Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris

Reviews of Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris

Excellent(98%) From 21 travellers
Excellent
19
Good
2
Average
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Terrible
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Below are independent comments from 21 of our travellers who have visited Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr A & Mrs E - Belfast
Arrived on: 19-May-2012 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Skeleton Coast Adventure

Our flying visit to the Skeleton Coast was a wonderful experience.

We had visited Namibia previously and this year had been in Namibia a while before beginning our safari. We had seen a lot already but what we saw from the air and in remote areas of the Skeleton Coast Park was breath-taking. I think we could not have had such an awe inspiring trip other than by air.

Our guide's knowledge of, and love for, the area contributed to our overall experience and we certainly learned lots. Each of the camps had its own character and we were more than comfortable at them all. The whole experience gave a new meaning to the word "remote".

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Mr & Mrs R from Basingstoke
Arrived on: 14-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safari - stunning!!

This is a trip unlike any other - 4 days staying at 3 separate camps on the Skeleton Coast in the company of one of the Schoeman bothers who have a lifetime's knowledge of the area and a passion for explaining it.

Our trip, with Andre Schoeman as our pilot/guide started with a flight from Windhoek to Swakopmund via Conception Bay (via shipwrecks, seals and flamingos) and on to Kuidas Camp, including a landing on a deserted beach for lunch and a further landing in a seemingly inaccessible canyon for a geology and botany lesson. eaching Kuidas Camp. The overriiding memory of that first day is the sheer variety of the terrains, from rocky uplands to sandy dunes - often simultaneously.

Like the thrird camp (Kunene), accommodation at Kuidas is in comfortable 3 metre dome tents, with full beds, chemical toilets and buckets showers (far more effective than they sound). There are separate flush toilets. Meals are good home cooking - remarkable considering the logistics. Drinks are included (although our group had an affinity got gin-and-tonic which nearly caused a tonic shortage throughout the Skeleton Coast. After dinner, Andre brought out his telescope to give us a fascinating astronomy session against the clear starlit sky.

The morning of the second day was spent in exploring the area on foot (including old bushman habitats and petroglyphs) and by landrover, before flying on. The afternoon stop was at Terrace Bay for a drive into the roaring dunes. When Andre tells you to step off the top of a seemingly precipitious dune, it seems a natural thing to do - and, as the "roaring" starts as we slid down, it was a marvellous experience. Andre then found some even steeper dunes to take the landrover down, to the delight of all concerned, for more roaring.

The second camp at Leylandsdrift is new, having opened earlier this year to replace Purros (20k away). With a ten year lease on the site (the others are renewable one year leases), this is much more comfortable camp with much bigger tents with flush toilets. The location on top of a cliff overlooking a river valley is spectacular. The next morning is a memorable drive to expore the area, ranging from the open grazing to rocky plateaux and valley, the river valley, "clay castles" and massive dunes - giving Andre further opportunities to demonstrate that 40-year old landrovers can defy gravity.

From Leylandsrift, we flew on to the Kunene River on the Namibia-Angola border, where the final morning was a boat trip to see the river life (was it coincidence that all the crocodiles were on the Angolan side?). Some other reviews have suggested that this was a long way to go for a boat trip - perhaps, but this is also about the continuing changes in the terrain, scenery and habitats and tabout he Himba people - ie the sheer variety of this region.

From Kunene, we started the journey back to a more normal world - we dropped off at Outjo to be met by our guide for the rest of our holiday (after a minor problem when it appeared that there was no fuel at our refuelling stop).

This was a superb trip - just seeing this vast and varied region would be an experience and adventure, but the Schoeman's have a personal knowledge of and passion for the Skeleton Coast which brings it to life in an exceptional way. The journey is by no means luxurious but is extremely comfortable - and creates memories that will remain forever. Chris McIntyre said that this trip was "potentially lifechanging" - I don't know about that, but we do want to go back if the Schoeman's laucn a programme next based on 3 nights at the new Leylandsdrift Camp and its surrounding area.

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The C family - Sussex
Arrived on: 17-Aug-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris review

Fantastic. We loved it.

Henck and Andrew were great; we loved the camps and in all had an amazing experience

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Mr G M - Madrid
Arrived on: 8-Nov-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris review

This was the high point of our trip to Namibia. Really, a safari with the Schoeman people is a different experience, far above anything you can do anywhere else. The activities, in particular, were incredible, so rich, so varied, and so thrilling!!! We enjoyed a lot, flying, driving on the dunes, looking at the stars, going on a boat trip on the Kunene and much more. Definetly something not to miss. We will come back. Of course, the level of confort is not perfect , but this is something you don't mind when you are in such an environment.

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Mr B - London
Arrived on: 26-Aug-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

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)

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Mr & Mrs R from London
Arrived on: 21-Jul-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

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.

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Mr M & Ms L - East Sussex
Arrived on: 23-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

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...!

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Mr. & Mrs. F - Co. Cork, Ireland
Arrived on: 4-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

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.

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Mr & Mrs G from London
Arrived on: 5-Sep-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Schoeman's Skeleton Coast safaris review

Fantastic.

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.

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Mr H from California
Arrived on: 22-Nov-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing

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.

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