Greetings from Los Angeles!
John and I are back home for a few weeks and are quickly catching up on the mountain of work that greeted us upon our return. We are also busy preparing for our next set of tours which will take us to Rhodes & Cyprus, Syria & Lebanon, Morocco & France, as well as possibly India. We'll be leaving at the end of October and will be gone until January.
Before we become too submerged in our upcoming travels, we wanted to drop you a note to thank you for an absolutely spectacular trip to the Skeleton Coast. We were utterly blown away by the raw beauty of Namibia, by the surprising and unexpected experiences you provided and by your complete professionalism as both a guide and as a pilot. We left Namibia much more educated about one of the planet's most spectacular corners, and for that we are thankful.
Bertus, your family offers a unique product which has impressed us greatly. As we mentioned, we spend most of the year travelling and road-testing properties and various travel experiences. Skeleton Coast Safaris ranks at the top of our list as one of the most memorable and enjoyable travel adventures available anywhere. We will forever cherish memories of landing on isolated, shipwrecked beaches for afternoon tea, learning the provenance of incredibly contorted rock formations that blanket the landscape and of meeting the Himba people, whose way of life seems so strikingly different from ours.
Again, thank you for a wonderful trip. It was a pleasure meeting Helga, Anita, Hank and all of your friendly staff. We look forward to working with you in the very near future.
We travelled to Namibia for the first time in Sept 2010 and were warmly recommended to try the Skeleton Coast Safari run by the Schoeman family. Our travel agent talked it up, but even that doesn't do the experience justice.
We were picked up by Henk Schoeman at our dune lodge at Wolvedans in our trusted Cessna 210, seating 5 but it was just my wife and I (plus Henk as pilot). We crossed the desert, flew over the dunes of Sossusvlei, joined up another plane with 3 other guests and embarked on the 4-day journey up the coast. We covered so much ground that could never have been seen by car or on foot. Even though Namibia is self-drive friendly, if your budget can handle flying, this is the way to go.
Each night was at a different private camp, each more remote and unique than the former (Purros, Kunene and Kuidas). Some might consider a high-end tent with camp beds (great embroidered linen) as roughing it, but it's our definition of luxury. Each camp has the best views, off a Cliffside, over a river valley or in total isolation.
Travelling during the day, we generally flew at no more than 100 feet altitude, allowing for perfect picture shots of the most incredible scenery. We flew 25 feet over breaking waves along the Skeleton Coast, landed on the beach near the seal colonies, not far from flying over major shipwrecks. Words can't describe the beauty and sensation. We landed in the desert, between two valleys and explored geological formations with incredibly experienced and conversant guides (hats off to Henk and Andrew).
Back at camp, which was bush-luxury personified, we sipped sundowners recalling the adventures of the day, and ate fabulous meals.
We're told there are other companies flying along the coast, but we advise trippers to insist upon the Schoeman Skeleton Coast Flying Safari, the Original!! Email me if you want to know more.
nachdem Dein Deutsch wesentlich besser als unser Englisch ist, schreiben wir diese Mail in Deutsch. Das machen wir auch deswegen, weil wir im Englischen noch weniger Wörter kennen die das mit Dir erlebte auch nur ansatzweise beschreiben würden.
Als erstes wollen wir Dir und Deiner Familie ein friedliches Weihnachtsfest wünschen. Fürs Neue Jahr wünschen wir Euch viel Gesundheit und unzählige glückliche Momente und Erlebnisse.
Zudem möchten wir nochmals Danke sagen. Danke für wunderschöne und einmalige Tage. Noch immer suchen wir all die Gründe zusammen, die diese Safari so besonders gemacht haben. Fast täglich fällt uns wieder etwas ein. Es war eine große Ehre für uns das erleben zu dürfen. Spüren zu können, dass Du mit Herz und Freude dieser grandiosen Landschaft und dieser Art des Reisens verbunden bist. Die ganze Reise war so unglaublich angenehm und unaufdringlich. So, dass die Natur stets im Vordergrund stehen konnte und niemals der Blick für's Wesentliche verstellt war. Es war ein grandioses Erlebnis und wir spürten jeder Zeit, dass wir mit dem Original unterwegs sein durften. Es gibt nichts was wir vermisst haben und es gibt nichts was wir als überflüssig bezeichnen würden. Wir haben schon einiges in unseren Afrikareisen erleben und kennen lernen dürfen. Diese Tage mit Dir André, waren absolute Weltklasse! Sie bleiben unvergleichbar in unserem Herzen und in unseren Erinnerungen. Danke André!
Alles Liebe und Gute. Wir hoffen natürlich auf ein Wiedersehn J
Bis dahin - Andrea und Christoph
As you may have guessed, it took us rather longer to return home than expected, due to the Icelandic convulsions - somewhat ironic after our recent discussions about past effects of volcanic eruptions! But as it turned out we had a wonderful week in J'burg, all expenses paid by Virgin in 5star comfort, catching up with several long lost South African friends.
Anyway we just wanted to thank you for your wonderful unique adventure - without doubt the absolute highlight of our time in Namibia. What with the breathtaking landscapes and camp sites, the low level flying (sometimes a little too low for Jane!), fascinating geology lessons, and seeing the still traditional ways of the Himba people, our expectations were more than exceeded. So you can be assured we'll be giving you and Namibia a big plug to all our friends.
With best wishes,
Robert and Jane Farquharson
PS Did you ever ask Andre about the rock armchair I discovered above Kunene camp?
Mr John and Mrs Jean Noble travelling with Henk Schoeman on a tour in November 2009, we very lucky to view whales along the coastline when travelling from Camp Kuidas to Terrace Bay. What a sight!
Henks tour on 06 September 2009:
Purros - saw a Rooikat
Kunene - Hyena between Cape Frio and Kunene mouth on the beach
Bertus' tour on 07 September 2009:
Kuidas - archaeological research team working around Kuidas
Purros - saw the same Caracal (Rooikat) that Henk saw, elephants returned to Purros after visiting the beach down the Hoarusib canyon
Kunene - Flew over the Kunene waterfalls west of the camp to check if the river is actually still flowing - never seen it so low before - a trickle of water over the falls
Henks tour on 15 September 2009:
Kuidas - archaeological survey still at Kuidas
Purros - saw 5 lions, the elephant bull is still in the Hoanib and the rest of the herd is in the Gomatum
Henks tour on 23 September 2009:
Purros - saw elephant and lions
Kunene - river is very low, could walk through
Bertus' tour on 07 October 2009:
Guests want to return, spending 2 nights Kunene and 2 nights Leylandsdrift
Kuidas - dead whale near Meob Bay (looks like a fully grown Humpback)
Henks tour on 10 October 2009
Purros - 7 elephants, lions moved to Leylandsdrift, Philip Stander of the Desert Lion Project was visiting Purros
Kunene - Fish eagle at Kunene - hopefully nesting there
We've recently received some feedback from happy guests...your comments are always appreciated!
To all who were involved in organising our trip, but especially to Henk who was a fantastic guide and host on our trip: a giant thank you. Our 4-day trip with you was the best the best trip of our lives and back in grey London, we have raved about it to friends ever since. I think we will live forever with the vivid memories of the dunes, beaches and mountains. Our many photos can never do justice to the enormity of the visual impact of what we saw and the experience of Henk's interest and enthusiasm about even the smallest detail of the trip. Thank you, and wishing you all a terrific New Year in 2008. Viv and Matth