The “Skeleton Coast”

Swakopmund to Terrace Bay, Namibia

Greetings from northern Namibia! We’ve been in some amazing and remote places.

From the red dunes of Sossusvlei, in the south, we drove along some pretty sketchy roads to Swakopmund, a very German town – more German than Germany apparently – on the Atlantic coast. The attraction here, besides the beer and bratwurst, are the sand dunes.

Accompanied by Berger & Titus, our guides, we drove along the coast, very close to the shore, through a gap between the ocean and the dunes that is only drivable at low and ebb tide, to Sandwich Harbour, where we parked and climbed into the dunes. Creamy white, and very fine, at times I felt like I was on the top of Whistler!

After two nights in Swakopmund we headed farther north almost to the border with Angola, along a stretch of the Atlantic called the “skeleton coast”. The name refers to the many ships wrecked along the shore, largely because of the fog, unpredictable and violent storms and the strong current.

Cape Cross is a sheltered harbour along the road that has become a seal colony. The photos don’t really capture the number of seals, nor the odour of so many seals. December was when the females gave birth, so there were many pups. So cute!

The end of the road, which felt like the end of the earth, was the town of Terrace Bay, a dreary fishing village that reminded us of what the arctic might be like. Our bungalow was a huge step-down from Kulala Desert Lodge, but the staff were so friendly and the emptiness so contemplative that the place kind of grew on us. Not enough to tempt us to stay for more than one night, but it seems to me that places like this exist to remind us of how irrelevant we humans are. When a setting is reduced to earth, sea and sky we are forced to face and accept our own insignificance.

But enough philosophy! Lack of internet and too much sand must have made me a bit crazy.

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