Perhaps unsurprising given its name, the Skeleton Coast is a barren and treacherous stretch of land. However, a trip here is one you’ll never forget. Much of the Skeleton Coast National Park is not accessible by vehicle. Instead, try a fly-in safari to appreciate this vast and unusual coastline from a different perspective.
It truly is an intimidating and daunting destination. This is emphasised by the large skull and crossbones that sit on the entrance to the Ugab River. As you glide along the coast, look out over the ocean and take in the craggy coastline. Be amazed at the strong currents and shifting sandbanks. You may even be able to see the wrecks of ships abandoned here by early explorers. Some are just a few metres from the shore.
Stroll through the hills to find the Ugab formations. They’ve been carved into the rockface by wind, sea and sand, so are a truly unique sight. The clay castles at Hoarusib Canyon should also be on your itinerary. As you travel around the Skeleton Coast, look out for the local flora and fauna. The ancient welwitschia plants are stunning, and desert-adapted elephants, giraffes and hyenas all hide in the dry river valley.
Very few travellers make it this far north of the Cape Cross and there are strict regulations for travellers exploring the park. Visit the Namibian Wildlife Resort offices in Windhoek or Swakopmund to make sure you have an uninterrupted stay.
The Skeleton Coast is iconic, but in a very different way to the rest of Namibia. There’s a tinge of danger and excitement that surrounds the craggy rocks and golden shoreline. The early Portuguese settlers called this place “as areias do inferno” (the sands of hell). This gives you a great idea of how treacherous this area can be.
However, experienced travellers will thrive in this unique destination and will be well rewarded for their bravery. It may look underwhelming at first, but when you’ve made your way through the lichen fields and craggy beaches, you’ll suddenly realise what an achievement it is to traverse this landscape.
The Skeleton Coast is a true wilderness and an opportunity to test yourself and your adventure skills. Don’t miss it during your trip!
Plan your trip to the Skeleton Coast today.