Some animals found in the Skeleton Coast area
The harsh environmental conditions have led to the evolution of numerous plant and animal species that are specially adapted to survive in the desert. In some parts of the Namib Desert, the regular fog flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean condenses to sustain plants and provide sufficient drinking water for some animal life which is sparse but plentiful. Because of the heat most of the animals operate by night and sleep or burrow during the day. Keep your eyes peeled because nature is full of surprises.
Some bird species found in the area
There are over 200 bird species that have been recorded in the Skeleton Coast area. Many of the birds are sea birds
By - Burg Voigts
Cunene River Mouth
By - Ulf Langhinrichs
A Colony of Seals
By - Gilmour Family
Skeleton Coast main road
By - fabrizio farsetti
By - Jan Gous
The Skeleton Coast runs from the Swakop River in the south to the Kunene River in the north. Namibian Bushmen called it the "The Land God Made in Anger", while Portuguese sailors used to refer to the Skeleton Coast as "The Gates of Hell". It is a very hostile stretch of coastline and its unpredictability has claimed many lives and sea going vessels.
The Skeleton Coast is unique and has been the subject of many wildlife documentaries over the years dealing with the adaptations to extreme aridity by various plant, animal and insect species. Most of the plant and insect species that live on the sand dunes depend for their moisture from the thick sea fog which engulfs the coast regularly and their food and supplements from the detritus which is blown from the interior.
By - Christian Rempfler
The Eduard Bohlen
By - james chaser
See the Skeleton Coast with Google Maps
Easy to navigate just read the instructions on the left.
The swelling and movement of the cold Benguela current gives rise to dense ocean fog, referred to as "cassimbo" by the Angolan people, and this fog can be seen just about all year round. The gusty winds blow from the land out to sea, taking all the clouds with it, which is why the annual rainfall rarely exceeds 10mm. The beaches are constantly pounded by strong heavy surf and in the days of human-powered boats it was impossible to launch from the shore.
The name “Skeleton” comes from all the bleached whale and seal bones which covered the shore when the whaling industry was still active, as well as the skeletal shipwrecks caused by minimal visibility in the dense, ever-prevailing fog. Over a thousand vessels of various sizes and from all over the world, have sadly met their demise along the Skeleton Coast and they litter the coastline from south to north. A few of the better known wrecks in the region include the Eduard Bohlen, the Otavi, the Dunedin Star and the Tong Taw.
The coast is generally very flat with occasional rocky outcrops. The southern part has gravel beaches consisting of smooth rounded stones of all shapes, colours and sizes while north of Terrace Bay the landscape is dominated by high sand dunes and in areas magnificent sandy beaches.
Namibia declared a 16,000 km˛ area as the Skeleton Coast National Park which covers most of the area, from the Ugab River in the south to the Kunene River in the north, which is the Namibia Angola border. The northern half of the park has been designated a wilderness area with many notable features such as the clay castles of the Hoarisib, the Agate Mountain salt pans and the huge seal colony at Cape Fria.
The southern area of the park lies between the Ugab River and Terrace Bay and strict measures have been taken to preserve the ecology of the Park. Entry permits for casual visitors are only available for day trips and are available at the two entry gates namely the Ugab River in the south and Springbokwasser in the north.
The northern wilderness area lies between the Hoanib and the Kunene Rivers making up close to 70% of the park. The northern region is strictly off-limits to independent travelers and is only accessible via fly-in safaris operated by official, registered safari guides.
Torra Bay Rocks
By - Heugi
Eish SA would like to thank the above mentioned organisations for their information supplied to create the "Amazing Places" pages.