Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 31, Skeleton Coast, Namibia, Africa

Next stop...The Skeleton Coast (German: Skelettküste), the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River.

The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region "The Land God Made in Anger", while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as "The Gates of Hell".

The Skeleton Coast seems to be in a world of its own. Whatever the reason, this piece of land was created to be so entirely different from anywhere else that comparisons are invalid.

It is difficult to visualise a greater contrast than a desert alongside an ocean. Such a meeting of opposites occurs at Namibia's northern seaboard where the edge of the Namib Desert pushes a sea of hot sand into the frigid waters of the South Atlantic.

The Skeleton Coast Park, a seemingly hostile, barren environment allows us to experience the mystery and subtlety of nature hidden in its fragile mistiness.....

The attraction of this remote area lies in the colour, changing moods and untouched profile of its landscape. Its aura of mystery and mightiness is largely due to the dense coastal fog and cold sea breezes caused by the cold Benguela ocean current from the Arctic, and bones scattered on its beaches from where the park's name derives.

The landscape ranges from sweeping vistas of wind swept dunes to rugged canyons with walls of richly coloured volcanic rock and extensive mountain ranges.

Most of the plant and insect species depends for their moisture on the thick for that envelopes the coast and hinterland, and in the northern edges of the wilderness, where there are rivers of sorts as well as underground water, birds and animals manage to survive and even flourish.

Adjoining the northern section of the Skeleton Coast Park is Kaokoland inhabited by the Himba people, who still live according to ancient customs and let's pay them a visit......

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