Namibia’s entire coastline is known as the Skeleton Coast, named for the bones left over after whaling expeditions, seal hunts and also for the remaining ribs of the many ships that have found themselves crushed on the shore.
The Skeleton Coast National Park is found between the borders of the Uqab River in the south and the Kunene River, which rises in the Northern Angolan Highlands. The park protects around 500 km of the country’s most remote and inaccessible coastline, and 16 400km² of prime Namibian wilderness.
Although the desert can be harsh and unforgiving, it is also one of the most fertile deserts in the world. The cold waters of the Benguela current run through the Atlantic, creating freezing land-bound winds, which meet the desert heat – creating an incredible clash of cold, misty air that moves through the desert – depositing moisture on the way.
This has created a desert region that is home to a staggering 247 species of bird and hundreds of reptiles and insects. Around the park’s two perennial rivers and the many seasonal streams, visitors can find desert-adapted elephant, lion, black rhino, cheetah, leopard, brown hyena and antelope species like kudu and Oryx.
The Atlantic Ocean is rich with life and orcas, humpback whales, Cape Fur Seals, turtles and amazing populations of game fish are all found off the park’s shores.
Geographic features like gemstone beaches, salt flats and pans and colossal dunes in the northern regions of the park, make the Skeleton Coast National Park one of the most diverse and unique parks in Southern Africa.
No trip to Namibia is complete without a visit here.