SHIPWRECK LODGE – SKELETON COAST NATIONAL PARK – NORTHERN NAMIBIA

Shipwreck Lodge is perched on the southern bank of the Huarusib River mouth nestled between the dunes with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, where the cold Benguela current pushes a refreshing breeze over the shipwreck shaped cabins.

Shipwreck Lodge is the only lodge inside the Skeleton Coast National Park – the area contains an irreplaceable and vulnerable wildlife habitat for species of the highest conservation importance including black rhino, elephant, black faced impala and Hartmann’s mountain zebra.

Activities include excursions to Möwe Bay, sundowner drives, exploring the Hoarusib River, beach lunches, quad bike riding and dune boarding.

LOCATION

The lodge is set on the southern bank of the Huarusib River Mouth on the famous Skeleton Coast Central Concession between the Hoarusib and Hoanib Rivers in the Skeleton Coast Park 45 km north of Möwe Bay.

Vehicles of self-drive guests are parked under cover at the pickup point situated at Möwe Bay. Fly-In guests will also be picked up at Möwe Bay. You will then be transferred the 45km north to the Shipwreck Lodge in a closed game drive vehicle.

CAMP

There are just 10 cabins (8 twins and 2 family with 2 extra beds) which have been uniquely styled to look like the shipwrecks that dot the Skeleton Coast. All are ensuite with

indoor showers, solar powered and have wood burning stoves to ward off the coastal chill.

The main camp boasts an innovatively-designed lounge and restaurant with a wide

deck and uninterrupted views all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Wifi is available in camp and charging facilities are available in the rooms and main area. Disabled access is possible – please enquire.

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ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

Shrouded in mist the jaw-droppingly beautiful National Park begins at the Uqab River and runs roughly 500 kilometres up the Atlantic Coast to the Kunene River. Described by the San Bushmen as ‘the Land God Made in Anger’ the beaches are strewn with bleached whale bones and the wrecks of over a thousand ships and the interior is an uninhabited desert of rolling, endless sand.

Shipwreck Lodge is located in an unrivalled spot in the Skeleton Coast Central Concession Area – a piece of land between the Hoarusib and Hoanib rivers. The lodge is within the Skeleton Coast National Park and roughly 45 kilometres from Mowe Bay. The area contains irreplaceable and vulnerable wildlife habitat for species of the highest conservation importance, including elephant and the elusive brown hyena. Importantly, it also hosts the only other viable lion population in Namibia outside of Etosha National Park.

The Skeleton Coast is an area known for its extraordinary landscapes and wildlife sightings are rare. The desert-adapted elephant digs deep beneath the sand for the last vestiges of water then making use of the wells left behind by the pachyderms are giraffe, lion and baboon, and perhaps even a brown hyaena or two, but sightings are rare. There are also thousands of plants and insects that flourish in the sand surviving from the moisture of the cold fog that drifts inland from the ocean. Marine life thrives feeding off the nutrients in the Atlantic and the most iconic species are the Cape fur seals that line the rocky shoreline in large colonies. Birdlife is also prolific, and you should most certainly look out for Rüppell’s korhaans and Benguela long-billed larks. Further toward the coast,you should also be able to spot tractrac chats, as well as jaegers and skuas around the seal colonies.

Möwe Bay Excursions – either on your way to the lodge from Möwe Bay or returning from the lodge you will see what is left of the victims of this treacherous coastline: decaying ships, the remains of a Ventura Bomber and the abandoned Westies Diamond Mine bear witness to the unforgiving nature of this arid landscape. You will also visit the seal colony.

Sundowner Drive – embark on a sundowner drive to the Roaring Dunes where the desert’s voice can be heard.
Or watch the sun disappear into the Atlantic Ocean.

Hoarusib River Excursion – spend your morning exploring the Hoarusib River. Visit the Clay Castles, a striking geological formation. You might even spot the elusive desert-adapted elephants, brown hyenas and lions.

Beach Lunch (weather permitting) – weather permitting enjoy a scrumptious lunch on the vast empty beach.
Feel the crisp sea-breeze tousle your hair as the ocean washes onto the pristine sand in its unending ebb and flow.

Quad Bike Activity – join one of our guides on a scenic drive over the Roaring Dunes. This excursion will only be conducted in an area specifically allocated for the purpose by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to minimise the effects on the environment.
The tour takes approximately 1.5 hours and is for one guest per quad. As a safety precaution the minimum age is 16 years.

Dune boarding – for the more adventurous at heart, join us for dune boarding. This is done by lying down on a polished board while you slide down the dune headfirst. Speeds of up to 80km/h can be reached.

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GIVING BACK

At Natural Selection, conservation is at the heart of everything we do. The loss of any natural habitat, in Africa or other, is a sobering loss for us all, and we want to do something about it. We want to make a difference. To start with, we ensure that 1.5% of your stay in our lodges goes to wildlife conservation. The donations are built into our business model and based on your stay with us. We are wholeheartedly embracing our commitment to Africa’s wildlife.

In addition to this, we partner with the local communities, governments and conservation organisations in the areas where we operate to help protect (and sometimes even expand) these important conservation areas, and to create long-term benefits. We build camps that best suit the area, working with the environments and habitats that we find there. Camps and lodges shouldn’t be obvious; they should blend perfectly into their surroundings.

Lastly, we intend to keep our guests abreast of Africa’s triumphs, losses and continued challenges, with the hope that we will inspire other wildlife-lovers to make a change. While it’s perhaps only a drop in the bucket of what is required, it’s a drop that we hope will make a difference.

A working example of giving back at this camp is the Desert Lion Early Warning Conflict Mitigation System which reduces human/wildlife conflict through the implementation of satellite-based monitoring and automated early warning systems.

Lions are mesmerising wherever you see them but those in northwest Namibia are particularly fascinating because they’ve managed to adapt to life in the desert. We support The Desert Lion Conservation Project and Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) in an effort to protect the desert-adapted lions of northwest Namibia from human-wildlife conflict.

The lions in the region are a uniquely desert-adapted population that survive some of the most challenging conditions faced by their species: a water stressed desert environment; a highly variable prey base; and human conflict. Whilst their survival is fascinating to the visitors who travel to see them, it’s less positive for local herders whose livestock might provide an opportune meal. Retaliatory killing of lions is the primary reason for their recent decline in northwest Namibia.

The desert-lion population has been monitored and their survival strategies studied for more than 20 years by Dr Philip Stander. Based on this extensive knowledge and the important outreach work of IRDNC, the project is implementing an automatic monitoring and early warning system that aims to prevent further conflict with livestock herders. Using new satellite collars and communications software the system warns farmers of nearby lions so herders can corral livestock and prevent predation. Your stay at Shipwreck Lodge contributes towards this project.

SHIPWRECK LODGE IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

THE LODGE WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES. PLEASE NOTE THAT CHILDREN MUST BE AGED 12 YEARS AND OLDER TO PARTICIPATE IN GUIDED NATURE WALKS

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Call +44 1386 830264 or Email [email protected]

Our expert staff are on-hand, happy to assist with any enquiry you have.

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