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
"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp review"
"The highlight of our trip!"
The camp staff are all excellent. Beauty exemplified finesse and professionalism as she masterfully handled a mix up that was the fault of our travel agent. What could have been a very inconvenient error turned out to be little more than a momentary ripple for us - even though it meant some complex juggling behind the scenes. Another potential problem - the fact that I was recovering from a recent quad bike accident and so couldn't walk far - was also very tactfully handled by Beauty when she noticed my limp and moved me to the closest tent as soon as it was available. By the way, when I say 'tent,' I really mean 'very luxurious tented chalet.'
Where Damaraland Camp made me feel like a constant nuisance for having a food allergy, Beauty mentioned to me upon my arrival that the kitchen was aware of my food allergy and would ensure my food was all safe. As should be the case, my food safety needs were completely and inconspicuously met and I was never made to feel like I was being a nuisance.
Clement, one of the camp managers, was entertaining. His enthusiastic personality might be a bit overwhelming at first but we came to really appreciate his passion for the wilderness and wildlife photography as well as his very clear devotion to ensuring Hoanib delivers on every front.
Another thing we really appreciated at Hoanib was their ability to ensure guests mingled and met one another but also had time alone with their travel companions. Before dinner, guests mingled freely around the campfire or bar but during meals, each party had a private table. We were close enough to other groups to engage in lively conversation (or even join tables) if we so desired but far enough apart to enjoy a sense of privacy and luxurious dining. A perfect balance.
The things I have mentioned so far are really details. The true stars of the Hoanib experience are the amazing scenery and the wildlife sightings. Both surpassed our very high expectations. The details, however, are what elevated our stay at Hoanib from amazing to truly exceptional." See all these reviews: 17n in Namibia
First, the location of the Camp is tucked against a hill background at the head of a long valley which is overlooked by surrounding mountains. It is simply a spectacular view along the valley. The individual lodges are reasonably separated from each other and are of a very clever "box" style construction with well place opening windows underneath a broad canvas tent which encourages a breeze way effect both within your lodge and on the comfortable verandah.
There is an artificially supplied water hole about two hundred metres from the lodges and this does attract a variety of wildlife, including lions walking though the camp, but is a bit of a distance away for all but the most enthusiastic and well equipped photographers. A good zoom lens is a definate asset.
The central guest areas are extremely well presented and very comfortable and provide good lounge facilities and a very nice dining area which is based on individual tables. A feature I like!
The Camp is managed really well by Beauty and she has an excellent staff with Elias and Clement being standouts as guides and sources of information. Their professionalism and competence is matched nicely by all other staff. This is a very, very good Wilderness Safaries establishment and well worth the fairly long trip to get there.
There are excellent wildlife and scenic opportunities and the range of animal life and spectacular scenery is simply unexpected as much as it is outstanding." See all these reviews: 18n in Namibia; 3n in Botswana
"Surprises on the Skeleton Coast"
"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp - Unforgettable!"
The Camp is beautifully situated and maintained to a very high standard. With just 8 tents, the Camp felt not too big and not too small, in other words, it felt just right!
The staff was outstanding, our guide, Elias, in particular, and we, of course, spent the most time with him. When a place operates so well, virtually every member of staff contributes to its success, and unfortunately many of them we never meet. But those whom we did meet and were clearly in part responsible (please forgive any misspellings): Clement, Brigit, Kenny, Stanley, and Beauty. We listed others on our feedback from at the Camp.
The main tent was beautiful and fitting as was our tent. Our tent was very spacious and everything was well maintained.
Our activities will never be forgotten. We spent a lot of time driving through the river bed, and the scenery was stunning. And our drive to the Coast was unforgettable as was the flight back. We were very luck, too, it seems, in that we saw so much wildlife, including two lions and an elephant.
Once again, our guide, Elias, was outstanding. He has an easy way with people and is very knowledgeable about the place and the animals, so we learned a lot!
I would recommend Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to anyone and without any hesitation. We've travelled a lot, and we have stayed in many of the world's "best" hotels, and the Camp ranks right up there!" See all these reviews: 4n in Namibia
"Out of this world experience"
The trip to the coast is particularly impressive" See all these reviews: 20n in Namibia
"Hoanib camp review"
The modern camp makes for a luxurious experience and all the staff are welcoming and efficient as well as great fun. Our guide , Francois was superb and made every day special even getting stuck in the sand !! The ability to see the elephants,lion,giraffe and cheetah living in the desert was an outstanding experience, We had an amazing day at the ocean with seals , flamingos and shipwrecks and flew back to the camp.
Researchers staying at the camp gave interesting talks in the evening - a bonus." See all these reviews: 13n in Namibia
"Unique location in spectacular setting"
The only thing that is a problem here we thought, is the vehicles they are using for the trips, the views were rather restricted when sitting anywhere but in the front seat, there was a lifting roof but this could only really be used when stationery, and though they had put a window in the front above the windscreen. To be fair they are clearly aware of the shortcomings of their vehicles, and say the need it to be closed in because of the cold, but they could provide a fleecy blanket, and use vehicles similar to other places" See all these reviews: 15n in Namibia
"Amazing place, amazing experience."
"a new camp, needs work"
No attention to details, poor maintenance of equipment. Can be simply dangerous." See all these reviews: 13n in Namibia
With regards to a couple of issues, these travellers explained to us that whilst on an excursion with Hoanib Camp they noted the vehicle had a slow puncture, which they mentioned to their guide. However, the following day it appeared that the tyre had not been changed and consequently went flat after a few hours. The vehicle had no spare, and the jack didn’t work. A second vehicle was able to supply a spare tyre, and after some work the tyre was changed. The guests were concerned that these issues could lead to a dangerous situation given how far from camp the excursions travel in this remote area.
These travellers also did not feel that the camp manager ran the camp well. They felt that he didn’t maintain the maintenance on vehicles well. They also felt that the service was slow getting warm meals from the kitchen and commented that the camp appeared understaffed.
Expert Africa brought this to Hoanib Camps attention. They apologised for the issue with the slow puncture and agree that the tyre with the slow puncture should have been changed once it was noticed, and also say that the vehicle should have had two spare tyres. The camp pointed out that this was the first time they’d had any issues with their vehicles, which are relatively new and well maintained. They advised us that the camp team had a meeting regarding this isolated incident, to ensure that it doesn’t occur again.
They assured us that every vehicle would have two spare tyres, and that the jack was replaced and all jacks would be regularly checked. They also advised that each vehicle is fitted with a radio to remain in touch with the camp in case of emergencies. For longer excursions the guide will take a satellite phone for when he is out of radio range.
Hoanib was sorry to receive these guests’ comments regarding the camp manager and staff. They tell us that he has been a manager with Wilderness Safaris for many years, and has always received glowing feedback. However, the camp team has been advised of the feedback in order that it may assist them in their constant aim to offer great service.
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