Skeleton Coast

“The Land God Made in Anger” is what the Khoisan people historically called this harsh and unforgiving region of Namibia, but the Skeleton Coast is in itself an apt description of this untamed stretch of desert on Namibia’s northern coast. The Atlantic Ocean is rough and collides with the desolated, sandy shores with vigour, while intimidating dunes rise up to meet the waves. It is a truly astonishing part of the world inhabited by desert-adapted animals. The Kaokoland Conservancy is the protected area inland of the Skeleton Coast where a handful of lodges offer specialised visits to this unusual paradise.

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Littering the seashore, and even further inland between the deserted dunes, are skeletons of whales that have washed up or become beached here. Mingled with those are the rib cages of elephants, horned skulls of the oryx, or the vertebrae of giraffe, belonging to animals that have succumb to the Skeleton Coast’s harsh environment. Ancient shipwrecks stand partially submerged and rusty in the sea, and others stand crookedly in the sand in their last resting place. This is a fascinating, historic, naturally unique, and alluring destination in Namibia, and must certainly be visited by those seeking the roar of the dunes.

Accommodation on Skeleton Coast

Serra Cafema Camp

Serra Cafema Camp

Set under trees on the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema Camp is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa. Guests can truly disconnect, unwind and relax to the sound of rushing water, and explore one of the driest deserts in the world. Respectful interaction with the semi-nomadic Himba community, fascinating nature walks, boating, and low-impact guided quad-bike excursions complete the experience. The eight chalets are set on elevated decks and crafted in wood, canvas and thatch to create a unique camp that is at one with its surroundings and celebrates the culture of the Himba people.

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Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge

Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge

Uniquely designed around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like Shipwreck Lodge. In fact, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like the Skeleton Coast. It’s a raw, rugged and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas. Shipwreck Lodge has eight twin or double rooms, and two family tents if you’re bringing the kids, all ensuite and solar-powered.

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Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

In a remote area of the Kaokoveld, with gravel-strewn plains and dry riverbeds that draw fascinating wildlife, lies Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. Explorations of this isolated yet diverse area take place via game drives along the riverbed’s narrow ribbon of vegetation, where a surprising wealth of desert-adapted animals can be found, while the research centre provides further insights. The desolate Skeleton Coast with its shipwrecks and noisy colonies of Cape fur seals is accessed either by a fascinating drive or scenic flight, depending on the weather.

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