The Skeleton Coast is dramatic, wild and unbelievably beautiful - like nowhere else in Africa, this area is quite simply one of the most breathtaking and unique places on earth. The Atlantic Ocean crashes onto a shoreline where seals congregate in colonies of thousands, against a backdrop of sand dunes taller than skyscrapers. The Skeleton Coast is a must-see for any Namibia itinerary.
The main attraction of the Skeleton Coast is the fact that the entire coastline here is so utterly different from anywhere else in the world. It is such a unique place that it is actually very difficult to explain the appeal.
At first glance the Skeleton Coast appears somewhat empty and haunting, but closer inspection reveals an ecosystem full of life - colonies of seals mix with flamingos and pelicans, whilst further north long-haired brown hyena hunt with jackals and the occasional beach-based lion pride. This is wildlife viewing quite unlike anywhere else in Africa.
Many a ship has failed to navigate this coastline; wrecks litter the shoreline. Diamond mines and ghost towns, all signs of Namibia's fascinating history, are found in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet.
Skeleton Coast: where to stay
There are a few lodges catering for the self drive market, primarily Cape Cross Lodge and Terrace Bay.
However, to fully appreciate the scale and majesty of this area, we recommend a flying circuit rather than self-driving. Two companies excel in this market, the first of which is the Schoeman brothers' Skeleton Coast Safaris company, which offers no-frills accommodation but an unbelievable level of experience and guiding knowledge. Skeleton Coast Safaris are well-regarded amongst safari addicts as providing one of the best safari experiences in all of Africa, let alone just Namibia.
Wilderness Safaris also run their Skeleton Coast Camp in the area and offer similar experiences as the Schoemans, albeit based at and operating from the main lodge rather than flying between different camps.