The facilities are basic, the transport has seen better days and the bill is hefty. So what’s the big attraction of a safari by plane in Namibia?
Swakopmund is a dusty windswept town on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast; its name means Shit Rivermouth. The airport departures terminal consists of two small concrete rooms with paint peeling off the walls, and a bench occupied by a sleeping cat. We’re here for the legendary Schoeman brothers’ flying safari, and it’s odd to think of all the rich and famous people who have been here before us. It was Brad Pitt’s treat for Angelina and his in-laws. The Rothschilds are great enthusiasts.
The Schoemans offer none of the luxury that normally goes along with a high-priced safari. They fly you around a bald and barren desert in a cramped old plane, put you up in canvas tents with bucket showers, feed you basic food, and charge you more than £1,500 a day. So why is the experience so raved about and revered by the safari cognoscenti?