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The Skeleton Coast’s name was first coined by John Henry Marsh in 1944 and perfectly encapsulates the desolate nature of the landscape of Namibia’s north-western shoreline – littered as it is with the rusting remains of shipwrecks that lie strewn and stranded upon the unforgiving sands. The protected parks here take in nearly two million hectares of sand dunes and gravel plains, and are among the world’s most inhospitable and waterless regions. Despite its foreboding history and barren appearance, the area makes for a fascinating and absorbing port of call for anyone planning on travelling Namibia’s ‘northern loop’, and though expensive and tricky to reach, there are some excellent accommodation options appearing which provide an outstanding base from which to explore one of the world’s last few remaining true wildernesses.

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