Skeleton Damara Safari

This ten-night safari in Namibia is an exploratory-style trail ride. On incredibly fit horses, you will set off from the Skeleton Coast, into remote western Damaraland before you finally make your way back to the Atlantic Coast. This is a riding expedition for fit, experienced riders looking for an adventure off-the-beaten track, with the opportunity for exhilarating gallops along the way.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
13 days / 9 riding
From £3,800

Itinerary

Highlights

- Opportunities for fast riding across desert landscapes
- Discover the incredible geology of the Skeleton Coast and Damaraland
- Ride off-the-beaten track across challenging terrain: this is adventure at its finest!
- Enjoy riding fast, forward-going horses that are cared for to exceptional standards
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - WINDHOEK

    International flight overnight to Windhoek (flights are not included but we can assist with this on request). This is usually an overnight flight, and dates are set so you should arrive in Windhoek tomorrow (day 2).
  • Day 2 2 : WINDHOEK

    You will be met at Windhoek International Airport where you will join up with the rest of your riding group. Make sure to book a flight that arrives today in the afternoon or earlier, on time for the pre-dinner briefing.

  • Day 3 3 : WINDHOEK - SKELETON COAST - 2-3 hours riding

    Namib camp
    You will depart Windhoek to your camp on the Skeleton Coast with lunch in Swakopmund en route. On your way to camp, you will stop for a visit to the lichen field and a shipwreck.

    You will meet the horses and logistics team at camp and go on your very first ride this afternoon - a short afternoon ride to get to know the horses and riding style.

  • Day 4 4 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 5 5 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 6 6 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    A fast and thrilling days ride across a dolomite plateau with the possibility of seeing grazing Zebra, Oryx, Springbok and Ostrich. Continue riding onto the boulder-strewn grasslands dotted with the enigmatic Quiver Trees. Tonight you stay at Cañon Mountain Camp and can enjoy the luxury of real beds with linen and en-suite facilities making this a very special evening.
  • Day 7 7 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 8 8 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 9 9 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 10 10 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 11 11 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Your last day in the saddle before reaching the luxury beach house where you'll spend the night.
  • Day 12 12 : WINDHOEK & DEPARTURE

    Transfer to Windhoek International Airport for flights after 15:00.
  • Day 13 13 : ARRIVE HOME

    Arrival back home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (Windhoek) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.     

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room/tent during the ride. Most people however choose to sleep under the stars.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 international riders and a maximum of 12 riders, plus guides. 

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room (at the two lodges) there is a single supplement of £190/€220/$260 in 2021/2022

- Transfers to and from Windhoek airport are not included and are £400/€460/$540 payable upon booking. These are non-optional transfers and are not refundable.

- There is a weight limit of 92kgs and riders who weigh over 85kgs may have to pay a supplement of c. £800/€930/$1100 in 2021/2022 for a second horse.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide
2 - 3 assistant guides and grooms, riding with every group of 12

Logistics

4-5 people in charge of the logistics for a group of 12
1 support vehicle and driver
1 assistant cook

Inland transports

12 person minibus

Accommodation

3-man dome tents (2 riders per tent) with camp beds and swags included.
Double room in a guesthouse or lodge on other days

Meals

Full board and drinks on the trail from dinner on day 2 to lunch on day 12

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages at the lodges and personal extra

Transport

International flights to Windhoek that we can book for you upon request
Return airport transfers

Extras

Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room/tent supplement if you do not wish to share at the lodge

Logistics

Additional horse supplement for anyone weighing over 85 kg
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/11/2021 14/11/2021 £4,500
    £3,800
    €5,299
    €4,475
    $6,165
    $5,206
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/03/2022 22/03/2022 £4,500 €5,299 $6,165 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/11/2022 22/11/2022 £4,500 €5,299 $6,165 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses are mostly crossbreeds from a variety of stock that found their way into the Namibian equine mix during the last century. These include Trahkener, Hanovarian, Shagya Arabs, Boerperd and more recently, Arabians and Quarter Horse crosses and even the odd Haflinger. The horses are generally small in body size to cope with the dry and mountainous environments where they are bred and raised. They are sure footed, nimble, well mannered and energetic plus calm or fast according to your preference.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a weight limit of 92kgs and riders who weigh over 85kgs may have to pay a supplement for a second horse.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a very competent rider with plenty of experience riding outdoors across varied terrains and at all paces. The horses are well-behaved but there are some long hours in the saddle and a fast pace can be sustained for long periods where the terrain allows.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a weight limit of 92kgs and riders who weigh over 85kgs may have to pay a supplement for a second horse

Pace

There are lots of opportunities for fast riding. You must be capable of rising to the trot and maintaining a forward seat in canter and gallop.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist with grooming, tacking up and untacking your horse each day whilst out on the trail. It would also be appreciated if you could help with camp tasks such as watering and feeding the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for long hours in the saddle in the African sun. This is a challenging ride and can be tough at times. Climate is usually warm and dry during the day, but the nights can be very cold (zero or below) and there can be strong winds.

Guests who do not ride regularly must get riding fit prior to the ride.

Equestrian equipment

Special water bottle holders are supplied on the saddles (the water bottles are also provided).
Saddles are endurance-type trail saddles. If you want to bring your own seat saver then you will need a western shaped one.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

Most nights are spent camping in two man dome tents with camp beds and sleeping bags/swags. However, most people opt to sleep out under the stars which is a magical experience. If you feel the cold then we recommend taking a sleeping bag liner, as nights in the desert can drop below zero.

Showers are available every night (hot water). It is however not possible to wash your belongings during the ride.

Small batteries can be charged in the back up vehicles if necessary. Phone signal is very limited and there is, of course, no wifi!

On other nights you stay in a comfortable lodge with twin rooms.

Meals

Whilst on the trail, meals are cooked over an open fire and are of excellent quality.

Breakfast usually consists of porridge or cereal with tea and coffee.
Lunch: proper meals cook by the local team.
Dinner will be meat (beef or lamb usually) with vegetables and a dessert.

Drinks are included throughout the trail except on the first and last night when you are in a lodge.
Vegetarians and special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.

Climate

The seasons in Namibia are the reverse of the UK and so October - March is hot and dry. The early summer is a very dry heat, but some rain can occur around December - January when the climate can be more humid. The rides do not run during these months as it is too hot.

From April to September, the winter months, the weather is usually cool and dry. The nights can be cold, dropping to zero or below, but the days are sunny with a beautiful blue sky. Daytime temperatures are usually 15-22c. Mid-winter (June-August) is cooler than the spring/autumn months of April/May and September.

Guide and local team

You will likely be guided by Andrew or Telane, with at least one back-up guide and a host of camp support staff.

Tips

Tips are welcome and we recommend c. £10 per person per day and you should give this to your guide who will distribute it amongst all the staff. If possible, euro, USD or even better African Rands are preferred since pounds sterling are difficult to exchange in Namibia.

Packing list

Although this is a camping expedition, all bedding and towels are supplied. If you feel the cold then we recommend taking a sleeping bag liner, as nights in the desert can drop below zero. Please make sure to keep your packing to a minimum (see below).

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana (essential)

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Layering is key to cope with the fluctuations in temperature between day and night
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for non-riding trips
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- Thermals are a good option for sleeping in, or tracksuits
- A woolly hat when camping
- Warm and comfortable sleeping sacks are provided, but if you feel the cold you may wish to bring a fleece liner as an extra layer

Other useful items
- Swimsuit
- Sarong (for going to/from showers)
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper
- Anti malarial tablets and Yellow Fever Certificate if required (check with your doctor)

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and you should pack it into two bags if it weighs more than 15kg so it's easier for the team to transport between camps
- Wherever possible you should wear neutral colours, such as beige, brown or natural bush colours for riding as bright colours, such as red, yellow or white can startle the wildlife and they will see you long before you've seen them
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

Entry requirements
To enter Namibia, a passport valid for six months from date of entry with one blank page is required by all nationals of Australia, USA, Canada, the UK and other EU countries. If you require a visa, you must have at least three blank pages in your passport.
Visas
Visas for Namibia are not required by nationals referred to above for stays of up to three months if visiting Namibia on holiday except:
Nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, who do require a visa.
Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the high commission/embassy for visa requirements for Namibia.
Single-entry visas: £30 (three-day processing) or £50 (same-day processing); multiple-entry visa: £60 (three-day processing) or £80 (same-day processing).
Validity:
Valid for up to three months, for stays of up to three months from the date of entry.

Embassies
Namibian High Commission in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7636 6244. Website: http://www.namibiahc.org.uk/ Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

IMPORTANT - TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
Visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/namibia/entry-requirements

Namibia introduced new immigration rules in 2016 relating to travel with children. In addition to valid passports, parents travelling with children (under 18) should at all times carry the original or certified copy of the unabridged birth certificate. The full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars won’t be accepted by the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.

Adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel. If a child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent should give consent for travel in the form of an affidavit.

Unaccompanied children may be required to provide in addition to a valid passport:

Proof of consent from one or both parents/legal guardians in the form of an affidavit.
A letter from the person receiving the child including their residential address where the child will be staying.
Contact your nearest Namibian High Commission if you have any specific questions about your trip.

If your child was born in the UK, you can order a full unabridged birth certificate online via GOV.UK

IF TRAVELLING THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA:
From 1st June 2015, South Africa have introduced tough rulings for anyone travelling with children, including passengers transitting South Africa to another destination.
- Two parents travelling with children will need to show the childs Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC)
- One parent travelling with a child will need to show the UBC plus either: a Parental Consent Affidavit (PAC) from the parent not travelling OR a letter of special circumstance.
- Widowed parents will need to show the UBC and a death certificate for the deceased parent
- Children travelling with family friends will need a UBC, PCA, copies of the parents passports and contact details for the parents.

For more information click here: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-updated-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry

Contact South African Immigration for what is required for other circumstances.

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade de Namibie
    80, avenue Foch
    75016 Paris
    Tél. : 01.44.17.32.65
    Fax :
    info@embassyofnamibia.fr
  • Ambassade de France en Namibie
    1, Goethe Street PO Box 20484
    9000 Windhoek
    Tél. : +264 61 27 67 00
    Fax :
    cad.windhoek-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr
  • Namibian High commission
    6 Chandos Street
    W1G 9LU London
    Tél. : +44 (0) 20 7636 6244
    Fax : +44 (0) 20 7637 5694
    info@namibiahc.org.uk

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Namibia except that you need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country (7 days or less before entering Namibia) where that disease is widely prevalent, such as Zambia.
Like with most countries, it's advisable to have general injections regarding diseases like Hepatitis A and typhoid. Most travellers are already vaccinated against DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio) and Hepatitis A, especially if you travelled already to countries outside the western world. If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria is usually only a risk in the northern part of Namibia, and in some areas only during the wet season (October to April). The central and southern parts of the country, including Fish River Canyon and Sossuvlei are considered malaria free. Don't underestimate this tropical disease and take precautions. Buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the South African three-pin type (two small round pins over one larger round pin).

Budget and money

The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis and the South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.
Credit cards:
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Credit cards are not usually accepted at petrol stations, so bear this in mind when you visit the ATM. Setting aside an emergency petrol cash fund is a good idea if you’re planning to drive.
ATM:
Although ATMs can be found in most towns, it’s worth making sure that you’ve got enough cash handy at all times, as towns can be few and far between. Make sure you notify your bank of your travel plans before you go: Namibia is among the countries that trigger an automatic account freeze (fraud protection) if you fail to tell your bank beforehand.

Telephone and jetlag

Namibia has an excellent fixed-line telephone network run by Telecom Namibia:
http://www.telecom.na

Domestic calls are reasonably priced, although international calls can cost upwards of N$20 (£1.40) per minute.
Mobile phone:
MTC is Namibia’s mobile service provider but has roaming arrangements with international providers. However, it operates on GSM 900/1800, which is compatible with European and Australian networks but not with those from North America or Japan. Check with your mobile provider whether they will be able to provide coverage through the MTC network during your stay. MTC does offer a prepaid service called Tango, which involves a one-off purchase of a sim card and pay-as-you-go thereafter. Although coverage is generally good, it can be sporadic outside urban areas.
Dialling code is +264
GMT + 1hr