Skeleton Coast Park
Established in 1971, The Skeleton Coast is the coastline that extends from the Ugab River, just past Henties Bay, in the South all the way up to the Kunene River in the North which borders Angola. This coastline route is round 500km and covers an area of 1, 6 million hectares. This park protects about one third of Namibia’s mysterious coastline. The San people refer to this coastline National Park as “the land God made in Anger” due to all the shipwrecks, their rescue stories as well as just survival in the desert. There are a select few rusty shipwrecks to be found however over the years many have slowly eroded away. The park is so remote and in many parts so hard to access leaving the park with a very eerie forgotten feel. But this is what makes it such an attraction. You virtually feel like you on your own and new to exploring something unexplored. Adding to its mystic feel, almost daily, fog is blown in from the cold currents of the Benguerra which meets up with the warm air of the Namib Desert and it rises over dunes and makes it way inland for the morning. The moisture from the fog feeds the desert plants and lichen. You can almost picture the scene on the coastline with its curvy windswept dunes tucking away rugged canyons and extensive mountain ranges.
The park offers game drives, animals found on the plains in this park are desert elephant, springbok, jackal, gemsbok, ostrich, brown hyena, black rhino, black manned lion, giraffe and not to forget the Namaqua chameleon ; so unique to the desert .The Himba people do live in the park , the northern section right through to Angola.
Northern Sector of Skeleton Coast is a private tourism concession and restricted to fly in safaris only the southern Section is open to general public and can be accessed by vehicle – 4x4 only and there is limited entry.
Some draw card’s to the region and must see’s
- Clay castles of the Hoarusib
- Lichen Fields – Along the Messum Crater route in the park, you will find one of the richest lichen stretches in the Namib Desert. (lichen is the symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi)
- Himba Villages
- Saltpans near the Agate Mountains
- Seal Colony of Cape Frio – there is about 250 000 Cape Fur Seals that gather at any given time. Best times to see them are Mid October when males fight for breeding rights and late November/early December when all the pups are born. This happens over a few weeks.
- Adventures on this coastal trip are endless – from quad biking, sand-boarding, skydiving, sea kayaking, paragliding, ocean cruises, surfing and horse riding to name but a few.