds, over huge sand dunes and saw a variety of wildlife including elephants, giraffe, oryx, springbok and impala. We rolled and ran down the dunes after mid-morning tea and then reached our destination in time for an incredible feast, a white linen draped table set on the beach where we enjoyed a variety of dishes and cold Sauvignon Blanc! We then explored the hundreds of seals, visited the museum and a shipwreck before our scenic 15 minute flight back to camp.
We spent many hours walking and exploring the desert, enjoyed meals under the stars and drinks around the fireplace as we admired the incredible night sky.
Last stop in Namibia was Damaraland. We visited the local communities here to find out all about the trials and tribulations of working together with the safari camps in these areas. It is always interesting to see these projects at work and hear from the locals, their frustrations as well as their joys of working together with the tourism industry.