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Namibias Skeleton Coast - What to see.. (PART 1)

Posted on Wednesday, 16th Sep 2015

‘The Gates of Hell’ was the name that Portuguese explorers bestowed upon the unforgiving arid landscape now known as the Skeleton Coast. But don’t let the foreboding title disconcert you, this harsh territory is a wondrous vista of vibrant red dunes set against deep blue skies.

Now a national park, the Skeleton Coast is divided into a northern and southern section by rivers. The local wildlife includes desert-adapted elephant and giraffe, oryx, springbok, rugged roaming lions (if you’re lucky) and the secretive brown hyena.

Roaring Dunes
You will find dunes wherever you go on the Skeleton Coast. Dunes near the coast are one of the few places in the world where travellers can experience the ‘roaring dunes’ phenomenon, an upheaval of sand grains and air create a loud rumbling that could be mistaken for a low-flying plane!

Shipwrecks
The remains of shipwrecks are dispersed along the coast and bear witness to the lethal effect on ships that earned the Skeleton Coast it’s name. The Eduard Bohlen (1907) is one of Namibia’s most well-known shipwrecks due to its location about 500m from the ocean! Many years ago, after the ship ran aground, the sandy beach began to annex the coastline until the wreck was stranded in the middle of the desert.

Cape Cross
In 1486 a Portuguese explorer, Diego Câo, placed a cross at his place of arrival in honor of King Johannes of Portugal. Unfortunately, the authentic cross was removed by a German sailor named Captain Becker in 1893. The cross that stands on that spot today is a replica of the original, erected in 1980, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the initial landing.

Cape Cross Seal Reserve
One of the main tourist attractions at Cape Cross certainly has to be the seal colony, a breeding place for Cape fur seals. There are 24 colonies along the Namibian and South African coast with a total seal population of about 650 000, 100 000 of which reside at Cape Cross! 

Posted in Jewels of Southern Africa

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