Malaria & Safety – Skeleton Coast NP

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.


Skeleton Coast NP is very remote with almost no facilities. In-depth exploration of the park is not recommended for inexperienced self-drive visitors. Driving in convoy of at least two fully-equipped 4x4 vehicles is recommended and an excess of water and fuel should always be carried. A satellite phone can be rented in Windhoek and is a good backup for remote areas.

Malaria-Free & Vaccinations

Skeleton Coast NP is a malaria-free zone, but if you are visiting other destinations in the country where malaria poses a threat, it is recommended to take anti-malarials. It is also important to apply a minimum 30% DEET mosquito repellent and wear protective clothing. You will get further information on such topics at your travel clinic, which you should definitely visit before your trip. There are several vaccinations you will need prior to your departure.

Wildlife Viewing

There aren’t many dangerous animals in the park, but the river system sometimes attracts safari animals from further inland, such as lion and desert elephant. Most people come here for birding and, although wildlife is scarce, care needs to be taken when disembarking from your vehicle. Caution should always be exercised anywhere that wild animals may be. If you are on an organized tour, you should make it a practice to always observe the directives given by your guide. If you’d like additional information, please consult our ‘wildlife viewing safety precautions’ below.

Further advice on limiting dangers and annoyances when traveling:

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