Expert Reviews – Skeleton Coast NP
Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The empty bleakness of the desolate Skeleton Coast
The strong currents and swirling fogs of the Atlantic have long been a hazard to ships (and unlucky sailors) on the unusual coastal wilderness of the Skeleton Coast. However I find the dead-flat saltpans, barren stony plains and desolate beaches, featureless and uninspiring and there are better places in Namibia to experience the beauty of the Namib Desert. The only reasonably diverting place to visit is Cape Cross, where thousands of Cape fur seals unfathomably decide to sit on the same overcrowded rock. It’s a compelling sight, but I find the smell (of dead fish) somewhat challenges the senses. Turning inland the road becomes more interesting – the occasional gemsbok or kudu may be spotted in the scrubby low mountains, or an unusual desert welwitschia plant growing in a dry riverbed. After exiting the park in the east, the far more enticing Damaraland and Kaokoland awaits.