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Desolate, inhospitable Namibia's coast is breathtaking...
The Skeleton Coast National Park
Namibia's Skeleton Coast is located in one of the planet's most beautiful yet most harsh terrains.
Over the past few years access to this rugged area has become more restricted, and currently the only way to access the location is by visiting Skeleton coast camp on a fly in safari. Almost 660,000 acres of the National Park has been designated as an exclusive safari area. So for those wishing to truly blow out the cobwebs there are only six tents at Skeleton coast camp surrounded by a vast, wild, desolate and hauntingly beguiling area. Skeleton Coast gets its name from the unfortunate carcasses of both ships and whales strewn against the harsh unforgiving coastline.Because of the uniqueness and vastness of this area, most activities are done in 4x4 vehicles that are closed to the elements, although all vehicles have pop-top roofs and sliding windows to enjoy the fine weather. There is however plenty of opportunity to walk and stretch the legs too. Activities include either full-day nature drives or walks with a picnic lunch, returning to camp in the evening, or half-day nature drives or walks returning to camp for lunch and venturing out again in the afternoon.
Your days at the Skeleton Coast will be filled with exploration with a friendly and qualified guide who will take you to vast pastel-coloured desolate plains; towering canyons and mountain ranges; salt pans; impressive seal colonies and beaches that are literally strewn with whale bones and the sea-worn hulls of fated vessels.
After a few days in the Skeleton Coast you become familiar with the silhouettes of wildife, a lone jackal hunting out seal cubs or a gemsbok (oryx) stood motionless in the sand dunes. In the riverbeds you can encounter desert-adapted elephant, giraffe and other species.
Due to the Skeleton Coast’s pristine and protected nature this area has many parts that are accessible only on foot, as vehicle tracks can damage the environment. Many specially-adapted plant species such as Lithops and Welwitschia can be visited in this way.
Other excursions comprise visits to the clay castles of the Hoarusib River, Rocky Point, the roaring dunes, lichen fields, Cape fur seal colonies, Himba villages, and birding. Shipwrecks, now fast being devoured by the salty and vigorous coastline, can be viewed on request. Secret water seeps attract wildlife, so guests can see desert-adapted elephant, gemsbok, springbok, giraffe, ostrich, brown hyena, Hartmann's mountain zebra and occasionally lion and cheetah.
The arid Skeleton Coast environment is within the northern reaches of the Namib Desert. The cold sea breeze caused by the Benguela Current helps to moderate temperatures here and also brings life-sustaining moisture to the desert from the coast. The Skeleton Coast is not the location for a beach holiday, the coastline although stunning is a hard environment. Most mornings, the cool ocean mist collides with the hotter desert air producing a moist coastal fog that envelops the coastline, creating a sense of mystery and impenetrability as well as providing precious moisture for the inhabitants of this area.