Have you ever wondered how you could get into the Skeleton Coast Park and to the Kunene mouth, the northern dune field and those remote rivers and valleys of western Kaokoland?
What about the stranding of the Dunedin Star? How many ships stranded along the Skeleton Coast where and when? Were there diamonds? What about desert elephants and lions?
Now you can explore with the experts and listen to marine archaeologist Gunter von Schumann and experienced guide Simon Wearne.
Join our 7-day off-road adventure along 500 km of desolate, treacherous Skeleton coastline to the northern border of Namibia and back through the remote wilderness of north western Kaokoland, knowing that everything is taken care of, be it food, permits, routes or information.
Our tour aims at capturing natural beauty and the tranquility of hardly accessible landscapes by winding our way northwards from Swakopmund, along the coast to the mouth of the Kunene River, where we turn eastwards towards and over the Kunene dune fields making our way to the Hartmans Valley. From there we head via Purros south to Sesfontein, all the way witnessing the spectacular wilderness of the Kaokoveld.
We visit sites where attempts were made to tap the coastline’s mineral wealth, the wreck site and saga of the Dunedin Star and other coastal casualties; the breathtaking Marienfluss and the wildlife of the extreme habitats, including the possibility of seeing desert-adapted elephant and lion.
The tour starts on Sunday, 12th April 2020 in Swakopmund, takes 7 days and 6 nights and ends in Purros/Sesfontein on Saturday, 18th April. The total distance to be covered is roughly 1,250 km, of which 600 km will be off-road (4x4).
Terrain is sand dunes, beach, rock, river bed, salt road, gravel road. Meals are served by means of breakfast and dinner under the stars; hot showers & basic ablution facilities are provided. Participants drive their own off-road vehicles and bring their own camping equipment. Minimum number of participants is 16; maximum number of vehicles is 12.
This tour is especially for members of Namibia Scientific Society. However, new members are welcome to join the Society and participate. Annual membership costs N$ 300 per family.
Please note: changes could be made at the guide’s discretion, due to tide, time, and weather.
Sunday, 16th May: Meet and greet at 7h30 AM in Swakopmund, fit radios in vehicles and head north via Cape Cross, Toscanini (an old abandoned diamond mine), Mile 108 (fishing spot) to enter the Skeleton Coast Park through the Ugab River Gate. After passing Torra Bay and Terrace Bay (last chance to refuel), we spend the night close to the beach just north of Möwe Bay. Distance +/- 440 km.
Monday, 17th May: Tyres deflated, we drive along the beach of Skeleton Coast, passing the remains of the Ventura bomber, meant to rescue the ill-fated Dunedin Star shipwreck survivors. After crossing the Huarusib River, we turn east just past Rocky Point, heading for the hills, where we will spend the night. Distance +/- 150 km.
Tuesday, 18th May: After breakfast, we venture towards Angra Fria, and the wreck site of the Dunedin Star, eventually making our way past Bosluisbaai to the Kunene River mouth. Another 15km in a south easterly direction, we find ourselves nestled amongst the dunes for the night. Distance +/-180 km.
Wednesday, 19th May: A challenging day lies ahead, crossing the powder-soft Kunene Dune field. We snake our way north to the south bank of the river, where awesome views of this majestic river await. Following the bank through the thick sand, we arrive at our campsite near the river’s edge. Distance +/- 70 km.
Thursday, 20th May: From the riverbank, we drive south, through the Hartmanns Valley, crossing over to the Marienfluss, past Rooidrom and over the Jan Joubert Pass to arrive at the Marble Camp, a community campsite situated near an abandoned marble quarry. Distance +/- 140 km.
Friday, 21st May: Leaving the campsite, we continue south towards Purros, along the banks of the Khumib River Valley, until we enter the Huarusib River, often frequented by desert elephants. If possible, we will make use of the community campsite at Purros. Distance +/- 150 km.
Saturday, 22nd May: From Purros we head to Sesfontein to refuel, and say our farewells. Distance +/- 100 km.
Instead of ending the trip on day 7, extend your journey by one extra day and night, and join us as we head west down the Huarusib River, where we exit in a southerly direction and visit the Huarusib clay castle silt deposits. From here we continue south, passing through the eastern fringes of the Ganias plains, making our way to the Amspoort gorge in the Huanib river, where we lunch under the shade of one of the many large Ana trees. We spend the rest of the day winding our way eastwards in the wildlife-rich Huanib river. We will then spend our last night at the Ongongo Waterfall Camp (Warmquelle) around the campfire. The following morning (Day 8) after a light breakfast, we will say our farewells and go our separate ways. Please note that the costs for the optional tour extension are not included in the original tour price. Costs per person for tour extension: Ongongo Campsite - 250pp Day 7 - NWG dinner - 150pp Day 8 - NWG breakfast - 75pp Palmwag concession fees: ±150pp
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Participants come in their own 4x4 vehicles, bring own camping equipment. Distance between fuel stations: +/- 950 km; fuel needed (estimation only): Diesel: 230 liter, Petrol: 250 liter. The last opportunity to refuel is at Terrace Bay, approximately 380 km north of Swakopmund. Ensure you have a range of 1000 km to avoid running short should fuel at pumps not be available. The next opportunity to refuel is at Sesfontein at the end of the trip. For more detailed information refer to Important Info and Booking Form.
Rates include: Guided tour from Swakopmund – Kunene mouth – Purros. Estimated distance Swakop to Sesfontein: 1,250 km; 7 days / 6 nights, park fees, permits, VHF radios, meals (breakfast, dinner under the stars); hot showers & basic ablution facilities at campsites. Tour guides / info: Simon Wearne (Route Africa Expeditions), NWG-historian Gunter von Schumann, Armin Jagdhuber.
Excluded: 4x4 vehicle, camping equipment, fuel, lunch, drinks, tips, private expenses.
Optional extension: to the Huarusib clay castle silt deposits, Huab River and last night Ongongo Waterfall Camp, for extra cost Ongongo Campsite – N$ 250pp Day 7 - NWG dinner – N$ 150pp Day 8 - NWG breakfast – N$ 75pp Palmwag concession fees: N$150pp.
Indemnity: Namibia Scientific Society (NSS), Simon Wearne, Route Africa Expeditions (and staff) as well as guides Gunter von Schumann, Armin Jagdhuber cannot be held liable for any kind of injuries, damage or loss during or as consequence of this excursion.
Tickets & bookings
- Cost: N$ 13,500 pp + optional extension N$ 625.00
- Elfi Schneider
- 061-225 672
- Namibia Scientific Society