For centuries, a stretch of Namibia's shore has lived up to its sinister name. From whales to ships to unlucky sailors, the Skeleton Coast has become a graveyard of many!
But Skeleton Coast is not even the region’s most foreboding title. First encountered by daring Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, the region was dubbed “The Gates of Hell” because of its harsh conditions. Locally, Namibia’s Bushmen tribes know it as “the land God made in anger.”
Visitors arrive to the park at the Ugab River and are welcomed by gates bearing two skull and crossbones. the desert’s yellow sand and sloping dunes are littered with animal graveyards and are only overshadowed by the skeletal ship remains that rise out of the bleak landscape.The first documented victim of the Skeleton Coast was Portuguese navigator Diego Cão, who died sailing from the coast in 1486 after erecting a massive stone cross that would attract later ships, many of which met similarly disastrous fates.
The Himba people are thought to have originally come from East Africa, but have been traveling the Skeleton Coast for centuries.
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