A Flying Experience At The Skeleton Coast

Posted On November 16, 2009 

Primary info

The northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia, located in south-western Africa (area 8,25,418 square kilometres) and southern Angola  (area 1,24,6700 square kilometres) is called the Skeleton Coast. To the east of the Skeleton Coast lies  Kaokoveld and Damaraland. The former is known to be one of the last great wilderness in the southern part of the African continent and is inhabited by the Himba people while the latter is home to the Damara people. The Namib Desert lies to the south-east of the coast.To its south lies the Walvis bay. How did the Skeleton Coast get its name? The indigenous Bushmen of Namibia termed the coast as ‘The Land God Made in Anger’ while the Portuguese crew and sailors called it as ‘The Gates to Hell’. The coast has been mainly named after the carcasses and remains of whales that littered the coast during the days when whale hunting was widely practised. Besides, presence of namibia skeleton coastgreat many shipwrecks caused by collision on the rocky offshore owing to poor visibility has also justified the name of the coast.

Geographical features

Geographically, the Skeleton Coast is an inhospitable place. The coast is mainly flat with occasional appearance of rocky surfaces. The southern part of the Skeleton Coast features gravel plains while in the north it is marked by high sand dunes. The area experiences very low rainfall  and is very arid. Besides, dense fogs often caused by Benguela Cuurent cover the coastal area.

Wildlife on the Skeleton Coast

Despite being an area of inhospitable climate, the Skeleton Coast bears a considerable wildlife population. The rivers in the areas (Kunene River and the sub-terranean Ugab River) feed the area with food and water thereby enabling elephants, giraffes, black rhinos, babboons and lions to sustain themselves.Also birds like springbok, ostrich, gemsbok, dabchicks, avocets, Egyptian geese, moorhens, flamingoes, plovers and other small waders as well as the Black Harrier is found here. Besides, the moisture brought by the ocean fog supports the growth of dune-dwelling insects, reptiles and small mammals. Ghost crabs, brown hyena and jackals are also common residents of the area. The considerably rich fauna in the area has moved the authorities set up Skeleton Coast National Park over 17,000 square kilometre area.

Skeleton Coast Safari

Skeleton Coast offers tourists and visitors a wide range of scopes of recreational and entertainment. For instance, the Skeleton Coast Park. It is a beautiful landscape with much diversity. Roaring sand dunes, windswept plains to towering canyons, saltpans to freshwater springs, the area is home to some of the most fascinating natural features. The camp is located about 20 kilometres from the coast. It has six Meru-style tents having spacious bedrooms. The central part of the camp, which has an open lounge and dining area, allows a sweeping view of the confronting desert. Activities at Skeleton Coast Camp include exploration of the unique and wild environment. Taking a long walk into the opening with picnic bags and returning in the evening is a popular venture for the tourists. Some of the other attractions in and around the Skeleton Coast Camp are: clay castles, roaring dunes, seal colonies and of course, the shipwrecks.

Serra Cafemaserra cafema namibia

One of the most remote camps in southern Africa, Serra Cafema is only accessible by a three-hour airtrip from the national capital Windhoek. The place is located on the banks of Kuenene River in hartmann Valley. Serra Cafema is a geographical marvel which features a green settlement surrounded by the vast arid landscape of the Namib Desert that extends upto the Serra Cafema mountain range. The camp is a quiet and peaceful nest and offers some of the most picturesque accomodation facilities. Activities here involve trekking around the adjoining Namib Desert and the green river oasis which gives one a contrasting feeling of enjoyment. There are also arrangements of bike excursions through the sand dunes and boating on the Kunene River.

Flying safari

There are a lot of agents who provide such one-stop-scheduled safari airtrip to and from Skeleton Coast. Tourists can avail light aircrafts manned by qualified commercial pilots to make round trips to Skeleton Coast, Skeleton National Park as well as to Serra Cafema from Windhoek. These trips can be tailor-made to the convenience of the tourists and can be accomodated as per one’s budget.

Skeleton Coast Fly-In Safari Itinerary: (the route photo can be given here:

Here is an idea of how you would plan your air safari to the Skeleton Coast and back (4 day trip):

Day 1

Start from Windhoek. You can view the spectacles of the Kuiseb canyon and the adjoining red dunes as well as the wreckage of the famous Eduard Bohlen ship at Conception Bay. The aircraft will land at the coastal city of Swakopmund. After taking off again, you pass through the seal colony at Cape Cross. Here you can make a light beach picnic. Thereafter After you sail through the desert to the Ugab formations to the Huab Valley where you can call it a day.

Day 2

After breakfast, you can hire a jeep to explore the colourful Huab River formations and to be introduced to the ecological aspects of this environment with its wide diversity of flora and fauna. From here, the flight starts along the coast to the Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park where the shipwrecks of Montrose and Henrietta can be witnessed. You can again explore the beach with a jeep/landrover. Thereafter, the flight starts northbound to the Purros camp in the Hoarusib Valley in Kaokoland, where you can halt for the nigh.

Day 3
Kunene River

The day can start with a scenic drive along the Hoarusib Valley to the settlements of the nomadic Himba people. Here you can, if luck favours, come across the desert elephant. From here the air journey continues further to the Kunene River on the namibia-Angola border. The Kaiu Maru shipwreck can be found in this part of the coast. From the airfield, you hire a landrover to the lunch site. After lunch you can explore through the mountains and dunes of the Hartmann Valley upto the Kunene River where you camp for the night, the last of the tour.

Day 4

The day can be spent in and around the Kunene River to observe birds and some reptiles. Birds of different species can be found during the trip. After lunch, you can start for Windhoek. (You can also include Sossusvlei, NamibRand Nature Reserve and Etosha National Park in your itinerary)

Fishing pleasure: Torra Bay and Terrace Bay are the two names bound to be popular with those who harbour passion for fishing. 100% per cent booking gets over in December is the month when booking is There are signposts clearly marking boundaries of the fishing areas between Torra Bay and Terrace Bay (41 kilomtres apart). You will receive a list of fishing regulations on entering the park. These regulations are to prevent depletion of fish resources.

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