Imagine cold green surly seas, windswept beaches, cold misty air… and you have Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.
Skeletons of all kinds, natural and man-made abound along this coast. It is still debated as to the true origin of the coast’s name.
Driving along the salt roads of the Skeleton Coast, windswept coastlines and eerie low blackened sand dunes (lichen fields) are your constant companions. And then the most interesting breaks in this scenery appear, such as these salt stands. Salt mining is still present, but you get the feeling it was once booming and is now in decline.
The cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Benguela Current provide rich food sources for many animals. The most prolific species you will find along this coast, and you will likely smell them before you see them, are Cape Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus). I was prepared for the smell as I was pre-warned, it was the noise I wasn’t prepared for. Thousands of female seals calling and looking after thousands of baby seals, was a sight, smell and sound to behold. And, OH, did I tell you about the smell?!
Greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) can also be found in very large numbers, spending most of their time feeding in the lagoons of Walvis Bay. Other water birds, such as Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus), are also prevalent. I am attracted to the pink and yellow of these white birds!
Skeleton Coast… it is the wild west of Africa.