The concept of ecotourism on the Skeleton Coast originated with Louw Schoeman in 1977, the year in which Skeleton Coast Safaris was born. Louw, originally an attorney, came to know the terrain through clients involved in prospecting. His appreciation for the area grew and inspired him to turn his attention towards conservation, which in turn led to his involvement in the proclamation of the Skeleton Coast Park in 1971. He became increasingly captivated by the extraordinary beauty and diversity of the landscape and of its therapeutic and perspective-giving qualities. This led to his decision to fly small groups into the area to give them an entirely authentic "desert experience".
The enterprise is now run by Schoeman's children who have acquired and expanded their father's expertise and vast background knowledge. There is still the high standards and personal attention to detail that have always made these safaris so sought after and highly regarded.
Interest in the Skeleton Coast has increased dramatically in recent years. Several wildlife programmes and, most particularly, the amazing story of Benedict Allen's adventurous journey across a thousand miles of the Namib Desert with only camels for company, have inspired many with the wish to visit this mysterious area. These safaris enable the traveller to fulfil that wish.
The Schoemans offer several safari routes, which encompass a range of activities and terrain. Canyons, mountainous dunes, the red lavas and the yellow sandstones of the Huab river formations, the wrecks of once great ships, and possibly the desert elephants may all be seen. Some exhilarating dune-drives are to be had, picnics among fabulous rock formations, an early morning boat trip on the Kunene River observing the birdlife and crocodiles, and flights that will give you an outstanding birds-eye views of this unique geography. You may combine the desert and the coast with a visit to Etosha National Park, where there is game aplenty. Another safari flies you over Spencer Bay, with its picturesque shipwreck, seals basking on the rocky slopes, penguins and other birdlife. Your guides are experts on the diverse flora and fauna of the desert and coast.
Accommodation is in three fully-equipped camps, which offer small but comfortable igloo tents or wooden huts, both with proper beds, inside loos and outside showers. Food is well prepared, includes fresh fruit and salads, and is homestyle. These safaris are not luxurious in the normally accepted sense of the word, but if a truly breathtaking landscape, haunting beauty and solitude is what you seek then you will find these safaris life-enhancing.
· Each safari consists of at least 4 and not more than 10 persons
There are four itineraries:-
· Skeleton Coast Safari - 4 days
· Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei - 4 days
· Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei and Etosha National Park - 5 days
· Skeleton Coast Safari combined with Sossusvlei, NamibRand Nature Reserve and Luderitz - 6 days