7 Things To See Along Namibia's Skeleton Coast

Situated just 10km (6 miles) inland from the port of Luderitz, Kolmanskop is famous for its abandoned buildings drowning in sand dunes
Situated just 10km (6 miles) inland from the port of Luderitz, Kolmanskop is famous for its abandoned buildings drowning in sand dunes | © wiggijo / Pixabay
Rukee Kaakunga

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is no doubt one of the world’s most hauntingly beautiful places. Known for its treacherous climate, braving the foggy mornings or windy days comes with many rewards with so many amazing things to do and see.
Comprising an area of almost 17,000km2 (6,500 square miles) from Swakopmund to Namibia’s border with Angola, the Skeleton Coast has rightfully earned it’s name because of the scattered animal bones and shipwrecks that can be seen all over this picturesque strip of land. They serve as a constant reminder of an eerie past.

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Find endless inspiration for photographs

The entire Skeleton Coast is a photographer’s playground with spectacular scenes providing beautiful backdrops for photographs. Whether you wish to immortalise the shipwrecks or bring life to the animal bones you might come across, photo opportunities will meet you everywhere.

A shipwreck on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

Scenic flights

An aerial view of the Skeleton Coast is a must-see when visiting this part of Namibia. How else will you get a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent desert meeting the Atlantic Ocean? Or the incredible Cape Cross seal colony along the Ugab Canyon, or, better yet, the shipwrecks that make the coastline as special as it is? There are various accredited flight options available via the Namibian Tourism Board.

Where the desert meets the sea

Visit the Cape Cross seal colony

The Cape Cross fur seal colony is situated in the same area where, in 1486, Portuguese explorer Diego Cao set foot on the coast of Namibia. Today, more than 200,000 Cape fur seals call the spot north of the Henties Bay fishing haven home.

The Cape Cross seal colony is one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world

See black rhinos at the Ugab River Rhino Camp

Situated outside the Skeleton Coast Park, this campsite is administered by the Save the Rhino Trust. This remote landscape is truly enigmatic, and those who’ve visited have only glowing comments. To get a higher chance of spotting a black rhino, tourists can camp out at Ugab Base Camp which is situated near Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg.

A black rhino in Namibia

Birdwatching along Sandwich Harbour

Sandwich Harbour, situated in Dorob National Park, is 56km (34.7 miles) south of Walvis Bay. Now deserted, the harbour once served as a trading and fishing port. The area is now an excellent birdwatcher’s paradise, and the Sandwich 4×4 tour company also offers half- and full-day trips as an alternative day out.

Hike along the ancient Ugab and Huab Riverbeds

For adventurers, the Ugab and Huab Riverbed terrain makes for the perfect terrain for a hike. Explore the wonders of this mountainous terrain that stretches all the way to the mighty Brandberg, known for it’s White Lady ancient rock art.

Brandberg rock art in Namibia

Take a historical trip through Kolmanskop

The ghost town of Kolmanskop is home to German architectural buildings drowning in sand dunes blown in by the strong wind storms that frequent this part of Namibia. With each building bearing a unique story of its own, the town can be both haunting or devastatingly beautiful – depending on how you look at it. The town is popular with photographers who are mesmerised by the desert swallowing what used to be a thriving mining settlement.

The ghost town of Kolmanskop is full of deserted buildings submerged in sand
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