SKELETON COAST AND DAMARALAND EXPEDITION RIDE

10 Nights: £4 900

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SKELETON COAST AND DAMARA LAND EXPEDITION RIDE

From the formidable Skeleton Coast into the remote western Damaraland and back, this adventurous riding safari is for those seeking an escape from the ordinary.

Namibia has always held a certain fascination for intrepid travellers. Here you can embark on a horse riding adventure far off the beaten path. A land of contrasts, where the cold Atlantic ocean meets the world’s oldest desert, creating a wild and treacherous coastline. The golden beaches here are littered with bleached whale bones and the skeletal remains of shipwrecks, earning it the name, Skeleton Coast. This is where your adventure begins, saddling up for a 10-day trail ride that takes you from an endless coastline into the remote wilderness of Damaraland. From the misty shores of the Atlantic, cross the lichen-covered gravel plains and follow the ephemeral rivers inland.  Ride past otherworldly rock formations, where strata-striped rocks and granite outcrops create the backdrop for through the ears photography.

Gallop over vast open plains and watch the landscape transform from windswept gravel plains to soft dry riverbeds and back again. If you’re lucky, you might see the desert-adapted elephants or giraffes appear out of the heat haze. Other wildlife that call this remote wilderness home are oryx, kudu, zebra, springbok, jackals and hyenas. Your guides will tell you about the various survival techniques the animals have learned to adapt to survive in this harsh environment while you sit around the campfire at night. Then from the wonders of Damaraland, head back to the cooler coastal plains. Each day is different, waking up with the dawn chorus with your horse tethered nearby, then saddling up and heading out to cover new and challenging landscapes.  Your adventure ends with one last epic gallop in the cold surf of the Atlantic Ocean before a very sad farewell to your trusty stead.

Strong bonds are built with your fellow riders and horse as you tackle the adventure together and you are responsible for grooming and tacking up your own steed. The luggage is transported via a truck which then sets up camp ahead of your arrival. Camps are set up in beautiful remote areas with names such as Camp Nowhere and Camp Somewhere. Here you’ll some of the best food cooked on the campfire, waking up to the smell of coffee brewed on the coals, and falling asleep with the last lingering taste of fresh bread. Beds are set out in the desert under a canopy of stars and with absolutely no light pollution, you’ll see more stars than you ever imagined! A tent can be set up however most prefer to embrace the unforgettable opportunity of sleeping out under the big African sky.

The day will usually begin at sunrise with an early departure to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Riders will usually be in the saddle for around 4-5 hours before a lunch break.  Lunch will generally be under the shade of a tree, or next to the truck and you can enjoy a siesta beside your horse before saddling up again.  Afternoon rides are generally shorter, 2-3 hours, arriving in camp to be met with warm water and a cold drink.  You will average 20-60km per day over all types of terrain, some of the riding is tough and you will require a good sense of humour on the odd testing moments necessary in any adventure.

QUICK FACTS
Skeleton Coast and Damaraland, Namibia
Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport or Walvis Bay International Airport
October and November
10 nights
Group Size: Max. 14
Minimum of 2 guests
Intermediate Plus and Above
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fast-paced riding on well-trained, fit and responsive horses through the oldest desert in the world
  • The feeling of being a pioneer, experiencing some of the last true wildernesses from the back of a horse
  • Unrestricted riding across endless desert plains and remote stretches of breath-taking beach
  • Crossing greatly contrasting landscapes with the possibility of seeing fascinating desert-adapted wildlife
  • Sleeping out every night under the vast African sky with more stars than you could ever imagine
THE DESTINATION

The Skeleton Coast is notorious for rough seas, treacherous fog and shifting sandbanks. These have seen the demise of many ships over the centuries. Here you’ll see more shipwrecks than people as you travel past soaring sand dunes, over gravel plains covered in lichen, and along the dry riverbeds that carry water and life from inland. Travelling inland to the wilderness of Damaraland, guests are introduced to dramatic desert scenery and diverse flora and fauna. Picture centuries-old welwitschia plans, endangered black rhino and desert-adapted elephant. An underrated wildlife area, the desert is home to herds of zebra, oryx, giraffe and a few elusive desert lions. Damaraland is one of Namibia’s most dramatic collections of landscapes and a photographers dream. Hidden in the rocky clefts is Twyfelfontein, Damaraland contains some of Southern Africa’s finest prehistoric rock art and engravings.

DATES & RATES

 Please enquire for availability – limited spots available.

15 October – 25 October 2021 / 03 November – 13 November 2021
£ 4 900 per person sharing
Single supplement for lodge accommodation unless willing to share: £190
Extra Horse for riders over 85kg: £800

Includes

  • All riding needed to complete your adventure.
  • Accommodation throughout the trip
  • Delicious meals three times a day and drinks while on the ride.
  • Personal and expert guide throughout the trip.
  • A well trained, fit four-legged friend to escort you on your adventure.
  • Ground transfers from Windhoek International Airport to starting point of ride and return transfer to central Windhoek or Windhoek International airport on day of departure.

Excludes

  • Extra horse charge for riders 85kg and over in riding gear. For our horses’ sake, please be accurate regarding weight and level of fitness.
  • Personal drinks and refreshments at all lodges, restaurants, and petrol stations en route.
  • Accommodation and transfers not listed on the itinerary.
  • Safari staff gratuities.
  • International Flights to Windhoek / Walvis Bay
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
YOUR ITINERARY

** Provided is a sample itinerary however guests must be aware that due to the adventurous nature of the ride timings and routes can vary. All variations and changes to the itinerary will always be in your best interests. The expected saddle time each day ranges between 4 to 8 hours, covering 20-60km and over varying terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Namibia

Welcome to Namibia!

Arrive at Walvis Bay International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your first camp or hotel in Swakopmund to meet your guide Andrew and the team. If you choose to fly to Windhoek, you can either arrive in the morning or arrive a day earlier before being transferred to the coast. Over sundowners overlooking the Atlantic or dinner around the campfire, you will be introduced to your fellow riders and be briefed about what to expect on your adventure!

Day 2: Lichen Fields and Shipwrecks

After breakfast, you will depart Swakopmund to your lunch spot on the Skeleton Coast, visiting the lichen fields and a rusty shipwreck en-route. After lunch, Andrew and the team will introduce you to your steed and give you a saddling demonstration. The ride starts slower as you get to know your trusted mount and find your “hooves”. As you head towards your first camp, you’ll ride through ephemeral river systems and dry washes that characterize this unique area.

Day 3 -10 Expedition riding

There is an easy rhythm to camp life, waking up at dawn with the smell of fresh bread baking on the coals of the fire and a hot cup of coffee to shake off sleep. You will brush and saddle up your horse before heading out. You will need to be riding fit for this ride, as you will be in the saddle for around 4-5 hours before meeting the team for a lunch stop in the shade of a tree or under the sunshade. Enjoy an afternoon siesta next to the horses, then saddle up again for another 2-3 hours of riding before reaching camp. The backup team will set-up camp before you arrive, waiting with warm water and cold drinks. Camps are set up in beautiful remote areas with names such as Camp Nowhere and Camp Somewhere..! You’ll spend memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends and enjoying delicious meals cooked on the coals. Beds are set out in the desert under a canopy of stars and with absolutely no light pollution, you’ll see more stars than you ever imagined! 

This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) this ever-changing landscape is filled with fascinating geology and the chance to see desert-adapted animals such as zebra, oryx, ostrich and even elephants. With vast open spaces and long distances to cover, expect lots of fast riding! As you descend into the lower reaches of the Ugab river, you will feel the air begin to cool again. Enjoy one last thrilling canter across the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. A sad goodbye to your trusted steed before checking in to a luxury beach house for your last night. Enjoy sundowner drinks overlooking the ocean while reminiscing about your adventure.

Day 11: Departure

After a bit of a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred to Windhoek for your departing flight (after 15h00). If you have extra time in Africa, extend your stay to visit the high dunes and desolated valleys of Sossusvlei, the wildlife of Etosha National Park, or travel further to South Africa or Botswana.

THE ACCOMMODATION

Most guests choose to sleep out under the glorious southern stars – a very special experience. Large dome tents can be provided if required (two people sharing unless paying single supplement). Camp beds are supplied with a warm bedroll consisting of a canvas bag containing an insulating mattress, down duvet and pillow. You are welcome to add a fleece liner to the sleeping role if you feel you might get cold. Desert nights can drop below 0°C so if you feel the cold then it is worth bringing your own sleeping bag and/or fleece liner. Hot bucket showers are available at most camps; toilets are available at all overnight camps.

On the nights stated in your safari itinerary, you will stay in comfortable lodges, with twin-bedded rooms and en-suite facilities where possible. While most guests are happy to share twin accommodation (or tent if required), on booking it is possible to request single accommodation – subject to availability and a supplementary charge.

QUICK FACTS
Skeleton Coast and Damaraland, Namibia
Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport or Walvis Bay International Airport
October and November
10 nights
Group Size: Max. 14
Minimum of 2 guests
Intermediate Plus and Above
View Gallery
10 nights £4 900 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fast-paced riding on well-trained, fit and responsive horses across through the oldest desert in the world
  • The feeling of being a pioneer, experiencing one of the world’s last true wildernesses from the back of a horse
  • Unrestricted riding across endless desert plains and one of the most remote stretches of beach in the world
  • Crossing greatly contrasting landscapes with the possibility of seeing fascinating desert-adapted wildlife
  • Sleeping out every night under the vast African sky with more stars than you could ever imagine
DATES & RATES

 Please enquire for availability – limited spots available.

15 October – 25 October 2021 / 03 November – 13 November 2021
£ 4 900 per person sharing
Single supplement for lodge accommodation unless willing to share: £190
Extra Horse for riders over 85kg: £800

Includes

  • All riding needed to complete your adventure.
  • Accommodation throughout the trip
  • Delicious meals three times a day and drinks while on the ride.
  • Personal and expert guide throughout the trip.
  • A well trained, fit four-legged friend to escort you on your adventure.
  • Ground transfers from Windhoek International Airport to starting point of ride and return transfer to central Windhoek or Windhoek International airport on day of departure.

Excludes

  • Extra horse charge for riders 85kg and over in riding gear. For our horses’ sake, please be accurate regarding weight and level of fitness.
  • Personal drinks and refreshments at all lodges, restaurants, and petrol stations en route.
  • Accommodation and transfers not listed on the itinerary.
  • Safari staff gratuities.
  • International Flights to Windhoek / Walvis Bay
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

It was a great, amazing, cool, top experience to ride the Tuliblock in Botswana. 8 day's on a back of a horse and view a lot of game. The guides and staff were great. So I will come back!

Nicole PlasTuli Safari, Botswana
READ MORE REVIEWS

How we care for our horses

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses in Namibia are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • Between safaris the horses live out in thousands of hectares of natural bush in herds of up to 100, forming natural social bonds.
  • They do one 10-night safari every six weeks between April and late October. All horses spend the remaining four/five summer months out in the bush.
  • While on safari, horses are fed and groomed, with a mini vetting at the end of the day. There are several spare horses to give the youngsters a rest.
  • We use simple snaffle bridles or bit-less bridles where possible and each horse has its allotted bridle and specially designed saddle for the duration of the safari, which are cleaned daily.

Please let us know if you have any more questions around this.

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