What We Love
- Wood-burning stoves in all guest cabins
- Picnic lunches on the nearby beach
- Uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean views from the wraparound deck at the property’s restaurant lounge
- Complimentary laundry service
What To Know
- The resort’s remote backdrop, Skeleton Coast National Park, is restricted to 1,000 visitors a year
- Accommodations include a pair of family tents
- The area plays host to one of Namibia’s few surviving lion populations
- Hairdryers are available upon request
- Free WiFi
Enigmatic safari camp designed to mirror actual shipwrecks along Namibia’s untamed Skeleton Coast
If you’re looking to explore Namibia Skeleton Coast, an almost uninhabitable and notoriously rocky 975-foot stretch of Atlantic coastline (as confirmed by the surrounding bleached skeletons of whales, lions, and seals), this imaginative and innovative camp is the only lodging game in town. Constructed by local architect Nina Martiz, the 6,300-square-mile property is intended to resemble the ruined hulls the rugged terrain is synonymous with. (Martiz was especially inspired by the book by John H. Marsh about a British cargo ship that ran aground here in 1942.) The camp’s flotilla-like freestanding rooms, ten craggy wooden structures whose deep blue and purple interiors take cues from a twilight desert sky, are a far cry from the airy white canvas tents of the continent’s typical luxe safari lodges. They do offer plenty of mod cons, though, like Wi-Fi, en-suite bathrooms, faux-fur blankets, and jaw-dropping dune views. At the main lodge, the kitchen churns out hearty cosmopolitan plates, which guests have the option of enjoying al fresco, while bonfires and plush velvet seats invite intrepid travelers to trade adventure notes.
In the Area
The most straightforward way to reach the lodge is to take a light aircraft from Windhoek (about a two-and-a-half-hour flight), though it is possible to drive from Mowe Bay to the coastal city of Swakopmund, after which the property provides a guided two-hour transfer in a 4×4. Once you’re here, there are countless otherworldly attractions to take in, like a seal colony and an abandoned diamond mine. The lodge tailors a variety of day-trips, ranging from tours to Hoarusib River—en route, you’ll pass the Clay Castles, natural geological formations frequented by hyenas—to fishing trips along the Namibian Coast, after which lodge chefs can prep your catch of the day for dinner.
How to Get There
This place is top notch. Our pick-up in Mowe Bay with a porcelain plated “snack” and mini wreck tour en route to the lodge was just the beginning of a surreal and overall phenomenal visit to Shipwreck Lodge with my family of four- including an 11 & 13 year old. The lodge itself is stunning. The rooms are plush and have many extra special touches like hand knit covers for the coffee/tea cups next to your fresh baked cookies. The food at the lodge is exquisite and the wine list without fault. All of the activities are included and we partook of the sundowner on the beach, a drive down the Hoarsurib dry river bed seeing wildlife along the way, quad biking in the endless dunes of the desert, a visit to the seal colony, and a tour of the famous wrecks that dot the beach between Mowe Bay and the lodge. For much of our trip in Namibia we were disconnected from WiFi and data- BUT Shipwreck had reliable WiFi due to a research center nearby. Our only regret is that we did not have a few more days to explore and relax in this surreal and stunning feat of architecture in an equally surreal and stunning landscape. Shout out to Shimmy who *made things happen* especially for my son, who was disappointed in not being able to fish- Shimmy came through and made it by far the best day in my son’s travels to Namibia.
The road from Terrace Bay to Mowe Bay (86 Km) was an horrible road we didn't arrive at the meeting point in Mowe Bay. Facts: due to the extremely bad conditions of the road, (we traveled 25 km in 1 hour in a Jeep Toyota and therefore decided to turn around) speed was approx 25 km per hour that means it would have taken us 3 hours to get to the meeting point ( one hour later) not to talk of the high risk of damaging the rented car or blow a tire putting me in a difficult situation. the hotel never advised us on the real conditions of the road and were not completely honest on the amount of time necessary to reach the location; if we had known we would have never booked Shipwreck lodge in the first place.
Your first sight of this intimate lodge is of shipwrecks rising from the dunes. Those are your beautifully appointed cabins! This place is from an enchanting shipwreck fairy tale. Plus INSIDE THE PARK. Super convenient to beach, fur seals, shipwrecks, etc. staff goes out of their way.