Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Rock of Ages

Your Guide to Africa

Our Collective

Josephine Bestic


To celebrate Hoanib’s fifth birthday today, Josephine Bestic reminisces over a recent safari to this extraordinary desert camp…


This is Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, a pin-prick of luxury in a geologically astonishing landscape. You fly over it, marvelling at the idea that lions and other predators actually survive, given the paucity of sustenance for their prey. But they all do. The elephant, the giraffe, the oryx, the brown hyena, springbok... and so many more birds than you could ever imagine.







Two words explain the phenomenon of survival here. Coastal fog. Freezing cold when it softly cloaks the earth, it leaves behind dripping condensation eagerly draughted by a myriad tenebrionid beetles, and every other thirsty animal and plant eking out a living in this, the oldest desert in the world.



Arnold, the area's dominant bull elephant



Guests smart enough to book three or more nights are treated to an excursion to Möwe Bay, a three-to-four-hour drive to the west on Namibia’s infamous Skeleton Coast.





Our trip (shipwrecks, seals, quaint, tiny museum) along the dry Hoanib River bed included a thrilling sighting of Alpha and Bravo, desert-adapted lion sisters of Charlie (who lives closer to the camp with her aunt, XPL69). Strangely, the two pairs rarely meet any more.



Charlie, niece of XPL-69



Alpha or Bravo, one of the two sisters of Charlie, who live closer to Möwe Bay



XPL-69 coming for a pre-dawn drink in camp



An unexpectedly lavish lunch is served in an isolated spot on a beautiful beach south of Möwe Bay, before flying back to camp – fog permitting.



Lunch on the Skeleton Coast



This extraordinary day was topped off with an entertaining presentation in camp by brown hyaena researcher Emsie Verwey on her work with three clans in the Hoanib area. Expect fascinating, surprising information, woven through with Emsie's delightful humour, as dry and withering as a desert wind on a winter's afternoon.



Emsie Verwey





Happy birthday Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, you only seem to become more beautiful with age!

Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.