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Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, reserved for intrepid types

“Skeleton Coast”…   an evocative name for Namibia’s bleak and savagely inhospitable northern seaboard – a maritime graveyard for unwary ships over the centuries whose surviving sailors only came ashore to die in the pitiless wastes of the Namib Desert

This area properly includes the National West Coast Recreation Area north of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast Park from the Ugab River north to the Kunene.

The National West Coast Recreation Area is a frequent haunt of regional fishermen providing excellent angling. Cape Cross Seal Reserve north of HentiesBay is Namibia’s best known breeding colony of Cape fur seals.

The Ugab River Hiking Trail is a 3-day hike across the coastal plain into the jagged mountains and canyons of the interior.

The Skeleton Coast Park comprises two main areas:

  • The southern region of the park between Ugabmund and Terrace Bay marks the southern-most habitat for large animals along the Namib Desert coast. Very strict measures to preserve the ecology of the Park are in force and entry permits for casual visitors are only available for day trips.
  • The northern Skeleton Coast Wilderness between the Hoanib (Mowe Bay) and Kunene Rivers makes up nearly 70% of the Park. This truly desolate region provides the only realistic chance of seeing desert elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion but is strictly off-limits to independent travellers and land access is only via fly-in safari operated by the official concessionaire.