Travel to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast – Episode 466

categories: africa travel
Hear about travel to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast as the Amateur Traveler talks again to Susan Portnoy of about her trip to this memorable region of Africa. Namibia is the size of France and Great Britain combined but with only 2 million people.

“The Skeleton Coast is in the northwest of Namibia along the Atlantic Ocean. The desert there is literally the oldest desert in the world. It is very formidable, and spectacular, and has some of the most unique topography you will ever see. Its incredibly varied. It depends what part of the Skeleton Coast, it’s hundreds of miles. I spent my time at three different camps along the Skeleton Coast and in each one the topography changed. For example, in one camp that’s called Desert Rhino Camp, that’s a bit southern to the other two, it was as if I had landed on Mars. The ground was covered with billions upon billions of red rocks the size of bricks. Going into another area it might be a vast plane of gravel or it might be hard cracked desert that’s only brown in color, very stark. In another region it was a mixture of dunes and riverbeds. It really was fascinating to me how many different faces the desert actually has.”

Susan had a chance to experience two interesting planned wildlife adventures. She had a chance to see both lions and black rhinos that had adapted to life in the desert.  They can go without water longer. there’re certain plans that they can digest the the non-adapted versions could not. She also had at least one unplanned wildlife encounter by her tent at night.

“One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was an opportunity to visit a local tribe of the Himba which is indigenous to Namibia. The Himba are very special and I think that even if you don’t know the Himba, if you love National Geographics and if you like to look at a lot of African photos at one point you’re probably going to come across some very statuesque women who are covered in what looks like red paint and they have a very elaborate hairdos which look like thick braids almost dreadlocks cake in this red paint or mud. What that is is this paste that they created from red ocher and butterfat that they spread over their bodies every single day. It is an SPF for the brutal sun that they deal with every day. It helps to ward off biting insects. It does great things for their scan apparently because all of them had a fabulous skin and they consider it a beautiful look.”

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Show Notes

Insatiable Traveler
Skeleton Coast
Wilderness Safaris
Desert Rhino Camp
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Serra Cafema Camp
Portrait of the Himba
Namibian Adventure
The Ultimate Day Trip: Traversing the Wilds of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast


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Brad wrote:

As relatively new parents, our travel budget for trips further than Disneyland or the mid-West has shrunk and our existing guidebooks are getting old. Thankfully, the books are not quite legally allowed to drink yet, but still… 🙂

Anyway, a lot of our newer books are understandably very kid focused. There’s several series my kids and I really like with great colorful pictures: “My First…”, “Baby Touch and Feel,” “Visual Encyclopedia,” and so on. I never really noticed the publishers before, but imagine my surprise when I found all of these books are from DK, the same publisher that sponsors your podcast. If their travel books are as good as their kids books, we’ll definitely be looking at them for our next trip.

Thanks for feeding my imagination and wanderlust as we begin to talk about our next destination.

Jim commented on Travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Episode 462

Very interesting. I spent a lot of time in Philadelphia in the 80’s doing IT consulting. Our client got tired of paying for our fancy hotels (which weren’t all that fancy) and gave us a list of places we could use. I stayed at one in Center City, and was watching the evening news about a visiting businessman who had been beaten, robbed, and killed in an elevator in a hotel in Center City. Imagine how I felt when I realized it was the hotel I was staying in. I took the stairs after that. Many years later, my wife and I visited some friends from Glenside (a suburb) whom we had met on a windjammer cruise in Maine. They took us around and showed us many of the same historical sites that were mentioned in this podcast. We even had lunch overlooking the Delaware, with the battleship USS New Jersey visible across the river. It was very nice. Philadelphia seems to have cleaned up its act. I’d go back.

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

One Response to “Travel to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast – Episode 466”



Very inspiring and encouraging write up. I look forward to traveling to Namibia one day on a back of a BMW adventure bike with an interest to visit the skeleton cost. From me here at

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