5 DAYS- SKELETON COAST/ SOSSUSVLEI/ ETOSHA
We meet at Eros Airport, Windhoek at 07h00 for an early morning flight to Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park. Sossusvlei is reputed to have the highest dunes in the world. The view of the shadow-lined dunes from the air is well worth seeing. We land at Sesriem from where we undertake an excursion by vehicle into the dunes.
The dunes reach heights of 300m and more, for those inclined and fit enough to climb them. We return to the aircraft and fly along the coast via Conception Bay towards Swakopmund. The flight includes (weather permitting) an aerial view of the famous Eduard Bohlen shipwreck at Conception Bay. After landing and refueng the Skeleton Coast over the seal colony at Cape Cross. Thereafter we fly east, over the desert, to the Ugab formations–a nearly lifeless ‘moon landscape' of numerous black ridges that stand out in stark contrast to the white desert floor–before landing at r Kuidas camp in the Huab Valley, Damaraland, where we stay for the night.
Amongst the rocks witlling at Swakopmund, we continue with a low-level flight north alohin walking distance of the camp are ancient rock engravings. Your pilot-guide will arrange for a light picnic lunch to be served en route during the day's itinerary.
After breakfast we depart by Landrover to explore the colourful red lava and yellow sandstone of the Huab River formations and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this environment with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. This includes the Welwitschia mirabilis, a tree that has been dwarfed by the rigours of the desert climate. We have lunch at Kuidas camp before flying along the coast to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park.
The most prominent shipwrecks along this part of the coast are the Montrose and Henrietta, still relatively intact. At the coast we access the roaring dunes by Landrover, which always proves to be a stimulating experience.
We also visit the beach with its profusion of multi-coloured pebbles consisting of agate, lava, granite and others. Interesting to see are old bleached whale bones scattered along the beach above the high tide mark. We return to the aircraft and continue north to our Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in Kaokoland, where we stay for the night.
After breakfast a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to visit a settlement of the nomadic Himba people. We might be lucky enough to come across the desert-dwelling elephant which frequent this valley.
A planned encounter is unfortunately not possible. From here we continue north along the Skeleton Coast by aircraft to the Kunene River on the Angolan border. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck and pieces from old sailing vessels lie scattered along this part of the coast. From the airfield we take a scenic drive by Landrover to our favourite lunch site. After lunch we continue through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley which extends to the Kunene River, reaching our Kunene River camp in the late afternoon, where we spend the night.
An early morning boat trip on the Kunene River as it flows through scenic desert landscape, observing bird life and possibly some crocodiles. Birds vary from aquatic species on the perennial waters, to endemic desert varieties and those which inhabit dense riverine vegetation. After lunch at the camp, we fly directly from the Kunene River to the eastern side of the Etosha National Park, where we spend the night at a lodge just outside the park.
After breakfast we drive/fly into the park for a game drive by vehicle. Springs provide numerous drinking places for the animals, which congregate in spectacular numbers especially during the dry season (June to December). Animals such as lion and steenbok may be found in specific home ranges, while others such as springbok, eland, zebra, wildebeest and elephant wander all over browsing or in search of better grazing. Our flight back to Windhoek commences in the afternoon to ensure that we land before dark.
(Price on request)