A hauntingly beautiful coastal wilderness.
The desolate Skeleton Coast gets its name from the bleached whale and seal bones which covered the shore when the whaling industry was still active, and the shipwrecks there caused by the unseen rocks in the fog. The vast, coastal wilderness of the Skeleton Coast and the rugged mountains of semi-desert Kaokoland at the northern tip are Namibia at its most remote. You can get a sense of this barren coastline from the south self-driving but f you want to conquer its remotest northern corners you need to fly in to Kaokoland to stay at one of the two exclusive camps there. The ultimate way to do it is to take an amazing 3-4 night flying safari which works its way up the coast in mobile camps to areas unreachable by vehicle.
Did you know?
- At Cape Cross, you’ll find an isolated stretch of rocky shore covered by a huge (and rather smelly!) Cape fur seal colony, which, in November, is swelled by young pups.
- In the more northern reaches of Kaokoland, you can explore the soaring sand dunes, plains and mountains with your guide and have the privileged opportunity to meet the Himba people and learn about tribal customs and desert survival techniques of these indigenous semi-nomadic pastoralists.
- Serra Cafema Camp is located in the extreme north-west of Namibia and has to be the most remote camp in Southern Africa. For those who appreciate truly wild places, the journey alone to Serra Cafema is one of the most exciting in all of Africa.
- The Welwitschia plant is endemic to the Namib desert and is unique in the plant kingdom as it only grows two leaves and can live up to 1000-1500 years! It’s known as a living fossil.
- Flying up the skeleton coast is an amazing experience looking down on huge sand dunes, deserted diamond mines and shipwrecks which litter the shoreline. A must on any Namibian safari.
- Life in the desert is sustained when cold air from the sea hits the warm desert air and forms a fog which drifts inland and provide moisture for the desert flora and fauna.
- The fog has been the cause of the many shipwrecks you can see all up the coast.
- The Kunene river is the river of life which is the border between Namibia & Angola, and is home to some huge crocodiles.