The Skeleton Coast in northern Namibia is virtually uninhabited and the vast majority is largely inaccessible except for a select few who venture out on a flying safari. However, a new lodge, and the only one in the Skeleton Coast National Park, has opened up the area for more to visit. Even then, only 800 visitors are allowed a permit into the national park each year.
From the entrance of the national park at Ugab Gate, we drove as far as we could to Möwe Bay. We barely saw another vehicle during the four hour drive on the sandy gravel road. At Möwe Bay, we were picked up by a truck which drove another hour through sand to Shipwreck Lodge. Along the way, we stopped at the Möwe Bay seal colony and a few shipwreck sites.
Once we arrived at the lodge, we found ten cabins in the middle of nowhere facing the Atlantic coast with endless sand dunes behind them. Fitting for such a desolate place, activities are limited. We set off early the next day on the top of a Land Cruiser and drove through the Hoanib river, which is completely dry except when rain floods the river once every few years. As we made our way inland, the fog slowly lifted, the landscape changed and wildlife appeared. We saw oryx, springbok and birds like the Egyptian goose and secretary bird. At the end of the drive, we saw the famous clay castles formed over the last 15,000 to 30,000 years.
Our last day was spent quad biking through the sand dunes behind the lodge. We ripped through the dunes and patches of ocean fog with no end in sight. We then drove down to the coast for sundowners and watched as the sun set over the waves.