Self Drive Group Expedition Tour in Namibia

7 Day Faces of Skeleton Coast Self Drive Expedition

During the 7 Day Faces of Skeleton Coast Self Drive Expedition, we will be driving along a stretch of desolate coastline where very few people have set foot before. The Skeleton Coast is infamous for the many shipwrecks along its inhospitable shores.

Tales of immense suffering and loss of life, but also of miraculous escapes and heroic rescues in years gone by add to the fascinating experience of travelling along this coast up to the Kunene River mouth, where Namibia and Angola meet. The mighty Kunene’s emerald green water carves a deep gorge through massive black rock formations and majestic yellow sand dunes on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. This area was previously closed to the general public but has recently been opened up to allow only a handful of visitors per year to experience its barren beauty and share in its rich history.

To make the experience even more rewarding, a stretch of 65 km of driving up huge sand dunes and sliding down the steep slip faces lies ahead as we turn east to cross the Namib desert. The return trip through the Hartmann Valley with its vast grasslands, mysterious fairy circles and abundance of game offers a unique experience of its own. This is an expedition not to miss out on!

*This is a self-drive guided tour
Travellers need to provide their own 4x4 vehicle & camping equipment or hire a fully equipped 4x4 camping vehicle from Getaway Africa.

Highlights of the Skeleton Coast Self Drive Expedition:

  • An extraordinary guided self-drive 4x4 adventure
  • Travel a coast of the Atlantic's Skeleton Coast
  • Visit the mighty Kunene Mouth
  • Drive-up huge sand dunes sliding down the steep slip faces
  • Travel through Hartmann’s Valley with its vast grasslands, mysterious
    fairy circles and abundance of game

See also the Faces of the Namib Self Drive Expedition

Summary

Breakfast & Dinner

7 Day / 6 Nights
Self Drive

Namibia

Day 1: Swakopmund Direction Rocky Point ± 500KM
The rendezvous point is at 07:00 in Swakopmund. Ensure that your tank and jerry cans are full when you meet the guides and rest of the group. Communication radios will be installed in each vehicle to be ready for departure by 08:00. We travel via Cape Cross to Terrace Bay, about 340 km from Swakopmund. Here we stop for a compulsory fuel top-up as this will be the last refuelling option. From Terrace Bay we travel to Möve Bay where the official road ends and we drive onto the beach (tide depending). We proceed a few kilometres north of Möve Bay where we will seek shelter near the beach and set up camp for the night.
O/N Wilderness camping (dinner included)

Day 2: Möve bay to Angra Fria± 150KM
Today we will travel along the beach (tide depending) past the Hoarusib River mouth. En-route we will stop at the wreckage of the Ventura bomber involved in the rescue of the stranded passengers from the Dunedin Star which was a UK cargo liner. Captain Naude successfully landed the Ventura bomber on the soft dunes, even though there was a real danger that the plane could have cartwheeled. However, when they attempted to take off, one of its wheels became bogged in the sand and Captain Naude and his crew were castaways themselves. It took two weeks before they were rescued by a ground expedition which battled overland more than 1 000 km from Windhoek. We travel past Rocky Point, the Khumib and Hoanib River mouths and proceed all the way to Falls Angra Fria, where we will set up camp either on the beach (weather depending) or amongst some lava hills.
O/N Wilderness camping (breakfast and dinner included)

Day 3: Towards The Kunene River Mouth ± 120KM
After breakfast, we venture towards the Kunene mouth. This involves beach driving past the famous Dunedin Star wreck site and huge saltpans. The Dunedin Star was designed to ship frozen meat from Australia and New Zealand to the United Kingdom. This cargo liner is especially distinguished for its role during the Second World War when it assisted with relieving the siege of Malta in September 1941. At the end of November 1942, the Dunedin Star ran aground on the Skeleton Coast. Once we have passed Bosluis Bay we will reach the Kunene River mouth with its famous wetlands inhabited by 72 different bird species, as well as the Nile crocodile (NO swimming!) and soft-shelled terrapins (turtles).
O/N Wilderness camping (breakfast and dinner included)

Day 4: Towards Hartmann’s Valley ± 65KM
Today will be a dune-driving day in an easterly direction all the way to the Hartmann’s Valley. We will stay as close to the thundering Kunene River as possible, with beautiful, scenic spots along the way. Hartmann’s Valley is very arid and the weather can vary dramatically. The region offers a profound sense of wilderness and the Kunene River nurtures a band of lush vegetation. They valley is home to the Himba, one of the last true nomads in Africa. Tonight’s camp will be set up in the vicinity of the Kunene River.
This place can only be visited with capable vehicles as getting back up from the Kunene is not possible for normal aspirated diesel-vehicles or other underpowered vehicles.
O/N Wilderness camping (breakfast and dinner included)

Day 5: Marble Campsite ± 120KM
We leave the Kunene and travel down the Hartmann’s Valley until we reach the Marble Campsite, a Community Camp with basic shower and toilet facilities. We will hopefully spot wildlife, such as zebra, giraffe, plenty oryx and springbok along the way. The routes are slow and scenery can therefore be enjoyed to its fullest.
O/N Wilderness camping (breakfast and dinner included)

Day 6: Purros ± 80KM
We visit the marble quarry and then travel towards the Hoarusib River. Today will be a slow drive and elephants are on the ‘scenic menu’ as we might encounter them. The river is lushly vegetated with Mopani Anna trees and large Makalani palm trees. The drive will vary from sandy riverbeds to rocky ‘twee spoor’ tracks and we will call today the ‘elephant day’. The drive will take the whole day until we reach Purros Community Camp, in the heart of the desert elephant country. This is our last evening together. Walking around at nighttime is a ‘no-no’ due to the presence of the elephants.
O/N Wilderness camping (breakfast and dinner included)

Day 7: Sesfontein / Palmwag
After one last breakfast together, our team bid you farewell to take the road back to Swakopmund. You will travel towards Sesfontein/Palmwag for refuelling, from there everybody will travel to their own destinations – Etosha Pan is nearby, or you can continue via the Caprivi to Botswana or merely travel via Kamanjab to Windhoek or optionally via Khorixas (Damaraland) back to Swakopmund.
Included: (breakfast)

Faces of the Skeleton Coast

Rates in SA Rand Jan - Jun 2021
SADC Nationals
Adult Sharing R 14,210 pp sharing
Adult Single R 15,960 pp
Child 16-17 yrs R 7,560 per child
Child 6-15 yrs R 4,180 per child
Child 0-5 yrs R 2,480 per child
Foreigners / International Travellers
Adult Sharing R 14,410 pp sharing
Adult Single R 16,160 pp
Child 16-17 yrs R 7,760 per child
Child 6-15 yrs R 4,380 per child
Child 0-5 yrs R 2,480 per child

Book Now

Need a vehicle and camping equipment?
Contact our travel experts for a quote on a fully equipped 4x4 vehicle

*Please note that no trailers are allowed on this tour.

Included:

  • Breakfast and dinner daily (coffee/tea and fruit juices are supplied with meals)
  • Experienced guides with own vehicles
  • Two-way radios for vehicles
  • Camping fees
  • Concession fees and levies
  • Communal Camp shower and toilet
  • Recovery equipment and on-site recovery only
  • “Communal” camping equipment; braai grid, cooking facilities & equipment, tables, wash-up
    facilities, etc.
  • Wind shelter, shower and chemical toilet at the campsite
  • Additional vehicle to carry logistics

Excluded:

  • Transport (Rentals Available on request)
  • Fuel
  • Lunch
  • Snacks and Drinks
  • Camping gear
  • Travel insurance and vehicle insurance (Required)
  • Items of a personal nature
Rates are subject to change due to increases in fuel charges and increases imposed by suppliers.

 

  Departure Dates
  2021
January  
February  
March 03
April 18, 25
May 12
June 22
July 28
August 09, 18
September 15
October 19
November 06
December 05, 13, 29

Travel Insurance & medical evacuation required
It is a booking requirement that you must submit proof of travel insurance when making your first payment. You will not be able to join the tour without travel insurance.

Clients need to take out their own travel insurance and emergency evacuation cover in case of a motor vehicle accident, heart attack or any other medical emergency. Please take out your travel insurance within 48 hours of making your first payment towards the tour. Please supply details of this information that we know whom to contact in case of an emergency.

Emergency contact number:
Should anybody wish to contact you whilst on the trip – we will be out of range of any cell phone reception or normal telephone services. A satellite phone will be available for emergencies and our Walvis Bay office will know how to reach the guides. We will supply the emergency number with tour documents should anybody need to get hold of you urgently.

Vehicle insurance:
Please check with your insurance provider that your vehicle is covered for an off-road trip through the desert. Should you have a breakdown we will assist with on-site recovery, but this will be at an additional cost and the account for this must be settled directly upon arrival in Walvis Bay.

Essentials
The following items are mandatory for each participating vehicle:

  • Spade
  • 60 litres water in total of which 20 litres will be used by the kitchen and the remainder will be
    for showering
  • Bottled water for drinking
  • Tyre pressure gauge
  • Pump to inflate tyres
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic bags to carry waste (e.g. empty cooldrink tins, etc.)
  • Brake fluid
  • Gear oil
  • Engine oil
  • Fuses
  • Spare V-Belt set (type of belt depends on your vehicle)
  • Sufficient Petrol / Diesel to cover the distance – 1000km. Heavy sand driving conditions (+/-
    3km/l and +/- 5km/l consumption for larger petrol and diesel engines respectively) will be
    experienced. You will need to keep the extra fuel in your own jerry cans.
  • Vehicle to be fitted with points to attach tow ropes both in front and at the rear. NB!!
  • All equipment and luggage must be strapped in and securely fastened
  • Vehicle must be loaded in such a way to ensure that the vehicle is not ‘Top Heavy’ – e.g. only
    light items, camping gear on roof carriers
  • 2 Large bags of firewood per vehicle (supplied by you)

Optional:

  • Hi-lift Jack & Q20 Spray
  • Extra spare wheel (no 6)
  • Small broom and a small spade

All you need:

  • Tent, folding chair and sleeping gear (bedroll, tent etc.) *Longer tent pegs are needed for
    pitching in the sand.
  • Eating utensils (cutlery, plate, bowl, glass and mug)
  • Provide your own lunch
  • Own snacks and refreshments (alcoholic beverages, cool drinks etc.)
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Camera (extra memory cards and battery)
  • Sunglasses and sunblock
  • Clothing (suitable for hot days and cold evenings), toiletries and towels
  • Prescribed medication

Other:

  • Petrol cards are no longer accepted in Namibia for fuel purchases. Only cash/ debit/ credit cards will be accepted.
  • Children under 18 must have an unabridged birth certificate to leave/ enter South Africa at the border and at international airports.
  • New Namibian Traffic Regulation - Daylight Headlights: As from the 28th of July 2015, a person driving a vehicle during the day on a trunk road, main road and/ or a district road must switch on the headlamps on dimmed beam or daytime running lights.
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