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Review Highlights
See the Namib desert from the air

A two hour flight over the Namib desert, featuring a breathtaking flight through the Kuiseb canyon... read more

Reviewed October 1, 2018
Graham J
,
Bromley, United Kingdom
via mobile
Above and beyond

A big thank you for rescuing an activity that didn't run to plan. We had booked well in advance... read more

Reviewed September 7, 2018
Oldnslow46
,
Brisbane, Australia
via mobile
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All reviews scenic flight going south skeleton coast months in advance sossusvlei dunes two hours both sides namib desert walvis bay pilot passengers headsets plane cessna airstrip seals shipwrecks
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Reviewed December 31, 2017

We booked this scenic flight months in advance, but said that we would be willing to have other passengers join us in order to bring down the cost.

The day before we were to leave Sossusvlei for Swakopmund, the company contacted our driver to let him know that we could join another group the next afternoon (instead of another day later, when our booking was for), and we agreed to this. It meant driving straight to Swakopmund instead of taking a more scenic route, but, as the flight was very expensive, we thought the savings would be worth it.

We were very excited when we saw our plane--a small aircraft. When we boarded the plane, the pilot asked who it was who had requested to sit in the middle.  Apparently, the other couple had done so, and the man who was travelling solo was given the seat beside the pilot, of course, which left us the back seats.  That was fine.  The back seats had less space than the others, as the plane narrowed there, and we were a bit squished together, with our knees touching the seats in front of us, but it made sense, as the other couple was taller than we are. However, before that couple sat down, the pilot leaned in and started to push the middle seats back more to give the other couple even more room. We objected, as our knees were already pushed into the seats in front, and, as there was no space between the seats (unlike the middle ones), we could not sit with our legs wider to compensate.  At age 59, we were simply not bendy enough to sit with our feet raised up off the floor and our knees pushed closer to our bodies, which we would have had to do if the seats had been pushed closer. The pilot said sarcastically, “This isn’t a commercial flight, you know.”  My husband said that we knew that, but there wasn't room to push those seats back any more. Then the pilot looked at him and asked, “Do you WANT to take this flight?”  We thought he was being very rude, and for me, it set a bad tone for the outing and made me grumpy.

It was very hot on the plane, and the couple in front of us passed us their outerwear to put in the cargo area behind us.  We flew over the dunes, all the way to Sossusvlei. It was beautiful, but, to be honest, I thought it was much too long.  A half an hour of looking at the dunes from above, instead of over two hours, would have been plenty for me.  The dunes are far more impressive from ground level, anyhow. Eventually, with the heat, the noise of the plane, and the landscape that changed very little, I almost fell asleep.

When we finally got to the coast, I couldn’t see much from my side of the plane, so I was craning my head to see out the other side, at the things the pilot was pointing out. We couldn’t hear him from the back, but I knew there was something there because he pointed, and the people in front of us were looking that way. Suddenly, we hit an air pocket, and my head snapped back at a weird angle. Unlike all the other seats, ours did not have headrests to protect us.  I think I got a little bit of whiplash, because my neck bothered me for the rest of our trip.  Anyway, after that, I didn’t want to crane my neck anymore.  I thought it would be all right, as we'd been told we would circle around any major sights, so that everyone could see. However, when we passed the Eduard Bohlen, the pilot did not circle around as I’d expected, and so I missed seeing it altogether (only finding out afterward that we had passed it).  This was a big disappointment for me, as the whole reason I had wanted to do the flight was to see some of the wrecks on the Skeleton Coast.

We were supposed to land back at Swakopmund, but it was too foggy, so the pilot flew higher again and went to another airstrip to land. He explained to the other passengers in German what was happening and where we were landing (at least, that’s what I think he was saying), but he never bothered to tell my husband and I what was going on at all. When we landed, we had no idea where we were or what was going to happen next.  We appreciated the pilot's caution. However, we would have appreciated him taking the time to tell us what was going on before walking off to look after his plane. We asked a security guard there, who told us we were near a uranium mine at a place called Arandis, about 50 miles from Swakopmund, and our shuttle would be picking us up in about 40 minutes.  While we were waiting, the woman who had sat in front of us asked me if I had seen her scarf. I hadn’t and said so. She then asked my husband, who also hadn’t seen it, but she said to him, “Well, it didn’t walk away by itself.”  A few minutes later, we saw her wearing her scarf, but she did not bother to say anything to us or apologize to my husband for essentially accusing him of lying. This wasn't the airline company's fault, of course, but, after the rude treatment by the pilot and the other passengers, I was really irritated with the whole experience and was glad when we returned to our hotel and were away from the lot of them. 

Out of everything we experienced in Namibia, the scenic flight was the only thing that I regret doing and would not recommend. It was also expensive (3500 Namibian dollars per person), and, in my opinion, not really worth the money.

Thank QveenB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2017

Seven of us booked the Sossusvlei Scenic tour which meant we were in a slightly bigger plane. We were 4 men and 3 women of varying weights and heights (basically, the men were a lot heavier and bigger than the women). We informed the company of our details as requested and took as little with us as possible due to the weight restrictions we were told of. We believed we were close to the maximum.

When we lined up at the plane, my husband who was the biggest of our group asked if he could sit in the front seat for the leg room which the pilot said was fine. He then pointed us into individual seats which turned out that the men (the heaviest) were all on the rhs while the women were on the lhs. My husband asked whether one side was better than the other as I am a very keen photographer, and the pilot said he moved around so that both sides had a good view. But this turned out to be false.

The only time the lhs had the best view was at Deadvlei and the return to the coast was ok too. But once on the coast the lhs was over the water the whole time and we didn't see the seals or flamingoes. I was terribly disappointed. And to make matters worse, the male friend sitting opposite me felt motion sickness after only 10 minutes in the air, so he didn't take much notice of the whole trip. It was too noisy to ask the pilot to give those of us on the lhs a view.

I don't know how the pilot chose whom to sit where - certainly not by weight and not by camera quality. I had one of the best yet I was put next to the smallest window in the plane (the middle where the door opens).

Maybe another company or even pilot would do a better job. Unfortunately, I can't remember the pilots name.

As other reviews have said, it was very hot but that seems to be fairly normal in these small planes I discovered while in Africa. I recommend encouraging the air vent onto your face with your hands.

Thank NettyA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2017

The flight lasted about 2.15 hours and was in a very small plane that held five passengers, a Cessna 210. The views were wonderful and very varied. We saw deserts, seascapes, shipwrecks, Cape fur seals and towns. It was a experience not to be missed. It took off and landed from Swakopmund airstrip. I highly recommend this to anyone. One note is that you really need to fill the plane to get the cheepest deal as the cost for the flight is divided by the number of passengers.

Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2017 via mobile

The day prior, I booked a flight to go to the Skeleton coast thinking I would be flying north of swakopmund. When I arrived at the designated time the following day, the flight description indicated I would be going South over the dunes. I informed the staff that the Skeleton coast is north of the city. They tried to convince me that it was the entire coast of the country which it is not. They told me that the flight I really wanted was the one over the dunes. I ended up taking that flight and it was spectacular, but it was not the flight that I wanted.

Be careful and check the details of your request when booking.

Thank CalgaryTravelgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2017

Originally wanted to book months in advance, but with no guarantees of additional passengers to share the cost (it drops with each additional seat sold). Turns out most people book when arriving in Swakopmund, so this is what I finally did. Bookings suddenly filled up and I had a wonderful flight with a very experienced pilot. Great views of the Namib Desert on the 2.25 hour Sossusvlei option. Low level flying on the way back skipping over the dunes. Very exciting! Worth the money for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Photographers: adjust your white balance to account for the naturally blue tint you will get shooting through windows. Go with time value 1/2000 or better.

4  Thank Tom L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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