Explore Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

There is so much to see and do do at Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. Picture: Supplied.

There is so much to see and do do at Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. Picture: Supplied.

Published Sep 1, 2017


Historically, Namibia’s Skeleton Coast has been synonymous with despair and shrouded by secrecy. The Khoi-San people call it ‘The land God made in anger’. Portuguese sailors dubbed it the ‘Ports of Hell’. Despite its infamy, the Skeleton Coast’s aquatic allure is very much alive.


In the past, whale and seal bones once littered the shore from the whaling industry. These days, the coast harbours the skeletal remains of shipwrecks caught by rocks and fog. It may not sound attractive, but even the fog caused by the clash of the cold Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert’s arid heat offshore, is eerily beautiful.


Your drive will be dependent on where you’re coming from, however, rest assured, both routes will be a real treat. You can drive north from Swakopmund, past Cape Cross, and watch the Cape fur seals, before entering the Skeleton Coast National Park via the Ugab gate in the south.


The Skelton Coast stretches for 16800 sq/km and making a stop there is a dream for tourists in love with mystery and history. Just looking at the coastline littered with the rusty, metal shipwrecks is a flashback to a time long past.


If you’re a fishing enthusiast, stop by and cast your rod into the beautiful water, and you may reel in the freshest catch of the day. Budding photographers can snap seals and gulls that have made their home along the desolate shores . . . you may even spot scavenging jackals or brown hyenas as you drive.


For more wildlife, the dry riverbeds linking the interior to the sea are home to scores of game, including desert-adapted elephant and rhino, herds of antelope and predators. If you come across any of these animals, slow down and when it is safe to do so, proceed with caution.


Avis Rent a Car advises renting a 4x4 vehicle with low range, such as a Toyota Fortuner when travelling the treacherous terrain of mainly gravel roads. It is one of the recommended vehicles for the gravel terrain that is synonymous with Namibia and it is best suited for the 60km/h drive.


The Skeleton Coast may appear to be draped in darkness, cold and unforgiving — but, once you’ve seen its mesmerising landscapes, you’ll want to visit again and bring your friends with.

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