Skeleton Coast The Skeleton Coast starts at the mouth of the Ugab Rivier, some 200 kilometres north of Swakopmund. Since 1973, it is protected as the Skeleton Coast National Park, stretching 500 km up to the Kunene River at the Angolan border. With an area of 16,000 square kilometres it is the third-largest National Park of Namibia. The southern part - up to Terrace Bay - can only be accessed with a permit and for the northern part one needs to book a private safari company.
Left: Shipwreck at the Skeleton Coast. Right: Entrance gate to the Skeleton Coast at the Ugab rivermouth.
Dense fogs, mighty storms and violent surf in the past caused many ships to run aground along the Skeleton Coast, and the desolate coastline has become known as the world's biggest ship graveyard. Those who were shipwrecked and managed to swim through the roaring surf and reach the coast, still didn't stand a chance of survival because waterless, hostile, 300km wide coastal desert awaited them.
The most attractive stretch of the Skeleton Coast Park lies north of Terrace Bay, but it is closed to individual visitors. To gain an impression of the enormous expanse of this National Park one can book a flying safari.