Skeleton Coast Guide

4x4 Adventure on the Skeleton Coast.
Activities at Skeleton Coast in Namibia include hikes on the Ugab River trail, fishing, scenic flights, vising the Cape Cross Seal Colony, Kunene River excursions and 4x4 adventures.

Explore the Skeleton Coast with a 4 x 4 and Light Aircraft

There are different options to choose from. You can only travel as far as Terrace Bay with a 4x4 vehicle toexplores the southern section of the park, visiting shipwrecks, ancient river canyons, clay castles, salt pans, the roaring dunes and rock engravings. A variety of Namib Desert dwelling animals, birds and marine creatures can be seen.

To get to the remote northern interior you will have to take an exclusive fly-in excorsion, which combines aspects from the southern and northern sections of Skeleton Coast Park. On these adventures you can enjoy various activities including desert walks and drives, Kunene River excursions and visit a remote Himba tribe. The luxury accommodation is in truly isolated spots in the park and on the Angolan border depending on the operator.Other self-drive itineraries, 4x4 adventures and fly-in tours visit Skeleton Coast Park, Damaraland and Kaokoland in a variety of combinations showcasing different aspects of these mysterious inland areas. From this side there are great opportunities to see Desert Dwelling Elephant, Giraffe, Rhino, Oryx and even Lion amongst many other animals.

For a self-drive safari you can travel into the park from Xhorixas in Damaraland, passing dunes and ancient Welwitschia plants or take the long and often foggy drive along the West Coast from Henties Bay. Staying on the road is important. Off-road driving is not permitted because of the fragile plants that grow along the coast. You can only go as far as Terrace Bay though and accommodation must be reserved there.

You can explore the ancient Ugab and Huab riverbeds, walk carefully on the gravel plains and stop off at shipwrecks en-route. Animals that may be seen in the Skeleton Coast, Namibia, include many coastal bird species, Black-Backed Jackal, Brown Hyena and Cape Fur Seals. The driving distances are vast and day trips should be well planned if you intend leaving the park before the sunset closure, or overnight accommodation should be booked well in advance.

Fly over the ship graveyard on the Skeleton Coast in Namibia

Flying over the magnificent Skeleton Coast reveals the magnitude of the coastline and the many shipwrecks and animal bones that litter the sands. This Atlantic coast is subject to violent storms and thick fogs - a nightmare for passing ships over the years. Survivors from a wreck would probably have perished in the razor sharp rocks and rough surf of the Skeleton Coast or walked for miles along the endless beaches without finding water.

During a scenic flight along the interior of the Skeleton Coast you can enjoy the beauty of the mountainous Namib Desert as well as attractions in Damaraland and the Kaokoveld. This once-in-a-lifetime experience can be done as a day-trip generally from Swakopmund or Windhoek or as part of a fly-in safari which can also combine Sossusvlei and even Etosha National Park.

Hike The Ugab River Trail, Skeleton Coast, Namibia

This is a wonderful experience for experienced hikers. Small groups guided by a Nature Conservation Ranger discover the Skeleton Coast while crossing the Namib Desert gravel plains and by exploring beautiful rock formations of the Ugab River Canyon. The hike continues inland to some natural springs at the foot of the escarpment. Hikers will see flora and fauna that have found ways to survive this harsh environment. This is a winter season hike and takes place over 3 days and 2 nights.

Visit the Cape Cross Seal Colony at Skeleton Coast

Just north of Henties Bay is a massive Cape Fur Seal colony which has established itself at Cape Cross. Diego Cao, a Portuguese seafarer, was the first European explorer to get ashore in 1486. He arranged for a cross to be erected to honour the King of Portugal. The passage of time here saw many ships wrecked on the Skeleton Coast in Namibia and the rise and fall of a thriving seal and guano industry.

Today, a newer version of the cross has been set in a terraced area and you can see up to 300 000 fur seals at Cape Cross, Skeleton Coast, Namibia, year round. This is a noisy and smelly adventure but to observe so many in one place is a big attraction. Bull seals are at their fighting best toward the end of October and seal pups are usually born at the end of November or early December. The Seal Colony is open for viewing every day.

Fish along the exciting Skeleton Coast

The Atlantic coastline of the Skeleton Coast in Namibia is a haven for anglers. Henties Bay is dedicated to angling and deep sea fishing is a major attraction. There are lots of holiday houses at the mouth of the Omaruru River. The village is a very popular destination during holiday periods and when major competitions take place at the end of the year. Further north, Torra Bay and Terrace Bay offer spectacular fishing although accommodation is more rustic and booked long in advance in the holiday season in Namibia.

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