© Nova Fisher 2015

Hoanib to The

Skeleton Coast

We drove to Mowe Bay on the Skeleton Coast through varying dramatic landscapes. We visited the Cape fur seal colony and a remote museum filled with very interesting items, most of which had been washed up on the shores. We enjoyed a surprise picnic lunch on the beach before flying back to the Hoanib camp on a light aircraft from which we enjoyed the stunning views of the landscape. When we left Hoanib to go to Swakopmund we flew at low height so could view the coastline from the air. We flew over many shipwrecks and also the Cape Cross seal colony.

The Skeleton Coast

Eerie and hauntingly beautiful, this treacherous coast is a foggy region with rocky and sandy coastal shallows that has long been a graveyard for unwary ships and their crews. It is an astonishing sight with shipwrecks scattered all along the shores. The name, Skeleton Coast, was invented by author, John Henry Marsh, as it was the title for the book he wrote chronicling the shipwreck of the Dunedin Star, the most famous shipwreck that ran aground in 1944. Her grounding became famous because of the perilous conditions facing the survivors after they landed on the desolate Namibian shore and their rescue, at the cost of other lives, another ship, a big aircraft and a number of army trucks. On the coast the cold Benguela current gives rise to dense ocean fogs for much of the year. The winds blow from land to sea, rainfall rarely exceeds 10 millimetres (0.39 in) annually and the climate is highly inhospitable. There is a constant, heavy surf on the beaches. The coastal fog travels inland by up to 120km. 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'.