Reviews of Hoanib Skeleton Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
33 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Hoanib Skeleton Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Amazing 3 days at Hoanib"
We had a wonderful guide here who had just moved from Kulala desert camp, Joas, he was lovely guy to spend a few days with.
The camp still feels very new and pristine, I loved the decor and the spectacular tents, great shower rooms and decks to view the camp water hole.
The atmosphere at this camp is quieter than some, you are seated as couples unless you ask otherwise and don't eat with the guides.
The landscape is extraordinary. The trip to the Skeleton Coast itself is unforgettable, 5 hour drive through constantly changing habitats ( we saw a pair of honey badgers, elephant, giraffe, springbok, a lioness at a distance) and then lunch on what felt like the worlds most desolate beach. Wonderful 15 min flight back to camp.
We also loved walking in the Hoanib river bed for a couple of hours, learning about the desert plants, identifying tracks, observing giraffe and elephants.
Could easily have stayed longer here and would love to go back. They are also running an interesting international study on brown hyena, the professor in charge was visiting while we were there , and one of the female hyenas turned up for a drink at the water hole during breakfast one morning. " See all these reviews: 10n in Namibia
"A stunning new camp"
Dining room feels a bit like a restaurant rather than a 'camp' but small enough to encourage conversation. Food and service were excellent in the evening but breakfast service quite patchy.
It is worth staying here for three nights to ensure that you are able to do the trip to the coast with the scenic flight back.
The staff 'concert' was particularly good.
It was also good to have the opportunity to visit the research facility which is on site here, where we had a talk from the researcher who has been studying the brown hyaena in the area, and saw a film made by another of the researchers (who we had met down at the coast) about the desert lions." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana; 9n in Namibia
"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp review"
The highlight of our trip. " See all these reviews: 14n in Namibia
"A real privilege."
Supplies arrive weekly and can be delayed for all sorts of reasons and this happened during our stay due to rain causing flash floods further up stream. The staff work well to make up for any things that are in short supply which is a tribute to their dedication and professional teamwork.
The rooms are beautifully designed tented chalets with everything you could wish for.
There is not a huge amount of game to see and it was sad to learn of the death of the lions that were here up until 2016. The game drives are well worth the effort, especially to the flood plain area of the river and the sunsets are spectacular and a photographers dream.
When we visited there was water in the river so we flew both ways to the Skeleton Coast which is a day for the memory banks and should not be missed. If you stay 3 or more nights,that excursion is free ." See all these reviews: 18n in Namibia
"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp review"
The Skeleton Coast day out was totally wonderful - they made it all as varied and interesting as possible, with the 'roaring' dune slide, an amazing lunch set up on the beach and great flight back! Just one negative comment: we would have liked a longer walk at the mouth of the Hoanib River - or anywhere else in the area - especially as we waited at the airstrip for over an hour for the Wilderness Safari pilot to arrive.... ( it seems he was rather over-booked that afternoon) BUT the flight itself was spectacular!
We saw the desert elephants, (and sadly a dead baby one week old baby who seems to have died from exhaustion) giraffe, oryx, springbok with lively young ones, and three 3 month-old lion cubs whose future is uncertain as their mother was killed by a leopard... the big question being should they be kept alive artificially, or allow nature to follow its course...We were all for intervention, but don't know what subsequently happened.
Food was excellent - as was service. In the bar, Limbo makes a superb cocktail. An amazing place simply to 'be' - a very impressive achievement so far from anywhere....it's a very special place." See all these reviews: 19n in Namibia
"The experience of a lifetime"
The trip down to the Skeleton Coast was breathtaking and the flight back gave us a completely different perspective on the whole area. This was the perfect way to end an unbelievably great holiday in Namibia." See all these reviews: 13n in Namibia
"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp review"
I completely loved the trip to the skeleton coast, the desert elephant with their calf’s were magical to watch, against the yellow sand and white flowers , picturesque and moving. Huge expanses of desert, lots of wildlife, and birds, beautiful. Lunch by the sea. There are few safari experience that include elephants and whales.
Our guide was interested, knowledgably and tenacious. We spent 4 days looking for the brown hyena, and it was our guide’s idea to go out after dinner to the water hole, where we found the elusive brown Hyena
" See all these reviews: 18n in Namibia
"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp"
Took short walk with guide, which was nice.
Perhaps our or at least my favorite camp." See all these reviews: 15n in Namibia; 4n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
"Glam in the Middle of Nowhere"
We luckily were assigned a suite closest to the camp's public spaces and, if mobility is an issue, we suggest making that specific location request. Walking to the farthermost suites could easily take close to ten minutes.
HSCC's signature activity is the day-long excursion to the Skeleton Coast, and we loved every moment of that adventure . . . the unbelievably bumpy ride to the Coast amidst eye-popping varied terrain; our vehicle's dune descent; the spectre and smells of the Coast's wildlife; and our short but visually-stunning return flight to the camp. Other activities we enjoyed at HSCC included traditional game drives (two lionesses with three cubs; cheetah with two cubs; two elephant families; giraffes; springboks; oryxes; and ostriches), and watching the "Lion Man" video (a must!!!) with fresh popcorn.
Like the other Wilderness camps we visited, the food and service at Hoanib were outstanding in every way. Its cookies and other baked goods are divine!!!" See all these reviews: 9n in Namibia; 3n in Rwanda
"Best camp for Skeleton Coast"
Without doubt, the all-day excursion through the Hoanib River valley and along the sand dunes to the Skeleton Coast was the highlight of our stay. Don’t miss it, and I suggest you contact the camp (or your travel agent) to be sure it’s included when you are present. En route, we slid down a sand dune, spotting a Namib desert sidewinder at the bottom. We shot photos of Klein Oasis from a sand dune overlook. While the camp was dry and unseasonably hot, the coast was cold, foggy and windy. The huge Cape Seal colony was impressive, and is the largest in southern Africa with 40-60,000 members. The nearby shipwreck remains were interesting.
We enjoyed lunch on the beach overlooking the South Atlantic, with a full service table setting, put together by an employee of the camp who stays here; we brought the food with us from the camp. Finally, we raced to the nearby airstrip to catch our flight back, made truly memorable by the pilot who circled points of interest, including Klein Oasis. Ten minutes later, and the plane would have left without us, due to the fog rolling in. It took our guide three hours to drive back.
We were fortunate that the principal researcher for a study of a resident pack of jackals was present. We thoroughly enjoyed her presentation about jackals, and her willingness to answer our many questions. We recommend you take advantage of her presentation, if she is resident in camp. She also showed us a film about a local lion pride, the subject of many years of research. Sadly, after we departed in mid-June, four of the five lions were killed by farmers for livestock predations, and the fifth was relocated to a distant area. So the chances of seeing lions are pretty slim.
The tents were very hot, with only two quite small windows that could be opened, as they had screens. More screens on some of the larger windows would be appreciated, so the windows could be opened to admit a breeze. Meals were served restaurant style, but we would have preferred family style, so we could more easily meet and chat with other guests. They are willing to push tables together, if requested. The vehicles were fully enclosed with a pop-up top which allowed guests good views. Unfortunately, the second and third rows of seats had to share a single door, which made entry/exit cumbersome.
Our guide Gerhardus did an excellent job throughout our stay at Hoanib Camp. He located a variety of wildlife, identified animals, birds, trees, bushes and flowers, and made the drive to the Skeleton Coast very interesting. The camp is run by Wilderness Safaris, which manages it efficiently , like their other properties. The staff was very pleasant and friendly, and made sure all our requests were promptly handled.
Overall, we are very glad we included the Skeleton Coast and this camp in our trip to Namibia. We would recommend a stay here, to experience a very different face of Namibia.
The owner's description on the Expert Africa website could stand to be updated.
" See all these reviews: 8n in Namibia; 8n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
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