The Skeleton Coast is an extraordinary coastal stretch of some 500 km in Namibia, as haunting as it is intriguing. In this place the icy and powerful Benguela Current of the Atlantic meets the dunes and desert of north-western Namibia. This is an earth-canvas that bears the skeletons of stranded whales, the wrecks of ships beaten by rough seas on voyages never completed, and interesting wild animals that have adapted for life on an unsympathetic landscape. Travellers to Africa make the journey to the Skeleton Coast to witness this starkly beautiful region that has no comparison.
Skeleton Coast: Land of Intensity
The appeal of the Skeleton Coast lies in its unforgiving intensity. The Bushmen called it “The Land God Made in Anger“; Portuguese sailors described it as “The Gates of Hell“. The elements on this land are intense and belligerent, seemingly at odds with one another. Ruthless events of nature have marked the landscape vividly, in story-trails of ships spewed ashore in rough seas, and in the heavy fog that often casts a dense mantle over this area of the coast.
The Skeleton Coast falls within Namibia’s Skeleton Coast National Park, established in 1971 and spanning 16 000 square kilometres from the Ugab River to the Kunene. The northern half of the park is a wilderness area and features the clay castles of the Hoarusib River, the Agate Mountain salt pans, and a large seal colony at Cape Fria.
WHERE TO STAY ON THE SKELETON COAST
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp lies in a remote area of the Kaokoveld, where desert-orange plains and dry riverbeds attract some remarkable kinds of wildlife that have adapted to life in the desert. Explore the remarkable Skeleton Coast from this wonderful tented base that looks out over a rugged valley and towards the usually-dry Hoanib River. Eight en-suite tents make marvelous cocoon-spaces in this faraway wilderness. Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is also a centre for research and conservation of desert-adapted predators.
Activities from the Camp
- Explore the immense landscape on guided nature drives and see the area’s desert-adapted wild animals.
- Enjoy full-day trips to desert oases to see wildlife coming to drink, and also a variety of birdlife. The excursion includes a picnic at a scenic spot on route.
- Explore the dunes on walks from camp, and find traces of the ancient Strandloper lifestyle.
- A full-day Skeleton Coast excursion is offered to guests who stay for three or more nights. This is a fascinating 4×4 trip to the coast via the wilderness of the Hoanib River and floodplain and the dune fields and Klein Oasis. The Skeleton Coast brings sightings of Cape fur seal colonies and shipwrecks. Return to camp on a flight that reveals the incredible landscape from the air.
- Interact with wildlife researchers at the Hoanib Research Centre about current research on the unique desert-adapted lion.
Mail us to book your trip to Skeleton Coast, or elsewhere in South and Southern Africa. Speak to us on +27 21 797 7122.