22Hoanib-Valley-Camp-Himba

Skeleton Coast, Himba, Black Rhino and desert-adapted Elephant

This Privately Guided Namibia Safari affords you the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country in a very personal way. You will have your own professional and experienced safari guide who will enhance your enjoyment of this unique country by making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery. The knowledge, experience, and character of our guides are critical to a successful safari which is why we ensure that they are both personable and very professional.   Your guide will have an intimate knowledge of each area and camp/lodge that you visit, allowing them to share the local insights and highlights whilst adding continuity and depth to your safari. It goes without saying that they all know exactly what a “True African Safari” is all about.

title-icon

Your adventure starts here

Days

1-2

Days 1-2

An aura of mystery

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Covering about a third of Namibia’s coastline, the legendary Skeleton Coast Park stretches 500km from the Ugab River in the south, to the Kunene River in the north. The attraction of the remote Skeleton Coast Park lies essentially in the colour, changing moods and untouched profile of its landscape. Its aura of mystery and impenetrability is due to the many shipwrecks, dense coastal fogs and cold sea breeze by the cold Benguela Current. The landscape in the park ranges from sweeping vistas of windswept dunes to rugged canyons with walls of richly coloured volcanic rock and extensive mountains ranges. After an early breakfast in Swakopmund, we’ll head north along the legendary coastline of the restricted Skeleton Coast Park. Travel past the Zeila shipwreck and onward via Terrace Bay, the last accessible camp before entering the private concession. We’ll venture to Mowe Bay a frontier outpost generally not accessible to tourism and travel past remains of decaying boats, an old Ventura bomber and abandoned equipment leftover from its prospecting past. We pass seal colonies and misty beaches littered with whale bones, driving over shifting sand dunes as we head to Shipwreck Lodge for our next 2 nights.

2 Nights

Shipwreck Lodge

Shipwreck Lodge is a joint venture partnership with the local communities in the area and it is uniquely designed around the relics of shipwrecks that dot Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. There is nowhere on the continent quite like Shipwreck Lodge, and there is nowhere on earth quite like the Skeleton Coast. It’s a raw, rugged and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas. But there’s much more to the area than simple isolation. Discover the enchanting desert flora (succulents and lichens) then sit atop the dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon. Spend the day beachcombing for whale bones or marvel at the geologically-remarkable Clay Castles.

shipwreck_lodge_Namibia_with desert activities
Shipwreck Lodge - Hero
Shipwreck Lodge - Intro
Days

3-4

Days 3-4

Home to Africa's most unique wildlife

Hoanib River, Namibia

It’s up early this morning for breakfast, after which you set off on your scenic accompanied drive through picturesque and ever-changing desert scenery to reach Hoanib Valley Lodge.

You first traverse the Huarusib river showing off different rock formations, sand dunes and clay castles, a natural geological formation where brown hyena are often encountered and if fortunate but rare, sightings of the elusive desert lion and desert adapted elephant.  You exit at the bottom of Leilandsdrift, a base at the Huarusib River, where we’ll stop for a magic box picnic and bid farewell to the Shipwreck guide while your Ultimate Safaris naturalist guide will host you onwards to Hoanib Valley.

You continue over some open plains which reveal the transformation of the landscape and scenery before arriving at the Hoanib River and drive eastwards looking out for wildlife such as giraffe, oryx, or even elephants if you are lucky. 

The journey, with stops, takes approx. 6 hours, depending on wildlife sightings, scenery and photographic opportunities along the way. Arrival will be at Hoanib Valley by the mid-afternoon. 

You have the afternoon to relax, or your guide can take you on a short walk around the area and return to camp for sundowners.

2 Nights

Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp: Hoanib Valley Camp is located in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy. It sits on the banks of the Obias River overlooking the ephemeral Hoanib River that teems with resident elephant, giraffe, oryx and springbok, and that makes a visit to this unspoiled corner of Namibia even more memorable. Hoanib Valley’s six guest tents blend almost perfectly into the rugged environment. The colours, textures and patterns are inspired by the experience of the Hoanib; the rich ochre of the dunes, the geometric patterns of the Himba people and, of course, the giraffe that inspired the project. The materials for the camp were sourced locally, and you’ll find furniture shaped by the local Rundu carpenters and Himba carvers, and baskets weaved by the people of the Omba Project in Windhoek. The whole camp is clean and green, leaving virtually no footprint on this fragile eco-system. It’s entirely solar powered to ensure carbon emissions are kept to a minimum, and the tents sit on decks made of a wood, bamboo and 70% recycled-material composite.  Activities available when staying at the camp include scenic nature drives, nature walks, and cultural experiences with local Himba & Herero people.

Hoanib Valley Camp - Hero
Hoanib Valley Camp - Details 4
Hoanib Valley Camp - Details 3
Days

5-6

Days 5-6

A spell-binding landscape full of intrigue

Damaraland, Namibia

After breakfast, your journey continues southeast through the small town of Sesfontein, a Himba outpost and possibility of visiting more communities along the way, before continuing south into the heart of Damaraland. 

Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’. 

Arrival at the camp will be in the late afternoon with time to enjoy fireside sundowners at your camp that will be your home for the next two nights.

2 Nights

Huab Under Canvas

Huab Under Canvas:  Located in a core desert adapted black rhino area in the Huab Conservancy, Huab Under Canvas is nestled in a grove of Mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the Huab River in the heart of Damaraland. Protected from all the prevailing winds and sun, the camp is virtually invisible from anywhere around and it carries arguably the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia. Eight guest tents are raised on mobile platforms and have basic infrastructure such as single beds, cupboards, solar power and some important comforts such as en suite flush toilets and bucket showers. The common area includes a dining room, small lounge (with central charging station), fireplace deck and a plunge pool. However, the essence of the camp remains under canvas, mobile and experiential.  Activities include tracking desert adapted rhino which is completely private and done in an area that has the highest tracking success rate in north western Namibia; exploring the upper and less crowded  Huab River in search of desert adapted elephants; nature walks and scenic game drives.

Damaraland
Namibia with a Naturalist Guide_Ultimate exploring Damaraland near __Huab Under Canvas
Days

7-9

Days 7-9

A spell-binding landscape full of intrigue

Damaraland, Namibia

Today you continue your safari in Damaraland as we continue to search for desert adapted wildlife and enjoy the geological interesting formations on the area along the way. 

Arrival at the camp will be in the mid to late afternoon, with time to enjoy sundowners appreciating the unique surroundings of your camp in the Damaraland wilderness. 

2 Nights

Onduli Ridge

Onduli Ridge has only six rooms, nestled amongst the granite boulders that surround the camp, and the more temperate climate of central Damaraland allows for naturally ventilated rooms, partial open-air bathrooms, and largely open communal areas. The camp is designed to maximise the views of the extraordinary local landscapes, and every space is set to become a viewpoint whether from the bed, the desk or the bathroom. Louvered shutters can be opened completely, blurring the lines between the indoors and the surrounding nature, or closed for complete privacy if preferred. A king size bed cooled by its own ‘climate conditioner’ (Evening Breeze) is the perfect place for afternoon siestas and the bed can also be rolled out onto your private deck for a night under a billion stars if that appeals. The camp exudes character and meticulous attention to detail while meeting all requirements, from large rooms to libraries, rain showers to pool, and plenty of places to relax and laze the day away. Exceptional activities combine with delicious food that tantalizes the palate to create a genuinely unforgettable stay with exceptional quality, while everything blends effortlessly into the natural surroundings.

Plains Of Damaraland (1)
Onduli Ridge - Intro
title-icon

Your Adventure Ends

shipwreck_lodge_Namibia_with desert activities
landscapes-red-dunes-sunrise-sossusvlei-namibia
walking-dunes-sossusvlei-namibia
  • Transportation in a luxury 4×4 safari vehicle
  • 8 Nights accommodation with selected meals
  • Shared activities in camp including village visits and sleep out
From $8,445 per person

Trip Summary

Days 1-2
An aura of mystery

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The legendary Skeleton Coast Park stretches 500km from the Ugab River in the south, to the Kunene River in the north

Days 3-4
Home to Africa's most unique wildlife

Hoanib River, Namibia

The ephemeral Hoanib River teems with resident elephant, giraffe, oryx and springbok.

Days 5-9
A spell-binding landscape full of intrigue

Damaraland, Namibia

Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation.

Cuan

Widely travelled and vastly experienced, our expert travel consultants will help you plan your dream trip to Southern Africa.

Discover bespoke trips

There are thousands of ways our travellers can experience Africa. Our bespoke itineraries are created to ensure your trip is just right for you.

Battlefield Bush and Beach
A 9-night journey through history across South Africa's Kwa-Zulu Natal region

Battlefield Bush and Beach

From $3,149 per person sharing

Cape Town, Kruger and Mozambique
11 nights featuring the best of South Africa and Mozambique

Cape Town, Kruger and Mozambique

12 days from $8,825 per person

Cape Town, Mana Pools, Kariba and Vic Falls
15 nights featuring the best of Cape Town and Zimbabwe

Cape Town, Mana Pools, Kariba and Vic Falls

16 days from $16,345 per person

Cape Town, Karoo, Eastern Cape Safari
10 nights featuring the best of South Africa

Cape Town, Karoo, Eastern Cape Safari

11 days from $4,229 per person

Duba, Zarafa and Jacks
9 nights featuring the best of Botswana

Duba, Zarafa and Jacks

10 days from $18,965 per person

Livingstone and Lower Zambezi
7 nights featuring the best of Zambia

Livingstone and Lower Zambezi

8 days from $6,299 per person

Cape Town Vic Falls and Botswana
10 nights featuring the best of Southern Africa

Cape Town Vic Falls and Botswana

11 days from $7,665 per person

Botswana Standalone
12 nights through the beauty of Botswana

Botswana Standalone

13 days from $9,195 per person

Cape Town, Winelands & Safari
8 nights featuring the best of South Africa

Cape Town, Winelands & Safari

9 days from $8,869 per person

Cape Town, Overberg, Kruger and Mozambique
13 nights featuring the best of South Africa and Mozambique

Cape Town, Overberg, Kruger and Mozambique

14 days from $12,045 per person

Namibia Self-Drive and Private Guided Safari
10 nights featuring the best of Namibia

Namibia Self-Drive and Private Guided Safari

11 days from $5,469 per person

Luxury Namibia Fly-in and Private Guided Safari
6 nights featuring the best of Namibia

Luxury Namibia Fly-in and Private Guided Safari

7 days from $9,109 per person

Exquisite Namibia Fly-in Safari
11 nights featuring the best of Namibia

Exquisite Namibia Fly-in Safari

12 days from $8,809 per person

Namibian Guided Safari for Families
12 nights featuring the best of Namibia

Namibian Guided Safari for Families

13 days from $7,445 per person (family of 4)

Family Cape Town, Winelands & Safari
8 nights featuring the best of South Africa

Family Cape Town, Winelands & Safari

9 days from $7,435 per person

Ultimate South Africa
12 days off the beaten track

Ultimate South Africa

13 days from $9,900 per person

title-icon

Guest Testimonials

Discover why our guests select Scintilla for their travel to Southern Africa.

Hi Cuan.  Just wanted you to know we have had an amazing time in Namibia!  What an experience!  Yesterday we stopped off at a bar in a very remote village after tracking elephants and had beers and danced with the locals which was fantastic.  Between the orphanage, stops in many villages, the kids we’ve gotten to meet, the Himba village and of course all the animals it has just been incredible.  You organized quite a trip for us!  And now, Botswana!!!

The Soloman Family, USA

My week in Namibia was sensational and went seamlessly. From the welcoming pickup from the airport to the beautiful accommodations and fascinating road-trip across much of the country, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Of particular note, the food at Hoodia Desert Lodge was impeccable and the al fresco lunch prepared by the guide after the visit to Deadvlei and Sossusvlei was simply magical. The sundowners at both Hoodia and Onduli Ridge were top-notch, each offering breathtaking views and fabulous Namibian gin cocktails and bites. What made the entire journey so easily enjoyable was the daily itineraries and maps presented to me upon arrival and the overall organization and attention to detail. My solo sojourn was truly flawless, and I will recommend it widely!

Sarah Scott, ZA

Cuan, everything going to plan so far with stunning weather and excellent service and amazing wildlife in Etosha!! Thanks again for your professionalism. Everything has been magical, and we have definitely brought some luck with us being the first group to find the elephants only after 10 minutes of looking !! Really appreciate your help, and I will be recommending you to our friends back home.

Tom Last, AU

Our guide Charlene was out of this world. She was charming, intelligent, and fun and she showed us the best of Cape Town while also educating us on the journey Cape Town has taken from Apartheid through today. We were fascinated, engaged, and overjoyed to spend our final days in Africa with her. She is truly outstanding.

Paul & Wendy, UK

The trip was FANTASTIC, and our guide Marcus was absolutely superb! We took all of his recommendations for our last free day in the city and can’t thank him enough for the stellar suggestions.

Thomas & Mary Louise, Canada

Please convey my thanks to the Cape Town guiding teams! Without a doubt our most memorable moment of the trip was our visit to the Cape Peninsula with our guide, Chizzy. A major positive, thrilling time. The penguins, picnic and swim at the reservoir, continual birthday celebrations for Jack’s 18th Birthday were all home runs.

Suzanne, Jack & Family, USA

The most important thing for me to tell you is that we had a fabulous time with James exploring the Peninsula of Cape Town! Along with our visit to the Zeitz Museum, our day with James was a highlight of the time we spent in South Africa. He was friendly and open about discussing his experiences growing up with apartheid which I really appreciated. I enjoyed the towns we visited, the restaurant where we had lunch, our visit with the penguins, and our hike out to the shipwreck. Thank you!!

Emma & Lori, USA

Well, we finished up Cape Town this evening, heading to safari tomorrow. We loved the country tour and winery tour, absolutely amazing. Also, our guide for both days, was one of the best we have ever had. We couldn’t imagine a better time and she couldn’t be more flexible. Thank you for setting up this first part of the vacation and setting us up with the tours.

Cory & Heather, USA

It was great! Everything worked out perfectly! We absolutely loved the Sidecar experience – wow, was that fun! We loved our guide in Cape Town, Josh, he was the BEST! He was so fun. We took him for dinners and played golf with him! We just thought Cape Town was fantastic. Wine Country was great. Fantastic.

Joseph, Marsha & Family, USA

On Saturday, we met our guide, Charlene, who was OUTSTANDING. We had missed the Zeitz Museum, and she was happy to let us rearrange our schedule so that we could tour it as well as taking me to a beautiful craft market to buy gifts.  On arriving in the wine country, we enjoyed an amazing lunch at La Motte.  With Charlene's background in wines, she was able to recommend the best wineries to visit on the winetram, as well as several good restaurants in the area.

William & Constance, USA

Cape Town was so scenic and beautiful.  Had an interesting visit around town and to the houses of parliament with a very accommodating guide James.  James made that whole experience everything it was and deserves a lot of credit. What a great place to visit!  What phenomenal food!  What masters of hospitality they all are in Africa!

Jeffery & Barbara, Canada
Local Knowledge

Local Knowledge

We’re based in Southern Africa and have first-hand knowledge of the experiences that await our travellers.
Responsible Travel

Responsible Travel

All the experiences and destinations we recommend support their communities and environment.
Boutique Focus

Boutique Focus

Our goal is to connect curious-minded travellers to the essence of the place they’re visiting.
Immersive Experiences

Immersive Experiences

We specialise in showing our travellers how to discover unique, locally-infused experiences.
Exceptional Locations

Exceptional Locations

Our bespoke journeys feature stylish, owner-run properties in exceptional locations.
Bespoke Trips

Bespoke Trips

Our consultants are widely travelled and vastly experienced, with expert knowledge of Southern Africa.