Skeleton Coast, Namibia – February 2004

Map: Wikipedia (Click on map to enlarge)

From Wikipedia

The Skeleton Coast (German: Skelettküste) is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region “The Land God Made in Anger”, while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as “The Gates of the bad place”.

On the coast the upwelling of the cold Benguela current gives rise to dense ocean fogs (called “cassimbo” by the Angolans) for much of the year. The winds blow from land to sea, rain fall rarely exceeds 10 millimetres (0.39 in) annually and the climate is inhospitable. There is a constant, heavy surf on the beaches. In the days of human-powered boats it was possible to get ashore through the surf but impossible to launch from the shore. The only way out was by going through a marsh hundreds of miles long and only accessible through a hot and arid desert.

The coast is named for the bleached whale and seal bones which covered the shore when the whaling industry was still active, as well as the skeletal shipwrecks caused by rocks offshore in the fog. More than a thousand vessels of various sizes and areas litter the coast. Notable wrecks in the region include the Eduard Bohlen, the Otavi, the Dunedin Star, and Tong Taw.

Read more . . .

Below is the view with your back to the coast, looking inland at a salt pan. Beyond that lie the mountains and the Namib Desert.

Credits: Photographs: Willie (WMB); Photo processing and text: Lisa @ Notes from Africa | Photoblog


About lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)
This entry was posted in Nature ● Environment, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Skeleton Coast, Namibia – February 2004

  1. hemlock1981 says:

    Thank you for taking us here. The history is interesting!

  2. What great photos and what a fascinating place–amazing to see those ships’ skeletons buried in the sand!

  3. bagnidilucca says:

    Great pictures. I haven’t been to Africa – apart from Zanzibar – I am looking forward to following your blog.

  4. Such an interesting place – I had been reading about it last year and had added it to my bucket list of places to visit. I’m going to need a better job to afford all the traveling I want to do.

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