Reviews of Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris review
Outstanding - I couldn't recommend this more highly.
The trip was stunning, from beginning to end. Andre was an excellent guide - I learnt more in those 4 days than I have for a long time!
Too many highlights to list them all
The most surprising was on the first night when Andre produced an enormous telescope and gave us a tour of the universe (amazing!)
The most amusing was Andre's attitude when we were temporarily delayed in our elephant hunting: 'of course we're not stuck. being stuck is ja state of mind' (we spent the next 45 mins digging the landrover out of the mud)
The greatest thing we ever did!
This was the absolute highlight of what was an amazing journey. Our guide, Berthus Schoeman, was passionate and intensely knowledgable about his country as well as being an amazing pilot who instilled huge confidence. He also happened to be great at driving the 4x4 down vertical sand dunes and piloting a boat up rapids!
There can be no better way to see Namibia in depth....the landscape, the geology, the shipwrecks and the amazing wildlife all at close quarters and from a perspective it would be impossible to achieve in any other way. We just want to start all over again...we even loved the simplicity of the camps and the bucket showers!
Fantastic staff, food and service in all the camps despite their remoteness.
A huge thankyou to Berthus for this huge experience.
Schoeman's Skeleton Coast safaris review
We had huge expectations of the Skeleton Coast after the reviews we read, and it was difficult to imagine that it would live up to the hype. In the end, it didn't quite but that's not to say that it was not a great experience.
We were lucky in that we had a plane and all the camps to ourselves, which made the experience all the more remote and quiet, if less social - but that suited us fine. Andrew Schoeman was our guide and clearly knew as much as one could hope for about the area. He did seem a little detached which made us feel we were not getting as much out of it as possible, and a little unwilling to adapt the schedule or itinerary to suit our particular interests, but this was not a major issue.
The landscapes are undoubtedly spectacular - sometimes it was a shame not to go round and see them again. Unfortunately it was dificult to communicate in the plane since the radio did not seem to react to my voice - so we remained largely silent. But then again we were too busy taking photos in any case!
The lodges are all in fabulous locations. Although basic, we applaud their genuinely ecological approach. They made the Wilderness Camps seem out of place with their luxurient furnishings. The staff were all great and if it wasn't for arriving by plane, the camps almost made you feel part of the local community.
It was a busy 4 day safari (as you would want given the price) and seemed like longer. It would be great to stay longer in the camps and see a bit more of the country and wildlife, but that would obviously require more days. Overall it was a truly fantastic experience.
Incidentally, where we would normally have gone to experience the roaring dunes proved impossible due to rain! Fortunately, we had already tried it out on the Naturetrek trip on the coast near Sandwich Bay.
Again it was not clear beforehand whether there was electricity available on the Skeleton Coast Camps. In fact it's not, but we were able to charge batteries from the Land Rover - although it wouldn't start the next morning...!
Beyond our expectation
What can we say about this. Andre, our pilot/guide brought the whole Skeleton coast alive together with his wonderful daughter Yurianka who seemed to search endlessly for diamonds in the sand. Never knew rocks could be so interesting.
This trip was low level flying over the mountains, dunes and sea. We would land in places that one would think was impossible. The camps we stayed in were incredible for the views and the feeling that we were really in the wilderness. Everyday was filled with new adventures.
To experience the roaring dunes was a highlight together with being driven over these dunes whilst perched on top of the vehicle. Never realised a Land Rover could negotiate such steep slopes. We ended up camping on the banks of the Kunene River, spectacular views.
This was the way to end our trip to Namibia, well worth it and would love to do it again and learn more.
Schoeman's Skeleton Coast safaris review
Andre Schoeman was an outstanding guide & pilot, the flying route and camp locations were superb.
The camps were just right - simple but comfortable.
An unforgettable experience.
A great way to see Namibia.
Andre Schoeman knows the country inside out. Go for the geography, geology, history, and the story of conservation in Namibia.
Try to read the book on the Skeleton Coast before you go -- but it is available for purchase at the end.
If you can afford it, you should go.
Don't miss this amazing opportunity
The Schoeman's run an excellent safari to the Skeleton Coast - we really felt that they respect and love the Namibia and its people.
We were lucky enough to have Bertus and Michael to ourselves for the whole trip which was amazing. Bertus is a fantastic pilot, transporting us to remote parts of the coast and inland. We loved being able to get close to areas that many others never see and learning so much about the terrain, fauna and flora - not to mention meeting the Himba and seeing how they live. We were also lucky enough to see the desert-adapted elephants at Purros, an experience we won't forget.
The trip to the Kunene river was interesting but we felt that this final stage of the safari was a long way to go [by plane and jeep] for, essentially, a boat ride and an overnight stay and then a long journey back.
The camps aren't as luxurious as some places in Namibia, but are comfortable and cosy and the food is excellent. The Schoemans are no doubt feeling the pressure to upgrade but potential visitors should bear in mind that this safari is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to see remote parts of Namibia with personal guides who know and love the region. It's an experience that shouldn't be missed.