Taking the African Desert by Private Plane

Lovely by jeep. Charming by camel. Mind-blowing by private plane. As you'll soon discover...

Presenting The Namibia Experience, a desert-hopping adrenaline tour down Africa's dune-loaded Skeleton Coast, taking reservations now.

Your steed for this mission: a five-seat propeller plane. Your pilot: Andre Schoeman. A TOPGUN fighter pilot during the Bush Wars of the 1970s, Andre knows things. Dangerous things. Also: tons about plants.

The journey begins in Sossusvlei, an ancient desert with 1,000-foot-high dunes (the world's highest). You'll conquer them by sandboarding—basically, snowboarding minus the snow. (We're envisioning a cross between Shaun White and Lawrence of Arabia.)

Andre will then take you to Swakopmund—an old German colonial town you may recognize as the backdrop for The Prisoner. It's the kind of shimmering coastal environment you'll want to trample under a quad bike at the local ATV park. And trample you will.

Your accommodations will change nightly. One spot's built into solid rock face that doubles as a rehab center for cheetahs. (We hear they did great work for Chester.) Another houses Namibia's largest private space observatory. So come nightfall, you'll be treated to a private stargazing session with one of the country's top astronomers.

In case you couldn't see them from the plane.