Get a real desert-oasis experience at Hoanib Skeleton Coast.

Namibia | Dunes & Skeleton Coast | 6 Nights Sossusvlei Region & Skeleton Coast National Park

Even a place as ominously named as Namibia’s Skeleton Coast proves to be not only eerily romantic and starkly beautiful, but bursting with life. Shipwrecks commandeered by seabirds prove that nature always finds a way, while the softer forms of the Sossusvlei dunes provide a wonderful and impossibly photogenic counterpoint for our luxury Namibia safari.

Three nights at Little Kulala

We instantly fell in love with Little Kulala, a luxurious and stylish oasis set in a striking landscape. The views were mesmerising: piebald plains stretching as far as the low red hills, with cobalt skies above. Kulala comes from a local word meaning ‘sleep’ or ‘rest’ and while there was certainly tranquillity in the solitude, we wanted to actively explore. Our first afternoon game drive segued into sundowners in the dunes, a wonderful dinner – and then sleeping out under the stars on our private rooftop platform. Drifting off as shooting stars zipped by, we could almost sense the earth spinning. Having private gated access to Namib-Naukluft National Park meant that we really got the most out of our early start for our visit to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, and we were the first vehicle to arrive at the foot of the towering Big Daddy Dune – one of the highest in the world. We made our way up the looming mass of red sand to be rewarded with remarkable views as the first rays of the rising sun chased the shadows across the dunes. The descent was also exhilarating! The saturated colours and stark beauty of Deadvlei completed the most visually arresting morning of our trip.Early starts were the order of the day on our luxury Namibian safari (but so too were afternoon siestas). On our third morning’s hot-air balloon trip over the Namib Desert, the subtle roar of the burners reminded us of lion; the view of undulating dunes recalled the sea. But it was a sea of sand, glowing every shade in the spectrum from dusky pink to terracotta as the sun climbed higher. We also ascended, but not so high that we couldn’t see the occasional oryx plodding determinedly over the crest of a dune. Their destination was a mystery, whereas ours was a lovely surprise: a dune-top champagne breakfast.

We instantly fell in love with Little Kulala, a luxurious and stylish oasis set in a striking landscape. The views were mesmerising: piebald plains stretching as far as the low red hills, with cobalt skies above. Kulala comes from a local word meaning ‘sleep’ or ‘rest’ and while there was certainly tranquillity in the solitude, we wanted to actively explore. Our first afternoon game drive segued into sundowners in the dunes, a wonderful dinner – and then sleeping out under the stars on our private rooftop platform. Drifting off as shooting stars zipped by, we could almost sense the earth spinning.

Having private gated access to Namib-Naukluft National Park meant that we really got the most out of our early start for our visit to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, and we were the first vehicle to arrive at the foot of the towering Big Daddy Dune – one of the highest in the world. We made our way up the looming mass of red sand to be rewarded with remarkable views as the first rays of the rising sun chased the shadows across the dunes. The descent was also exhilarating! The saturated colours and stark beauty of Deadvlei completed the most visually arresting morning of our trip.

Early starts were the order of the day on our luxury Namibian safari (but so too were afternoon siestas). On our third morning’s hot-air balloon trip over the Namib Desert, the subtle roar of the burners reminded us of lion; the view of undulating dunes recalled the sea. But it was a sea of sand, glowing every shade in the spectrum from dusky pink to terracotta as the sun climbed higher. We also ascended, but not so high that we couldn’t see the occasional oryx plodding determinedly over the crest of a dune. Their destination was a mystery, whereas ours was a lovely surprise: a dune-top champagne breakfast.

Three nights at Hoanib Skeleton Coast

As the sun’s rays began to reach us, the day warmed up quickly, and we sought refuge in our private plunge pool to keep cool before taking to the skies again – this time for our flight to Hoanib Skeleton Coast. The luxury lodge allows access to two of the most fascinating areas in northern Namibia: the Palmwag Concession and the storied Skeleton Coast. This was perhaps the most remote luxury safari lodge we had ever stayed at, and the stones demarcating the paths reminded us how fragile this ecosystem was. Our first foray into the almost lunar landscape was rewarded with an unusual sighting of brown hyena. Like all the desert wildlife we saw, it had a real sense of purpose about it and was completely focused on its own survival.We were keen to spend a day at the Skeleton Coast, and we were curious to visit one of the Cape fur seal colonies there. Along the way, our guide turned into a sheltered valley to show us one of the ancient, unexplained stone circles left by the Strandloper San culture. We followed the path they may once have taken to the sea, where we marvelled at the way the lumbering seals would launch themselves directly into the crashing waves. On a calmer stretch of beach, we dipped toes and gasped at the cold. A passing jackal – looking for scraps – regarded us with a seemingly amused grin.On our third day at Hoanib Skeleton Coast we had an intriguing visitor – one of the researchers who spends days at a time tracking desert lion. His vehicle was equipped to be completely self-sufficient, although he probably hadn’t expected quite so many questions over lunch. Acting on his tip, we headed towards the Hoanib River Valley that afternoon. Although we didn’t find lion, we found the sun-bleached bones of a giraffe from an old kill, already half covered by the shifting sands. That evening, the researcher answered many more of our questions with a slideshow, then over drinks around the fire.

As the sun’s rays began to reach us, the day warmed up quickly, and we sought refuge in our private plunge pool to keep cool before taking to the skies again – this time for our flight to Hoanib Skeleton Coast.

The luxury lodge allows access to two of the most fascinating areas in northern Namibia: the Palmwag Concession and the storied Skeleton Coast. This was perhaps the most remote luxury safari lodge we had ever stayed at, and the stones demarcating the paths reminded us how fragile this ecosystem was. Our first foray into the almost lunar landscape was rewarded with an unusual sighting of brown hyena. Like all the desert wildlife we saw, it had a real sense of purpose about it and was completely focused on its own survival.

We were keen to spend a day at the Skeleton Coast, and we were curious to visit one of the Cape fur seal colonies there. Along the way, our guide turned into a sheltered valley to show us one of the ancient, unexplained stone circles left by the Strandloper San culture. We followed the path they may once have taken to the sea, where we marvelled at the way the lumbering seals would launch themselves directly into the crashing waves. On a calmer stretch of beach, we dipped toes and gasped at the cold. A passing jackal – looking for scraps – regarded us with a seemingly amused grin.

On our third day at Hoanib Skeleton Coast we had an intriguing visitor – one of the researchers who spends days at a time tracking desert lion. His vehicle was equipped to be completely self-sufficient, although he probably hadn’t expected quite so many questions over lunch. Acting on his tip, we headed towards the Hoanib River Valley that afternoon. Although we didn’t find lion, we found the sun-bleached bones of a giraffe from an old kill, already half covered by the shifting sands. That evening, the researcher answered many more of our questions with a slideshow, then over drinks around the fire.

What sets it apart

Our luxury Namibian safari was remarkable in many ways, but not least for the fact that travelling to remote and secluded lodges did not represent the end of our journey. Instead, staying at Little Kulala and Hoanib Skeleton Coast gave us private access to still more remarkable places, whether it was the raucous chaos of a seal colony or the calming stillness of the Sossusvlei dunes.We discovered that while a high degree of luxury can be achieved even in the remotest of places, true luxury consists of those moments of contentment that only seem to occur in pristine wilderness areas.At almost every turn, we were surprised – and, it should be said, delighted. Our luxury Namibian safari became a glittering cascade of very special moments and we were greatly impressed at the lengths the staff at each lodge would go to make these happen for us.We got to spend a lot of quality time together, and we decided that perhaps the scale and apparent emptiness (but look again!) of the landscapes lent themselves to seclusion and contemplation. We’d not expected to see as much wildlife as we did, and this was just one more surprising aspect of our luxury safari.At first, we experienced pangs of ‘survivor’s guilt’, given that our Namib Desert experience was so easy compared to the daily struggle of its many creatures – until we realised just how superbly adapted they all were to desert life.

Our luxury Namibian safari was remarkable in many ways, but not least for the fact that travelling to remote and secluded lodges did not represent the end of our journey. Instead, staying at Little Kulala and Hoanib Skeleton Coast gave us private access to still more remarkable places, whether it was the raucous chaos of a seal colony or the calming stillness of the Sossusvlei dunes.

We discovered that while a high degree of luxury can be achieved even in the remotest of places, true luxury consists of those moments of contentment that only seem to occur in pristine wilderness areas.

At almost every turn, we were surprised – and, it should be said, delighted. Our luxury Namibian safari became a glittering cascade of very special moments and we were greatly impressed at the lengths the staff at each lodge would go to make these happen for us.

We got to spend a lot of quality time together, and we decided that perhaps the scale and apparent emptiness (but look again!) of the landscapes lent themselves to seclusion and contemplation. We’d not expected to see as much wildlife as we did, and this was just one more surprising aspect of our luxury safari.

At first, we experienced pangs of ‘survivor’s guilt’, given that our Namib Desert experience was so easy compared to the daily struggle of its many creatures – until we realised just how superbly adapted they all were to desert life.

Day 1–3

Your guide can tell you all about the formation of Deadvlei. © Wilderness Safaris

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, and assisted through customs and immigration. Following a scheduled light aircraft flight to Sossusvlei, a transfer will take you to Little Kulala, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 4–6

End your day at Hoanib Skeleton Coast with fireside conversation. © Wilderness Safaris

After a transfer from Little Kulala to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Swakopmund. From there you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Doro Nawas, then another to the Kunene region. A transfer will take you to Hoanib Skeleton Coast, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 7

Seeing a majestic oryx wandering the dunes is an iconic sight in Namibia.

After a transfer from Hoanib Skeleton Coast to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Doro Nawas, then another to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, to connect with your international flight.

  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, taking into account when you’d like to travel, how long you’d like to be away for, who you’d be travelling with, what safari lodge style you’d prefer, and more.
  • This luxury safari trip idea is simply to show you what’s possible. To see what this type of safari costs, and what’s generally included, click here.
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