Provocatively named, the Skeleton Coast region of Namibia, offers to share her secrets and outstanding beauty with you, the intrepid traveller. This region stretches along Namibia’s coastline from the northern Kunene River to the Ugab River in the south and is home to a wild variety of animals, legends and luxury experiences.
The best way for you to experience the dramatic and mysterious Skeleton Coast is to find a luxury accommodation base and then hike or drive along this stretch of coastline. Indigenous inhabitants used to call this area ‘The Land God Made in Anger’ and the Portuguese knew it as ‘The Gates of Hell’; it has long been a graveyard for ships and marine animals particularly whales whose skeletons are still washed up on the beaches on a regular basis.
Although wild and harsh, the region is home to a greater variety of species than any other park in Southern Africa. Keep an eye out for the reclusive desert-adapted elephant and the predators such as lion and cheetah. These well-known animals are not the only ones you need to be wary of, the large armour-plated lizard, Gerrhosaurusskoogi, scours the dunes in search of edible vegetation and has been known to strike out at humans. There are rumours of beach-combing lions looking for a little seafood action and the Kunene River is home to crocodiles and the snappish Nile soft-shelled turtles, the only breeding home for these animals in the world.
This is a land of unbelievable contrast so you won’t be surprised to hear that you can find gemstones on beaches – carpets of semi-precious stones glittering in the sun. You may not take anything out of the park so don’t think you have struck it rich! The beautiful dunes, wild seas and crystal block sand dunes will keep you occupied for days.
The Skeleton Coast beckons all nature lovers, adventurers, photographers and explorers with its wild, mysterious offerings. You won’t be disappointed.
Cape Cross Seal Colony
The Cape Cross Reserve is situated 120km north of Swakopmund and home to one of the largest colonies of Cape Fur Seals in the world. At times you will find up to 210 000 seals in the reserve. In mid-October the bulls come ashore to establish breeding colonies while they wait for the pregnant females to arrive. A single bull can establish, through much posturing and chest-to-chest combat, a harem of between seven and sixty-six females!
Many ships have come ashore on this treacherous coastline; the most famous of them all is the Dunedin Star. In November 1942, this Blue Star Liner heading to the Middle East carrying passengers as well as munitions ran aground. The crew’s distress signal was heard in the port of Walvis Bay. Some survivors made it to shore; a bomber was sent from the Cape of Good Hope with supplies and water for them but when trying to take off again, got stuck in the sand. A second bomber arrived to replenish the supplies by dropping them; it crashed into the ocean on the return trip. A ship called Nerina made it to the site but could only pick up 29 of the survivors, leaving 63 behind. A convoy dispatched from Windhoek had vehicle difficulties and had to turn back and the second convoy managed to drive within 3km of the survivors and then had to walk the rest of the way. They all made it back to Windhoek on Christmas Eve, nearly a month later. This harsh land is not for the faint-hearted.
4 Nights | 3 Days
Experience the haunting beauty of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast on this unique four day safari. Traveling by light aircraft and hosted by the renowned Schoeman Family this once-in-a-lifetime journey allows you a bird’s-eye view of some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth.
Price On Request
Cape Cross Lodge offers you a bit of luxury on the harsh Skeleton Coast. Comfortable rooms, great views and a unique desert experience is on offer from this luxury lodge.
From $565 USD Per Person Sharing
Serra Cafema is located in the extreme north-west of Namibia on the banks of the Kunene River in Hartmann's Valley and offers exotic activities such as guided walks, nature drives and quadbike excursions.
Price On Request
Choose an exclusive safari experience by staying at the Skeleton Coast Camp. Fly-in for a luxurious tented stay in the midst of 300 000 hectares of the magnificent Skeleton Coast National Park.
Price On Request
Skeleton Coast Safaris continues its tradition of hosting extraordinary desert experiences for small groups to the Skeleton Coast and its hinterland.