Skeleton Coast National Park
The Skeleton Coast National Park was proclaimed in its present form in 1973 and extends from the Ugab River in the south 500 km to the Kunene River in the north. The attraction of this remote area lies essentially in its colour, changing moods and untouched profile of its landscape. Its aura of mystery and impenetrability is due to the many shipwrecks, dense coastal fogs and cold sea breeze caused by the cold Benguela Current.
The landscape in the park ranges from sweeping vistas of windswept dunes to rugged canyons with walls of richly coloured volcanic rock and extensive mountain ranges. On their slopes grow a surprising variety of interesting xerophytic plants, whose survival is ensured by a wide spectrum of ingenious adaptations. A conspicuous example is the curious elephant’s foot, Adenia pechuelii, which anchors itself in rock crevices.
Over a hundred species of lichen grow on the plains and west-facing mountain slopes, which change colour and become soft and leathery to the touch when the coastal fog pushes inland.