February 2015 – Wilderness Safaris’ newest property, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, which opened in August last year, features an innovative design that is not only sensitive to the fragile desert environment, but also makes the most of its spectacular location in Namibia’s remote Kaokoveld.
The design of Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was inspired by the stark and dramatic landscape that surrounds it.
Wilderness Safaris camps are characterised by their light environmental footprint, and Hoanib is certainly no exception. Constructing the camp in such a remote location meant that we needed to be creative in terms of the building methods used, and decisions were based on the ease with which materials could be transported across the sensitive desert landscape. The result is a camp that blends in seamlessly with its surrounds, while also offering a welcoming and comfortable respite for our guests”, says CEO of Wilderness Safaris Namibia, Mike Wassung.
Operating on 100% solar power, the camp comprises eight stylish en-suite tents (including one family unit), each carefully positioned to maximise the afternoon breeze, and to take full advantage of the dramatic desert vistas. One of the most striking features is the unique tent design, which draws inspiration from the surrounding dunes. Made from a waterproof and UV-protective stretch fabric, the material was selected for its flexibility which allowed the architects, Joy Brasler and Ian Sherman, to free-form it into different shapes.
A key challenge was ensuring that the climate of the area did not impact on guests’ comfort, without having to rely on inefficient energy solutions, such as air-conditioners. This was achieved through the installation of suspended concrete floors. Acting as heat sinks, the raising of the floors allows for cool through-breezes, while the stretch-fabric roofs shade a secondary roof, providing relief from the desert heat as well as privacy.
The furniture selection was inspired by the spectacular and stark surroundings, with most pieces specially designed and created for Hoanib. These include benches made of faux leather and chrome, as well as luxurious fine chenille throws edged in linen. The cool, neutral interiors were designed by Sharon Milstead Design and blend with the desert surrounds.
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp has already received several awards since its opening, including being named most “Out of this World” at the Tatler Travel Awards, and was included in US Travel + Leisure’s It List of the most exciting openings for 2015.