If you drive up the West Coast of Africa from Cape Town, you eventually get to the Skeleton Coast, the northern part of this Atlantic coastline in Namibia. It is south of Angola from the Kunene River, south to the Swakop River, and many people call the entire Namib Desert coast the Skeleton Coast. In fact, this is where the beach meets the desert.
This wild section of African coastline in Namibia was once called “The Land God Made in Anger” by the indigenous San people and also “The Gates of Hell” by the Portuguese explorers. The reason?
The Skeleton Coast gets its name from:
Despite the hostile character of the Skeleton Coast, there are quite a number of wild animals and fascinating plants to observe:
The name “Skeleton Coast” was coined by John Henry Marsh as the title for the book he wrote recounting the shipwreck story of the Dunedin Star. The book was first published in 1944 and has since become so well known that the coast is now generally referred to as Skeleton Coast and is given that official name on most maps today.
The Skeleton Coast is mostly soft sand interspersed with rocky outcrops and most of it was proclaimed within the Skeleton Coast National Park, established in 1971 and reaching a vast 16,845 km2. The park is divided into a northern and southern section:
Find the National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area south of the Skeleton Coast Park. It forms part of the Skeleton Coast Park but is an individual coastal stretch of more than 200 km long from the Ugab mouth south to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. This area is full of fish so is a paradise for anglers and a biodiversity hotspot.
The Cape Fur Seal also love the fish – find them in huge colonies especially at Cape Cross, one of the largest colonies, an unforgettable experience.
Take your family on a breath-taking holiday to a wild, moody, misty and unpredictable coastal desert wilderness – a Skeleton Coast safari is the ultimate thrill for families and friends up the Namibian West Coast!
Choose exquisite sand dune camps and lodges close to the wild ocean yet protected from the elements. Kids will feel in awe at this epic environment and want to run free in this vast magic place so take them on all the offered outings. Many of the Skeleton Coast camps offer game drives, guided walks and tracking the desert-adapted rhinos, elephants and lions that survive in these parts.
There are even tours to climb huge sand dunes and sandboard all the way down again. Or to get on a zooty quad bike and explore the region on your own set of 4 wheels. Most Skeleton Coast camps and lodges feature swimming too and staff are kind and keen to make a difference to your kids’ holiday experience. Treat your family to this once in a lifetime experience in the Namibia wilds of the awesome Skeleton Coast – a time to be active and to be quiet, a time to chat and a time to listen. Nature beckons.
Plan a Namibia tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to premier wildlife destinations south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the infinite spaces of the Skeleton Coast, and in the Skeleton Coast National Park. We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in and around this rugged coastline, in lavish sand dune lodges, splendid family resorts, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature. Take a look at some beautiful sand dune and desert based camps here for starters.