Skeleton Coast with 500 shipwrecks, lions prowling the beaches and 11 types of sharks – World News


The region of Namibia gets its strange name from the countless animal bones strewn along the coast and the hundreds of wrecked ships left there for hundreds of years.

A lone desert-adapted elephant bull walks through a sand dune, Skeleton Coast, Namibia

It has 500 shipwrecks, lions prowling the beaches and 11 types of sharks.

But the sand dunes behind the shore are natural and apart from the shipwrecks, Namibia’s 1,570 kilometer coastline offers something different for visitors.

The Skeleton Coast goes against everything you thought Africa should look like.

Civilization is almost “non-existent” and CNN Travel describes it as the mythical “end of the Earth”.

Its reach encompasses the German colonial town of Swakopmund and the Angolan border, but the travel guide says its coast is “uninhabited and utterly wild”.

It takes its name from the animal bones and hundreds of wrecked ships left there for hundreds of years.







The wreck of the Eduard Bolhen, a miners’ supply ship that ran aground in 1909
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But if the wildlife is what you would consider Africa, you may spot lions, hyenas and other predators scouring the shore for food from the sea.

Other giants, including elephants, are sometimes seen taking to the surf which is home to 11 species of sharks.

There are few humans, but leopards, cheetahs and caracal cats, giraffes, gemsbok (oryx) and springbok can be seen along with neon flamingos and thousands of Cape fur seals.







Namibia’s Skeleton Coast isn’t what tourists expect to see
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Surfers enjoy the waves while others enjoy the pristine sand dunes where no one else has explored the beach and yours are the only steps in the sand.

Visitors can board a flight for a spectacular aerial view.

“Flying over the coast is insane,” says Jan Friede, longtime ranger at Skeleton Coast National Park and now bush pilot for African Profile Safaris.







A wreck on the Skeleton Coast, Namibia
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“You don’t want to swim too far,” warns one resident.

“The current will take you 200 kilometers away.”

But this, for surfers, is paradise and will see brave surfers seek out endless summer waves.

Based in Swakopmund, Element Riders offer Skeleton Coast surf safaris as well as surf lessons and even competitions.







Shipwreck of the trawler Zeila near Henties Bay located off the Skeleton Coast of Namibia in Africa.
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Based in Swakopmund, Element Riders offer Skeleton Coast surf safaris as well as surf lessons and even competitions.

“Surfing this high-energy coast, one of the least traveled on the planet, still involves sharing waves with marine mammals,” says longboarder Rod Braby, former head of the Namibian Surfing Association.

“Respect the locals (Cape Fur Seals and Dolphins) and you’ll be accepted into the line ups of the best waves on the Skeleton Coast.







A lioness running on a sand dune
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“Marine mammals know the waves much more intimately than we do.”

Sea Ace Fishing Adventures in Henties Bay offers expeditions along the coast with huge attraction.

About 500 ships are dispersed from Portuguese steel-hulled wooden galleons.

They are part of the unexpected coastline that most people would not expect to encounter on the African continent.







Clouds gather on the Skeleton Coast
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The Skeleton Coast is not without threats, including possible industrial port development at Angra Fria, commercial overfishing, wildlife poaching, mining

But given its extreme geography and harsh environmental conditions, Namibia’s inhospitable coastline is likely to be at “world’s end” for some time to come.

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