The subject of numerous tales of adventure, tragedy and survival against the odds, the Skeleton Coast National Park, which stretches from to Ugab River in the South to the Kunene in the North, is named after the remains of rusting shipwrecks and whale bones strewn along the shore and into the inhospitable desert hinerland. Mariners who survived shipwreck in the treacherous conditions offshore found themselves washed up into a surreal and beautiful landscape yet one without shelter, food or fresh water.
However, this harsh wilderness reveals abundant life to those who know where to look. Cape fur seal colonies support jackal and brown hyena; oryx and springbok are well-adapted to the desert conditions, and ostrich, giraffe, black rhino, desert elephant and lion roam the edges of ephemeral riverbeds. Flora include unique lichens, dollar bushes and the wonderful welwitschia.