From the moment you fly in, it becomes immediately apparent why this coast was so feared by mariners. With its onshore winds, pounding waves and almost waterless inland landscape, it is a haunting, but beautiful natural wonder. This is another of Namibia’s iconic colour palettes. Inky Atlantic waves crash in foamy white breakers against a buttery beach littered with sun-bleached whale bones and ancient boat planking. This is the only place on the continent where lions have adapted to beach life. If you’re lucky, you may spot them feasting among anxious fur seal colonies — a unique example of how life indeed finds a way.
If you’re going all the way to the Skeleton Coast, how about staying in a shipwreck? This is the thinking behind Shipwreck Lodge
. Each of the 10 chalets is designed like a miniature of its namesake, albeit more comfortable. A 30 minute flight inland takes you to the rugged hills, desert plains and dunescapes of Kaokoland, to Shipwreck’s sister property, Hoanib Valley Camp
. Dedicated to the protection of stately Angolan giraffe, staying here offers opportunities to track black rhino and search for kudu and klipspringer, which have adapted to thrive in this sparse land.