Travel Idea

The Skeleton Coast

Desolatae. Harsh. Epic


The Skeleton Coast is a desolate and inhospitable stretch of coastline located in the northern part of Namibia, along the southwestern coast of Africa. It is renowned for its stark beauty, harsh conditions, and numerous shipwrecks scattered along the shore.

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The Skeleton Coast is a place of both natural beauty and historical intrigue, offering a glimpse into the challenges faced by sailors and the resilience of life in one of the world's most extreme environments.

Ben Nelson

Geographic Location

The Skeleton Coast extends from the Angola-Namibia border in the north to the Swakop River in the south, covering a distance of approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles).

Harsh Environment

The coast is characterized by dense fog, strong ocean currents, and cold sea breezes. The Benguela Current, which flows northward along this part of the Atlantic Ocean, contributes to the often frigid and inhospitable conditions.


The Skeleton Coast is notorious for the numerous shipwrecks that dot its shoreline. The combination of treacherous seas, dense fog, and shifting sandbanks has led to many vessels meeting their end along this unforgiving coast

Flora and Fauna

Despite its harsh conditions, the Skeleton Coast is home to a variety of wildlife. Seal colonies, jackals, and desert-adapted elephants are among the species that inhabit the region. The cold waters offshore are rich in marine life.

Best time to visit

As a desert characterized by the absence of seasonal rains, the Skeleton Coast experiences consistently warm and dry days year-round. However, evenings may turn cool, and the presence of morning fog can create damp and chilly conditions.

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Namib Desert Influence

The Namib Desert, one of the world's oldest deserts, extends inland from the Skeleton Coast. The desert's towering sand dunes meet the cold Atlantic Ocean, creating a unique landscape where the desert meets the sea.

National Parks and Conservation

Much of the Skeleton Coast is protected within the Skeleton Coast National Park. This park is known for its efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems and wildlife.

Human History

The coast has a long history of exploration and trade. The Portuguese navigators were among the early European explorers to venture into these waters. The name "Skeleton Coast" is thought to have originated from the numerous whale and seal skeletons, as well as the skeletal remains of shipwrecks, that are scattered along the shore.

Restricted Areas

Access to certain parts of the Skeleton Coast, especially those with sensitive ecosystems or cultural significance, may be restricted to protect the environment.

Speak to an expert

Our travel itineraries offer suggestions for exploring the Skeleton Coast, showcasing routes that we have found to work exceptionally well. Consider them as sources of inspiration, as your journey will be crafted uniquely by one of our specialists.

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