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Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland

fly into the very remote areas of the region.

Watch out for old wrecks along the coastline.

Explore the unspoilt wilderness.

these semi-nomadic people have retained many of their traditions.

opportunity to meet the local Himba people.

nature drives into otherwise inaccessible places.

Rock formations near the Ugab river.

guided activities give you great insight into the area.

Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland

Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland: in detail

Skeleton Coast safari holidays: the full story

The remote north-west of Namibia, known as Kaokoland (or the Kunene Region), is home to dramatic scenery, small populations of game and the Himba people – and beside it lies the equally remote coastline of the famous Skeleton Coast.

This north-western corner of the country is very remote and often difficult to visit – but there are two ways to see it: you can drive yourself along the southern section of the Skeleton Coast, or you can take one of two excellent, but very different, fly-in safaris to the more remote north of the coast.

In addition, you can also visit the very north of the region, staying beside the lush Kunene River. This can be an interesting Kaokoland add-on to either of the fly-in safaris, or as a destination in its own right.

Driving along the Skeleton Coast

Driving north from Swakopmund you will travel through the section of coast known as Dorob National Park. This area will give you a good feel for what the Skeleton Coast is like – desolate and barren. However, despite this harsh environment, you will still see evidence of life when you look hard enough – lichen fields, vegetated dune hummocks, insects, snakes, and jackal.

The first amazing sight you come across is an enormous breeding colony of Cape fur seals at Cape Cross. You can detour here en route to Damaraland, or stay for a night at the cosy Cape Cross Lodge. Further to the north, deep within the Skeleton Coast National Park, Terrace Bay is a simple government-run restcamp about six hours' drive north of Swakopmund. It's the only place to stay for a very long way!

Fly-in safaris to the Skeleton Coast

To explore the Skeleton Coast and adjacent Kaokoland in more depth you need to get into the remote wilderness areas north of Terrace Bay. This means a different kind of trip altogether, as these areas are only easily accessible by small plane. Two first-class operations (with top professional guides) can do this: Skeleton Coast Safaris and the Skeleton Coast Camp.

Both operations will take you to very remote areas, to the western escarpment and into the narrow coastal belt, and show you a spectacular region. Both can be integrated into longer fly-drive or fly-in trips. They're both amongst the best trips in Africa, but neither is cheap. So read on, then talk to us for a comparison, and we'll help to choose the right one for you.

Skeleton Coast Safaris


Skeleton Coast Safaris is a small, family-run operation that has organized trips here for 20 more than years. They take up to eight passengers, using light aircraft to hop between remote beaches and private airstrips. You get to see a large, stunning area of north-west Namibia, flying over and landing at number of destinations which highlight the many varied landscapes.

Each trip is usually escorted by one of the Schoeman family, who acts as pilot, driver and expert guide. You spend every night in a different area, sleeping in dome tents at tiny permanent camps – Kuidas Camp and beside the dry Huab River; Purros Camp near a spring in the Hoarusib River; and Kunene River Camp, on the lush banks of the Kunene River.

The Schoemans are amongst the best guides in the country, and will open your eyes to this unique wilderness. These trips are hugely informative, giving unparalleled insight into the area and we cannot recommend them too highly.

You can find further details of the itinerary by looking at Expert Africa's Skeleton Coast safari trip, and also by checking out the three camps used on this safari.

Fly-in safari to the Skeleton Coast Camp

The Skeleton Coast Camp offers a completely different concept with a more permanent base. This high-quality tented camp is situated on a small island in the dry Khumib River which is found in an uninhabited private reserve area of 3,000km² in a remote corner of the wilderness section of the Skeleton Coast National Park. Consequently there is no chance of bumping into anyone else whilst here!

During your three- or four-night stay at the camp (departing Windhoek every Wednesday or Saturday respectively) you explore various stark and beautiful areas within the reserve area and just outside it, with your professional guide. These may include trips over the vast dune belts to the coast or travelling inland to visit a Himba settlement. You may also get the opportunity to see lichen fields, desert-adapted elephants and visit a cape fur seal colony and ancient stone circles. With so much to see and do in this fascinating area you will not get bored – most people choose to take fully day trips from the camp having a delicious picnic en route.

Kaokoland add-on

The amazing Serra Cafema is a luxurious camp which stands out as wonderful add-on to either of the fly-in safaris mentioned above – or as a destination in it's own right. In the very north of Namibia, beside the Kunene River and overlooking Angola, it is one of the most remote camps in Africa. Here you can explore this fascinating area by boat, on foot and in a 4 x 4 taking in the river scenery, the stark beauty of the desert and also visit isolated Himba communities.

Where to stay in Skeleton Coast

Our suggestions for safari camps in Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland


Cape Cross Lodge

Cape Cross Lodge

Right on the Skeleton Coast, between Swakopmund and Damaraland, Cape Cross Lodge has easy access to Cape Cross Seal Reserve.


87% (57 reviews)
Terrace Bay

Terrace Bay

Terrace Bay is bleak. However, those that stay here come to experience the remote and inhospitable nature of the Skeleton Coast.


78% (35 reviews)
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is actually situated 42km inland in Kaokoland, this said they offer a superb guided day trip to the coast.


99% (33 reviews)
Serra Cafema

Serra Cafema

The luxurious Serra Cafema is in the most remote corner of Namibia - at the north end of Hartmann's Valley, across the Kunene River from Angola.


96% (29 reviews)
Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris

Skeleton Coast Safaris

Skeleton Coast Safaris is a small, family-run operation that has organized trips here for 20 years.


98% (26 reviews)
Opuwo Country Lodge

Opuwo Country Lodge

Opuwo Country Hotel provides comfortable accommodation is well situated for a night's stop before travelling into remote parts of Kaokoland.


83% (6 reviews)
Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge

Shipwreck Lodge

The only property on this desolate stretch of coastline, the extraordinary Shipwreck Lodge opens up a new section of the Skeleton Coast National Park


100% (5 reviews)
Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp

The intimate and remote Hoanib Valley Camp offers a rare chance to explore this dramatic corner of Namibia and to search for its sparse desert-adapted wildlife.


100% (4 reviews)
Epupa Camp

Epupa Camp

Epupa Camp is a welcoming oasis set on the palm-fringed banks of the Kunene River in north-west Namibia and close to Epupa Falls.


100% (2 reviews)
Kuidas Camp

Kuidas Camp

Kuidas Camp is usually the first-night stop on a Schoeman's safari. It is a very simple camp with stunning views of the Huab River Valley.


100% (1 review)
Leylandsdrift Camp

Leylandsdrift Camp

Used exclusively on the Schoeman's skeleton cost safaris, Leylandsdrift Camp is a great place to track desert elephant.


100% (1 review)
Kunene River Camp

Kunene River Camp

Used exclusively on Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris, Kunene River Camp occupies a pretty location on the banks of the Kunene River.


100% (1 review)
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

Okahirongo Ele. Lodge

Tucked away in Namibia's far northwest Okahirongo Elephant Lodge offers luxurious chalets, with stunning views and plenty of activities.


80% (1 review)

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Skeleton Coast

This is their success for sightings in Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland.
Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


Giraffe

79% success

Oryx

64% success

Zebra

60% success

Lion

54% success

Elephant

50% success

Black Rhino

20% success

Brown Hyena

11% success

Cheetah

0% success

Meerkat

0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Wildebeest

0% success

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