The Skeleton Coast

The haunting and evocative Skeleton Coast of Namibia

A road trip up the West Coast of Africa from Cape Town leads intrepid travelers to the haunting and evocative Skeleton Coast, a remote Namibia safari destination.  This is where the cold Atlantic Benguela Current clashes with the desert dunes, an astonishing 40 km wide and 500 km long. This treacherous stretch of coastline along Namibia’s western shore has claimed many a ship and is littered with wrecks. All about the Skeleton Coast here.  Stunning rustic eco-lodge accommodation hides in the dunes. 

The indigenous San called it “The Land God Made in Anger” and the Portuguese explorers called it “The Gates of Hell” – for these reasons:

  • It’s a hive of elemental energies where the cold Benguela current causes dense ocean fog.
  • Erratic winds blow constantly from land to sea and rain barely falls. 
  • High, wild waves relentlessly pound the beaches, barren of all life.
  • It is impossible to launch or land any boats here.  

Did you know?

The Skeleton Coast is so named due to the many whale bones that once littered the shore from the whaling industry and the skeletal remains of more than 1000 shipwrecks.  


  • Some rare animals have adapted to the hostile Skeleton Coast including desert-adapted elephants, rhinos, lions, brown hyenas, jackals, giraffes, seals, oryx, and even cheetahs.
  • Intriguing plants depend on the daily fog from the Atlantic Ocean such as Welwitschias, !Nara melons, succulents, and the largest orange lichen field in the world. 
  • The Ovahimba people from the far north used the whale bones lying on these beaches for building their huts.
  • Hiking here is eye-opening and helps to protect the pristine region – and maybe meet a Himba tribe too. 

Contact Voyage2Africa today to develop your Skeleton Coast tour in Namibia!

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