Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is shrouded in mystery and a place of great extremes; where the seemingly endless desertscape collides with a frigid and rugged coastline. The consistently rough seas and dense ocean fogs, known to the locals as ‘cassimbo’, plagued sailors of the past with legendary peril, and today the coastline is steeped in a fascinating shipwreck history.
This formidable and vast expanse which stretches from the Swakop River in Namibia to the Kunene River in Angola was described by the first Portuguese settlers as ‘The Gates of Hell’, whereas today it provides a remote sanctuary nearly untouched by man. It truly is a place which is perfect for travelers who want to get completely off the grid and experience nature in one of its rawest states.
Visitors to the region will be captivated by the awe inspiring moonscapes and fauna and flora which have adjusted to the regions challenging environment and turned it into a surprising oasis of unusual desert adapted life including the incredible desert lions,
black rhino and desert elephants. The Welwithcia tree, also known as a living fossil, is one such strange dessert dweller and has been found to live to an incredible 2000 years old.
The best camp to stay at is Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. Operated by Wilderness Safaris, it is the perfect base from which to enjoy an indepth encounter (in the company of excellent guides ) with the fascinating wildlife and phenomenon of this surreal corner of the planet.
We suggest that only way to access the Skeleton Coast is by aircraft, and, arriving from above, the aerial views of the sparse patterned landscape and adjoining turbulent seas, gives a powerful appreciation for the sheer remoteness of the area. Once on land, immersed in a landscape of endless vistas and towering sand dunes, the hustle and bustle of the outside world falls away and is replaced with a deep sense of peace of quite. At night the sky looms large with celestial bodies and immerses those below in the mysteries of our solar system and beyond, unbridled by even the slightest light pollution.