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Skeleton Coast Namibia

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The Skeleton Coast is one of the most remote destinations tourists can visit in Africa. Along the northwest coast stretches the Namib Desert. Currents along this shore are dangerous combined with thick fog and storms. Historically many ships ran aground on the desert shores with little hope of rescue or survival. It is often called the largest ship cemetery in the World. Huge numbers of whales were stranded off the coast. Their bones, along with the haunting wrecks of ships stick out of the sand for a stretch of 500 kilometres along this coast.


Despite the hostile character of the Skeleton Coast, there are numerous wild animals to observe. Examples include desert-adapted Elephants, Rhinos, Desert Lions, Brown Hyenas, Jackals, Giraffes, Seals, Oryx, Kudu antelope and Zebras.


The region is divided into two sections – the southern sector from the Ugab River to Torra Bay is accessible to everyone. From Ugabmund to Springbokwater a permit needs to be purchased. The area north of Torra Bay is considered the most beautiful stretch of coastline.  This area is restricted to a few tour operators who hold concessions to operate here. Charter flights are needed to access these luxury lodges.


Access: How to get to Skeleton Coast

The park is divided into two zones. The southern area is accessible to the public and the northern area, of which a small section can be accessed solely by one operator and only by strictly-regulated fly-in safaris.

Southern Skeleton Coast National Park

Extending from the Ugab River to the Hoanib River, this stretch covers a length of approximately 210 km. The park extends inland no more than 40 km. There are two gates into the park, one in the south, entering through the West Coast Recreational Area and the other in the east from Damaraland. Day visitors are allowed between sunrise and sunset and are not allowed to access the two campsites at Torra Bay and Terrace Bay.

Northern Skeleton Coast National Park

Often called the Skeleton Coast Wilderness, the area extends north from the Hoanib River to the Kunene River, on Angola’s border. One private operator has access here and this exclusive and remote camp is only by air.


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