The perfect safari holiday on the Skeleton Coast
Remote, wild, desolate but beautiful stretch of coastline
Unusually named and eerie to visit, the Skeleton Coast runs for over 500kms from the Swakop River all the way north to the Kunene River, which marks Namibia’s border with Angola. The coastline is the point where the hot desert air meets the cold ocean currents, often resulting in a thick shroud of mist, adding to the other-worldly feel to a visit here.
Indeed, it is these mists that have contributed to the name ‘Skeleton Coast’, as it is littered with wrecks from ships that strayed too close to the shore when making their passage along the African continent. These shipwrecks, along with bleached whale skeletons led to the name being coined in 1944 by John Henry Marsh as he wrote a book about the Dunedin Star, one of the vessels that met her fate along the coast. Other prominent wrecks include the Eduard Bohlen, Benguela Eagle and Otavi.
One of the most unique features of a tailor made Skeleton Coast holiday is that, despite its foreboding location and an almost complete absence of rainfall (just 10 millimetres a year), it is home to an amazing array of wildlife. Whilst not common sights, visitors may be fortunate enough to see elephants strolling across the coastal dunes and lion or hyena feeding on dead seals along the wild, surf-lashed beaches.
Despite its fame, there has been little opportunity to visit the Skeleton Coast until relatively recently, with just a handful of simple coastal resorts found at its southern tip and the exclusive flying safaris operated by the Schoeman brothers being the only way to see it. That has all changed through, with two luxury desert camps, as well as a unique offering perched on the coastal dunes now open and welcoming visitors to this incredible area for a luxury Skeleton Coast tour. The whole area really is a microcosm of Namibia as a whole: wild, remote with few people, incredible landscapes and desert-adapted wildlife that, despite all the odds, thrives in an area where few humans have ever set foot. This really is a true bucket list destination and however you choose to experience it you will be utterly captivated by the dramatic landscapes and hardy wildlife.
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