The Skeleton Coast is a desolate coastline where the desert meets the treacherous Atlantic Ocean.
Huge sand dunes run onto miles of uninhabited sand beaches of the Atlantic. The Skeleton Coast earns its name from the many shipwrecks and the ghosts of their sailors that litter this eerie coast. The fog that rolls in from the Atlantic gives the entire coast a mystical feel. Over the years the desert sand starts to engulf the shipwrecks that are scattered along the coast.
There are some special and unique safaris to be experienced in the Skeleton Coast National Park. Over much of the past decade, access to this private area within the National Park has been restricted. From April 2000, however, a 10 bedded, luxury tented camp has opened and visitors can now fly in for a 4 or 5 day safari . The park covers over 1.6 million hectare and its divided into two zones; the southern section between Ugab and Hoanib rivers, and the northern section, between the Hoanib and Kunene rivers. Close to 300,000 hectares of this has been set aside as an exclusive safari experience for those who want to really get away! It is wild, desolate and uninhabited - and stunningly beautiful.
The attraction of this remote area lies in the colours, changing moods and untouched profiles of the landscape. The landscape ranges from soaring sand dunes, vast pastel-coloured plains to rugged canyons with walls of richly coloured volcanic rock and extensive mountain ranges.
The Ugab river is its southern boundary, and the park stretches north to the Kunene river..
The southern section of the park is accessible to the general public and attracts anglers from far and wide to its superb fishing grounds. The vegetation between the Ugab and Huab rivers is of the Central Namib type, while that north of the Huab is classified as Northern Namib. The vegetation is relatively spare, the most common species being dollar bush, brakspekbos and the occasional stands of ganna. Mammals along the coast are mainly limited to black-backed jackal, brown hyena and the Cape fur seals. Adjoining the northern section of the Skeleton Coats Park is Kaokoland inhabited by the Himba tribe who still live according to ancient customs and traditions. To the south of the park is Damaraland, inhabited by the Damara people, who have adopted western lifestyles.
Amazingly, animals have adapted to these harsh conditions. Freshwater springs permeate through the barren sands to create rare oases in the desert that sustain pockets of wildlife. Springbok, Gemsbok (Oryx), the rare desert Elephant, Cape Fur Seals, Brown Hyaena, Jackal, Ostrich and occasionally even Cheetah eke out an existence in this rugged terrain, alongside desert~adapted vegetation such as Welwitschia and Lithops, the succulent flowering stones.
Featured Skeleton Coast safari lodge maps
Damaraland Camp map: Damaraland Camp is a rare venture which integrates communities, the environment and sustainable wildlife
Skeleton Coast Camp map: Close on 300,000 hectares (660,000 acres) of the National Park has been set aside as an exclusive safari experience for those who want to really get away!