- Stunning, unique landscape
- Contemporary, stylish accommodation
- Skeleton Coast excursions
- Opportunity to meet wildlife researchers
Hoanib Skeleton Coast is an intimate, exclusive lodge situated in a remote corner of northern Damaraland, northwest Namibia. Accessible by light aircraft or self-drive, this high-end camp is tucked away in the private Palmwag concession, adjacent to the Skeleton Coast National Park. Constructed in 2014, the accommodation has a distinctly contemporary feel, and is situated close to the Hoanib River amidst a stunning landscape of contrasts comprising rugged mountains, gravel plains, and impressive sand dunes. Belying its frequently arid appearance, the riverbed supports a surprising diversity of bird and wildlife, including desert-adapted elephant and lion, plus giraffe, springbok, kudu, ostrich, brown hyena, and the elusive leopard. Hoanib is a fantastic upmarket option for any traveller wishing to experience the distinctive wildlife and isolated wilderness for which Namibia is renowned.
The main areas in camp comprise a spacious tented lounge and bar area featuring neutral décor and stylish, contemporary furnishings. Meals are served in the large dining room or alfresco, overlooking the Namib Desert, and both individual tables and communal dining can be accommodated. There is a modest swimming pool with loungers, and a campfire area where guests can relax with sundowners. An outside lounge area offers comfortable sofas and breath-taking views of the valley. The camp operates fully on solar power, and pursues an eco-friendly ethos. Internet access is available in the main area.
Activities include half and full day game drives with knowledgeable guides, nature walks, day trips to desert oases, and fly/drive excursions to the Skeleton Coast, famed for its colonies of Cape fur seals, and dramatic rocky coastline, littered with remains of shipwrecks. Guests also have the opportunity to meet wildlife researchers from the Hoanib Research Centre when they are in camp, and learn about their studies on the desert-adapted lion.
Accommodation consists of seven spacious, contemporary style tents, and one family unit. Each tent has either double or twin beds with bedside tables and reading lamps, plus clothes storage, and safe. All units have an ensuite bathroom with twin washbasins, toilet and shower. Outside is a private, shaded wooden veranda with comfortable seating and stunning views.
The camp welcomes children over 12 years of age. Families with children age 6 to 11 years may be accommodated, subject to hiring a private safari vehicle, at considerable additional cost. A two bedroom family unit is available, with one double and two single beds, plus two bathrooms and a lounge area. Note that the camp is not fenced, and adult supervision is therefore required at all times.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019