Skeleton Coast Namibia, A Graveyard of Shipwrecks
The words “Skeleton Coast” paints a dark picture. A graveyard of shipwrecks brings to mind Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones movies and many other adventure stories. Well you are bang on! Skeleton Coast in Namibia gets it name from the countless ships that wrecked into its banks over the year. The Portuguese who lost many ships here called it “Gates of Hell“. For some reason it also reminds me of the Elephant Graveyard. Thats for another day and another post.
Though named “Skeleton Coast National Park”, the coastal line leads to the Naimiba Desert, which extends till the Kunene River - the lifeline of wildlife in the region.
Famous Shipwrecks of Skeleton Coast
Eduard Bohlen is the most famous ship, naturally because of the sheer size and how far off its from the current sea border. Weighing a total of 2,272 gross tons and a length of 310 feet, its bout 1/2 a mile away from the shore. Below is a picture of Eduard Bohlen buried deep in the Skeleton coast sand.
Safari & Wildlife – Skeleton Coast National Park
Most of Skeleton Coast is not accessible by vehicle even if its a 4×4. With miles and miles of desert sand before any civilization, venture with a car is a high risk proposition. the most preferred Skeleton Coast Safari is by air. There are a few tour companies operating in the region and prices are more or less comparable.
Surprisingly there is ample wildlife in Skeleton Coast Park, most of which have adapted to the dry living. Famous animals include – plenty of crocodiles by Kunene River (be very cautious), closer to the river you will find elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, springbok, black rhino and many more. The national park is also home to 200+ species of birds and many desert reptiles. Last but not the least are the famous Cape Fur Seals of Skeleton Coast that flock to the coast in 100s.
How to get to Skeleton Coast
The nearest international airport is (Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport – airport code is WDH) in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. From the airport its ideal to take one of the fly in safari tours, so that you get a short flight to the Skeleton Coast region. Your other options is a car ride to camps – either ways organized tours is highly recommended.
Staying in Skeleton Coast: Cape Cross Lodge is a good value accommodation and for a more comfortable luxury stay you can choose the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (which is available only to those who take the flying Safari option with them)