The Skeleton Coast is a stretch of land stretching down the northern coast of Namibia
, from the Kunene River in northern Namibia, to the Swakop River, further south. The landscape of the region includes mountain ranges, canyons, sand dunes, rocky outcrops, salt pans, and large gemstone beaches.
The region’s name is derived from the whale and seal bones once strewn along the shore from the whaling industry, and as some believe, from the skeletal remains of shipwrecks caught by offshore rocks.
The Skeleton Coast National Park
covers a large area of the region, measuring 16 000km², from the Ugab River to the Kunene. The Kunene River is one of the country’s only permanent estuaries, and boasts a feisty crocodile population. Further inland, the riverbeds within the park house wildlife such as black rhinoceros, springbok, lions, cheetah, giraffes, baboons, and Namibia’s famous desert-adapted elephant. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded in the Skeleton Coast National Park, and fishing along the coast itself is a spectacular, fruitful experience. Offshore, Benguela dolphins, killer whales and humpback whales can all be spotted.
The climatic conditions of the Skeleton Coast are strange to say the least: cold sea breezes and dense fog pervade, caused by the cold Benguela Current flowing offshore meeting with the extreme heat of the nearby Namib Desert
Attractions in the region range from the seal colony at Cape Fria, the miraculous gemstone beaches around Möwe Bay, the clay castles of the Hoarisib, and salt pans just north of Cape Cross. The well-known Namibian fog also led to a number of attractions along the coast: scores of shipwrecks over the years, including vessels such as the Dunedin Star, the Atlantic Price, The Seal and Kaio Maru. Many of these are well preserved, and can be seen during a fly-in-safari or scenic flight.
Accommodation along the Skeleton Coast ranges from luxury campsites, to lavish safari lodges, and outstanding resorts. The Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is scenically located, and characterised by its exclusivity, high standards, luxurious lodging, and commitment to service excellence.