- Fax: coming soon!
- Tel: +264 818 001 820 Mobile: +264 81 344 0085
At the mouth of the Ugab Rivier, some 200 kilometres north of Swakopmund, officially starts the Skeleton Coast. Since 1973, it has been protected as the Skeleton Coast National Park, which stretches 500 km up north to the Kunene River at the Angolan border. The remote northwest of Namibia, known as Kaokoland (or the Kunene Region), is home to dramatic scenery, small populations of game and the Himba people – and beside it lies the equally remote coastline of the famous Skeleton Coast.
Dense fogs, mighty storms and violent surf in the past caused many ships to run aground along the Skeleton Coast, and the desolate coastline has become known as the world's biggest ship graveyard. Those who were shipwrecked and managed to swim through the roaring surf and reach the coast, still didn't stand a chance of survival because waterless, hostile, 300km wide coastal desert awaited them.
Along the coast from Swakopmund moving along of the coast is known as the National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area. This area will give you a good feel for what the Skeleton Coast is like desolate and barren. However, despite this harsh environment, you will still see evidence of life when you look hard enough, lichen fields, vegetated dune hummocks, insects, snakes, and jackal.
The first amazing sight you come across is an enormous breeding colony of Cape fur seals at Cape Cross. You can detour here en route to Damaraland, or stay for a night at the cosy Cape Cross Lodge. Further to the north, deep within the Skeleton Coast National Park, Terrace Bay is a simple government-run rest camp about six hours' drive north of Swakopmund. It's the only place to stay for a very long way!
Most visitors come to Namibia for its wild areas, not its towns, but both Swakopmund and Walvis Bay make ideal bases from which to explore little-visited parts of this coastal desert. You can drive yourself to some, but to access the best and to really learn about them, spend a day with an expert guide. Several operators run tours of the towns, as well as speciality excursions, focusing for example on gems, or up the coast to the seal colony at Cape Cross. There’s also one company taking visitors into the townships.
The Sandwich Harbour trip is by far the most popular, and includes historic sites in the Kuiseb Delta, bird-rich lagoons at Walvis Bay and Sandwich Harbour (tide permitting), and some of the desert’s more unusual flora and fauna.
The Welwitschia Drive is a route through the desert with numbered beacons at points of interest, culminating in one of the country’s oldest welwitschia plants. Part of the drive is the ‘moon landscape’, or ‘moonscape’ – a rolling, barren area of rocky desert formed by the valleys around the course of the Swakop River. It’s a spectacular sight, often spoken of, and best viewed by the slanting light of mid morning or late afternoon.
The Namib trip explores the Swakop and Khan River valleys, including some historical sites from World War I, considerable desert wildlife and the Moon Landscape – with Welwitchia plants.
Both trips start at about 8.30am at your hotel, and end around 5pm; a delicious lunch is included, usually served at a magnificent spot in the desert. Private trips, tailored to guests’ interests, are easily arranged.
Walvis Bay with its prolific birdlife, Swakopmund a quaint desert town hedged by desert and sea and the Skeleton Coast a remote wilderness.’
Walvis Bay lagoon has large flocks of flamingos, Cape pelicans and migrant water birds whilst Swakopmund is a quaint town and Namibia’s original holiday resort situated on the Atlantic Ocean.
The Skeleton Coast earned its reputation from the many ships that met their demise due to fog and strong currents. It is an area of pounding seas, the Namib Desert and a stark but beautiful interior