The Skeleton Coast Safari is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that you wish you could bottle and keep by your bed in case you feel like escaping reality for a few minutes. So outside the normal paradigms of everyday life, the safari takes you to places that you could only have imagined. Operated by the Schoeman family, the trip is a journey through Namibia’ phenomenal desert scenery, playground to the four brothers who guide you. Unlike textbook guides, the knowledge that these men have was acquired by osmosis through their upbringing alongside their wild and personable diamond-miner turned conservationist father.
From the rocky Khomas Hochland west of Windhoek, over the red sands of the Namib and up the thrashing Atlantic Coast, the journey is one of continual change. Flying low in a Cessna 210, you can really appreciate the beauty of nature’s design, and every now and then, you set down to get a closer look. Much of the pleasure of the trip is in the many surprises each day and I’m not going to spoil these, suffice to say that every moment is unique and special.
The family own a series of small rustic camps where you overnight. As the only visitors in an otherwise empty area, it is peace and quiet at its most extreme. The camps are simple but adequate – everything you need but nothing you don’t. Walk-in dome tents, bucket showers and shared flush toilets are more than adequate for a night in each place. The food is delicious, home-cooked fare prepared by a small team of dedicated staff.
Highlights of the trips include drives into the “roaringî dunes of the Skeleton Coast in ancient landrovers, held together with rust and barnacles, which reside on isolated strips, walks into insanely ancient canyons to examine the geology and get a glimpse of “living fossilî plants. At the end of the safari, you truly feel as though you have trodden where very few people have been before and that is indeed a privilege.