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Skeleton Coast National Park

  • Kunene Region, Namibia

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 05 April, 2024

This deserted corner of north-western Namibia hides myriad charms beneath a façade of sun-baked desolation. Running for 500-kilometres south from the border with Angola, the coastline is named for the metal ribs of ships that have fallen foul of this treacherous coast and its enveloping fog.

Today, these wrecks are but one of the sights worth discovering: from a handful of eco-minded lodges in the region, visitors can also encounter raucous seal colonies and spot unique desert-adapted wildlife including elephant, rhino, lion and hyena. But the highlight is, quite simply, the enigmatic landscape of lonely beaches and shifting sands.

Logistics

Price from: £200
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The Skeleton Coast begins approximately 300-kilometres north of Swakopmund, but some of the most memorable landscapes are further afield, making a fly-in safari your best bet.

Much of the Park is off-limits to independent travellers, so you’ll need to book on one of the organised tours that visit the region or you stay in one of the lodges on private concessions in the Park – well worth the extra spend.

Shipwreck Lodge is a remarkable design-led lodge clinging to the shores of the Atlantic on a private concession, run by one of the most respected conservation-focused safari companies in southern Africa. They’re open all year round, and will organise all desert excursions and adventures in the surrounding dunes, including 4WD, quad biking, wildlife safaris and boat trips. It’s an exceptionally unique and special desert experience.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast is another excellent camp option, though further north towards the border. It features 8 luxury tents, a pool, dining under the stars and exceptional wildlife viewing.

If you’re staying at a lodge, you’ll generally self-drive (5 hours from Swakopmund, 4WD) or fly-in to Mowe Bay – they’ll collect you from there.

When to do it

The Park is accessible year-round, with the warm summer months a good time to visit, with less fog and an increase in migratory birdlife. Activities and wildlife vary little through the season.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

9 Day Etosha, Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei Camping and Lodge Safari

  • Windhoek

This 9 day tour is the perfect overview of Namibia’s highlights. Enjoy sightings of wildlife at the Okonjima Nature Reserve and Etosha National Park before immersing ourselves into the rich culture of the Himba tribe. We explore Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and visit the seals at Cape Cross before taking a short break from camping in Swakopmund, Namibia’s adventure capital. Here we can enjoy any number of adrenaline-inducing optional activities before starting our journey south. Our next stop after crossing the Tropic of Capricorn is Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, home to some of the world’s highest sand dunes. This tour is a combination of camping and lodging, and the ultimate Namibian adventure for those looking for a combination of an affordable and comfortable safari!

Price ZAR 33,000

Min age 5

Rating 5 / 5 [15 ratings]

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