Namibia: Skeleton coast
The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic coast of Namibia, 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 Hell".
The area's name derives from the whale and seal bones that once littered the shore from the whaling industry, although in modern times the coast harbours the skeletal remains of more than a thousand shipwrecks caught by offshore rocks and fog. In the days before engine-powered ships and 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 via a hot and arid desert.
Adventure outfitters in Swakopmund organize day trips along the southern part of the Skeleton Coast using kayaks, catamarans, quad bikes and 4x4s. Visitors can also hop aboard scenic flights that skim low across the sea and sand which guarantees unforgettable views.