Skeleton Coast Camp
The camp is aptly named, with its stark, incredibly beautiful shoreline dotted with bleached whalebones and other skeletal remains, as well as a host of shipwrecks. It is a wild, desolate environment, yet it supports a host of incredible adapted wildlife - from enormous colonies of Cape fur seals to the ancient Welwitschia plant. Skeleton Coast Camp won the category for Best Overall Environmental Management System at the 2007 Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism for its minimal impact on the ecosystem here.
Skeleton Coast Camp lies within the Skeleton Coast Park, a 16 400km² concession bordering the north-western edges of the Namib Desert. The Park takes its name from its stark, strikingly beautiful landscape - littered with bleached whalebones, skeletal remains and the rusted carcasses of many shipwrecks. The concession is diverse - from roaring sand dunes and windswept plains to towering canyons, saltpans to freshwater springs.
Skeleton Coast Camp is built on an island in the dry Khumib riverbed, about 20km inland from the coastline. Accommodation comprises six Meru-style tents with spacious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. A central area is made up of an open-plan lounge, bar and dining area with sweeping views of the desert. Weather permitting, evening meals may be served in the open-air 'dining room' under an old, gnarled Leadwood tree.
Activities at Skeleton Coast Camp revolve around the exploration of this unique, wild and desolate environment in 4x4s that are closed to the elements, although all vehicles have pop-top roofs and sliding windows to enjoy the fine weather come midday. There is plenty of opportunity to stretch the legs too, with many parts in this pristine setting accessible only on foot, as vehicle tracks can damage the environment. Many specially-adapted plant species such as Lithops and Welwitschia can only be visited in this way. Extended walks with a picnic lunch, returning to camp in the evening, are incredibly popular. Other excursions at Skeleton Coast Camp comprise visits to the clay castles of the Hoarusib River; Rocky Point; the roaring dunes; lichen fields; Cape fur seal colonies and Himba villages. Shipwrecks, now fast being devoured by the salty and vigorous coastline, can be viewed on request.
Secret water seeps which create freshwater springs attract wildlife, so guests can see desert-adapted elephant, gemsbok, springbok, giraffe, ostrich, brown hyenas, Hartmann's mountain zebra and, occasionally, lion and cheetah.
The camp is booked on an all inclusive basis with accommodation, all meals and drinks, activities, park fees and laundry service. Children as of six years are welcomed here upon request.