The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River to the Swakop River. The same name is also used to describe the complete length of the Namib desert coastline.
Portuguese sailors referred to the region as The Gates of Hell due to the strong Benguela current, also the cause of sudden and unpredictable fog and sandbanks. There is a constant, heavy surf on the beaches and the coast is largely riddle with soft sand, occasionally interrupted by rocky outcrops.
The area’s name is derived from the countless whale and seal bones that litters the shore, from the bygone era of the whaling industry, and has since been replaced with the skeletal remains of shipwrecks, understandably caught by the offshore rocks and fog.
The region boast a diverse range of plant and insect species all found on the sand dune systems. The local fauna and flora depend on the thick sea fogs which engulf the coast for their moisture and windblown detritus from the interior as food. The riverbeds further inland are home to baboons, giraffes, lions, black rhinoceros and springbok.