SKELETON COAST
WHY TRAVEL HERE?
  • The Skeleton Coast National Park in the Namib Desert is located between the Ugab and Kunene Rivers, where they open into the Atlantic Ocean. 

  • The Park covers an area of 1,600 sq km, but is divided into two sections, north and south; each covers an area of about 800,000 hectares. The narrow strip of coastline is no wider than 40 km. 

  • The Skeleton Coast, so-called for the unfortunate seafarers, ships and whales that met their ends here, is distinguished by its sheer physical grandeur, isolation and colossal sand dunes. 

  • This enigmatic coastal landscape comprises beaches, massive sand dunes, huge salt pans and gravel plains – generally, an inhospitable, waterless area. 

  • Four major riverbeds, quicksand, deltas, and springs are also found here. 

  • The dense fogs, which hang in the air for much of the year, cool the days and add to the eerie and mysterious atmosphere. 

  • The animals have adapted to life in these harsh conditions but, understandably, in sparse populations. The northern restricted area is the most populated with wildlife and the species found here include baboon, the rare brown hyena, black-backed jackal, Cape fox, caracal, cheetah, elephant, genet, giraffe, gemsbok, honey badger, kudu, lion, Hartmann's mountain zebra, and black-faced springbok. 

  • The larger animals, such as the lion and desert-adapted elephant, migrate along the channels in search of food and water. 

  • A large Cape fur seal colony can be found at False Cape Frio on the mouth of the Hoarusib River. 

  • The dunes are alive with reptiles and insects, including geckos, snakes, spiders, wasps, beetles, and termites. 

  • Bridlife is found mostly along the rivers and some Namibian endemic species can be found in this area, including one of the rarest terns in the world. 

  • Some 300,000 waders visit the region annually, mainly flamingos and pelicans. 

  • Over 100 species of lichen can be found on rocky outcrops reached by coastal fog, which brings life-sustaining moisture to the desert's flora and fauna. 

  • The Park is open throughout the year and the climate is typical of a desert; high temperatures by day and very cool by night, often windy. 

  • The winter months of April to September are the best to enjoy cooler days. 

  • Activities: Not as demanding as the Fish River Canyon, the Ugab River Hiking Trail is a picturesque 50 km trail that includes coastal plain, then ascends the hills passing through the fields of lichen, past natural springs and caves and other unusual geological formations. Exploring dry riverbeds and the 100 or so shipwrecks in the cooler months is another option while fishing off the beaches is renown and gathers enthusiasts from far afield. Visits are conducted to authentic Himba settlements by Skeleton Coast Camp.

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MORE INFORMATION

A misty fog hangs in the air for a lot of the year which cools the days. The National Park is open throughout the year and the climate is typical of a desert, high temperatures by day and very cool by night, often windy. The winter months April to September are best recommended to enjoy cooler days. 

 

The Ugab River Hiking Trail is a 50 km trail that includes coastal plain, then ascends the hills passing through the fields of lichen, past natural springs and caves and other unusual geological formations. Exploring dry riverbeds and the 100 or so shipwrecks in the cooler months is another option while fishing off the beaches is renown and gathers enthusiasts from far afield. Visits are conducted to authentic Himba settlements by Skeleton Coast Camp. 

call:    Harare: +263 771 363 211 ;

             Victoria Falls: +263 772 147 631

email: beck@off2africa.travel

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