Go to Zanzig.com Homepage
 You are here: Home > Travel Photos > Namibia > Day 8: Skeleton Coast National Park > Page 1 of 2

Previous Page | Next Page


Driving West on C39 Namibia

After the stop at the Twyfelfontein Rock Paintings, we started our trip towards the Skeleton Coast National Park. This required a return to the C39, which again surprised us with several great landscape scenes, mountains that gently rise from the dry grassveld soil. Awesome.


Driving from Khorixas to Torra Bay

Another beautiful landscape photo of this incredible area.


Sign indicating travel restrictions for Skeleton Coast National Park

And then a riddle at the crossing of C39 and C43:

"SKELETON COAST PARK NOVISITORS TO TORRABAY-TERRACEBAY WITHOUT A BOOKING - TRANSIT PERMITS TO UGABWUND ONLY AVAILABLE AT SPRINGBOKWASSERGATE - TRANSIT PERMIT FEES PER PERSON - NAMIBIAN ADULTS - N$30-00 SADC REGIONS - N$60-00 FOREIGNERS - N$80-00

GATE CLOSE AT 15H00 NILE 108 231 KM FUELAVAILABLE NO QUARTER BIKES OR BIKES ALLOWED THREW THE PARK"

Honestly, we stood there for like five minutes discussing whether it makes sense to drive this way or not. The sign was no big help for us. Yes, we needed a permit. Yes, the gates will not be open all day long. But why wouldn't we be allowed to Torra Bay? We had planned to take up some fuel there. But where the heck is Springbokwasser? And Ugabwund? Questions, questions...!


Donkeys on road in Namibia

We decided to continue the trip towards the Skeleton Coast National Park. And just as if being called to show us our mistake - these donkeys came along. Should we have turned around?


Donkey Cart in Namibia

The area was really becoming solitary now. The only vehicle that came up was a donkey cart! But the people were friendly, waving back to us just as if to wish us a good and safe journey in our sedan.


Springbokwassergate Skeleton Coast National Park

And then we arrived at the eastern entrance to the Skeleton Coast National Park, also called the Springbokwassergate. The first part of the riddle was solved. But why is the gate completely locked with a big padlock? Should we really be forced to drive the whole way back and take the C35 instead?


Skeleton Coast National Park Namibia

But the friendly officer sold us a transit permit to the southern gate named Ugabmund (aha!). He added, "you are not allowed to access Torra Bay or Terrace Bay". So we drove on a good gravel road towards the coast.


Skeleton Coast National Park

The landscape was getting moon-like, very paltry, and the temperature was falling by the minute. We had started that day with a nice 30 C (86 F), and now it was just about 20 C (68 F).


Oil Drilling Rig at Skeleton Coast Namibia

When we reached the coast, we turned left into C34, and after about an hour we spotted a strange, rusted structure to the left of the road - an oil drilling rig, erected by hopeful entrepreneurs long before the National Park was actualyl proclaimed. Today, it provides a perfect nesting area for birds during the breeding season. When we came along, though, there were no birds to be seen anywhere. To us, it was just another sign of the industrial age gone wrong.

Oil Drilling Rig at Skeleton Coast National Park

Another photo of the oil drilling rig along C34.


Detail of Rusted Oil Drilling Rig at the Skeleton Coast

And one more photo showing a detail of the oil drilling rig.


S.W. Seal (1976) Skeleton Coast Namibia

Our drive through the National Park was quite boring, because it was very cloudy (which is the worst thing that can happen to a photographer). Also, we realized that you are driving most of the time not directly at the sea, but behind the dunes, so you do not actually see the sea. And finally, those tracks towards the sea that were open were not really suitable for our sedan. Too bad! But about 20 kilometer before the Ugabmund Gate (the southern entrance to the National Park) you will see a sign announcing the ship wreck of the Seal. The "Seal" sunk in June 1976, and both the ship and the sign have seen better times as well - please visit Brian McMorrow's excellent photo gallery to compare his 2002 photo to my 2006 photo.

Previous Page | Next Page
Copyright © 1982-2011 by Mark Zanzig, Germany | Photo Licencing | Disclaimer | About Zanzig.com