skeleton coast


An All-inclusive for all Off-roaders, Dirt, and Enduro Enthusiasts.

The main Feature Image for the Skeleton Coast Adventure Tour or as MotoDreamer refers to their 10-Day Namibia Off-road Motorcycle Adventure. Image under MotoDrfeamer Archive copyright.

10-Day Namibia Off-road Motorcycle Adventure is purpose-built for off-Roaders, Dirt, and Enduro Enthusiasts. Step inside this all-terrain trip made especially for those of you who love a real challenge to talk about for years to come.

MotoDreamer Co-Founder and Chief Rider Mike Thomsen has classified this 10-Day Namibia off-road motorcycle adventure as 90% difficult, 100% Off-road, 65% Comfortable, and 100% Fun!

This is the second tour in MotoDreamer’s arsenal of budding destinations on the African Continent. The first was Uganda and the SilverBacks. How about an adventure mixed with world-class dirt riding on an ever-changing terrain? MotoDreamer with this African off-road 10-Day destination will throw everything at you that one can encounter after the pavement ends.

Namibia is located on the Southwest side of Africa. Its neighbors are Angola to the north, Botswana to the east, South Africa to the south, and Zambia to its northeastern side. On the western side lays the treacherous South Atlantic Ocean.

Witness the arid landmass of Namibia; it’s made up of vast sways of mountainous rock, huge canyons, and enormous sand dunes.

Some have described it as earth’s version of Mars.

A mapimage of Namibia in Africa. Image under subscription with DepositPhotos. for this article titled 10-Day Namibia Off-road Motorcycle Adventure.

This article will give you all you need to know about the 10-Day Namibia off-road Motorcycle Adventure, starting with the following list of amazing facts.

  1. Namibia has the oldest desert on the planet. Scientists have calculated that the Namib Desert has existed for over 55 million years.
  2. If red/orange mountainous-looking sand dunes challenges are your attraction, then you will be in heaven here, as Namibia has some of the highest dunes in the world. The highest one is 383 meters tall.
  3. The sand dunes and desert are home to Geckos, lizards, chameleons, and snakes.
  4. The mode of transport for experiencing the dunes is your dirt bike.
  5. Not only that, Namibia has the second-largest canyon, and yes, you will be negotiating it on your motorbike.
A landscape image of the oldest Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Image under subscription with
  1. The oldest canyon, named “The Fish River Canyon,” is over 500 million years of age. Like most canyons, it was formed by centuries of wind erosion, water erosion, and the inevitable collapse of the valley floor.
  2. The most prehistoric extensive meteorite shower happened here in Namibia and even now boasts evidence of an elliptical coverage of over 275 sq km.

How about parking your bike and beginning counting seals?

Now contemplate an off-road tour full of jam-packed cultural and natural experiences.

Here you will have the opportunity to visit a Cape Fur Seal colony, and we are not talking about one or two. At any one time, we are talking 200,000 and counting.

An image of a typical fur seal colony in Namibia courtesy of The Common Wanderer.
Attribute to The Common Wanderer – Thank you for an excellent image.
Cape cross Seal in the Skeleton Coastal Reserve National Park in Namibia. Image under DepositPhotos subscription model for this article titled 10-Day Namibia Off-road Motorcycle Adventure.

 It is here that the food stocks for the seals are year-round cuisine. No wonder this area serves as the wisest breeding ground anywhere on the globe for the seals.

On another day, you will find yourself tracking a black rhino on foot, and your motorbike will have a rest. Sadly there are only around 200 left, and these beasts are allowed to free-roam in the northeast of the country.

Why so few? You may well ask. 

For decades poaching has decimated a once thriving community of black rhinos and their much sought-after horns for the never-ending hunger for the all-consuming Asia market.

The conservationists amongst you probably already know that rhino horn is made up of the same stuff as fingernails and hair. Millions of people in the world still believe the horns have special medicine powers, and much further desire to wear rhino ivory as part of their jewelry.

The evil poachers will never go away until they have wiped out this mighty breed. To give you an idea of the current status of poaching in Namibia, please look at the following table:

  • In the whole of 2020, there were 40 confirmed cases of Black Rhino poaching, causing death to the animals.
  • Whereas in the following year, 2021 the was a small rise to 43 confirmed poaching kills.
  • 2022 has not yet finished, and already the numbers since the beginning of the year have reached 22. Recently, 11 more were discovered in June.
  • In all cases, the horn had been savagely removed.

Author’s Note: The above info does not include the number of white rhinos that perished at the hands of poachers. If you wish to learn more about the tremendous efforts to save the Rhino. Please go to this next link.

Is it luck? Boosting black rhinos in Namibia | News 

Now, it’s time for us to give you Off-roaders, Dirt, and Enduro Enthusiasts some more facts on the citizens of Namibia.

  • The locals can speak over 30 different dialects and languages. So you can forget Google Translate!
  • Luckily for you guys and girls, English and German are the recognized official languages. The most popular one is Oshiwambo.
  • Namibia has a grand population of over 2.4 million citizens.
  • Namibia has the second lowest density of people in the world. Leaving the landmass at times completely void of moving souls or animals. Now compare that to someplace like London or New York.
  • The San tribe has resided in Namibia for over six centuries.
  • The most incredible and fascinating tribe you will ever encounter is the traditional led Himba tribe residing in Namibia’s Kunene region.
  • The Himba steadfastly only wear their traditional clothing, and the female members leave bare upper parts of their bodies. You will be reminded that people in various parts of the world have never been affected by what we call modernization in any way.

More on the Himba People later in this article titled 10-Day Namibia Off-road Motorcycle Adventure.

Furthermore, as a bonus, you will be sitting down and interacting with the original people of Namibia. Yep, you got it. You will be exchanging pleasantries with the famous Bushmen and the Himba tribes.

The Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. Image supplied under subscription with and for Editorial Use only.

For what is the Namibian Bushmen famous for? Here are some facts to assist you with your research.

  • Bushmen and their families have been the main residents in and around the Kalahari Desert for well over 22,000 years.
  • You will find them living in temporary hand-made wooden mixed with rock shelters. Sometimes you find them in caves.
  • For most of these years, they have been known as prolific hunters with their primitive-looking bows and arrows.
  • The Bushmen can boast of a very rich folklore that has been passed down without fail from generation to generation.
  • Archaeological evidence has produced their unique drawing skills and beautiful cave paintings, which are still visible today.
  • The Bushmen have a complex language often characterized by the use of sounds that sound so much like a click to our untrained ears.

Author’s Note: As a great way to discover more about the Bushmen, head to this excellent link:

Bushmen – New World Encyclopedia

A sample of Namibian Bushmen cave rock painting looks like. This image is under subscription from DepositPhotos and displays hunters and their prey in ancient times for this article titled: 10-Days Namibia Off-road motorcycle Adventure.

We mentioned earlier the pastoral nomadic Himba tribe of indigenous people who reside mainly in the north of Namibia. Their estimated number is thought to be around 50,000. You will never forget their red matted braids made from a mix of Grounded Ochre, animal fat, and ash.

The male Himba, more accurately named ovaHimba, are often polygamous cattle herders. In other words, they are often men with two wives at the same time.

Author’s Note: The women of the Himba tribe only bathe once! That is on their official Wedding Day. You will never see them washing their clothes.

I know you are wondering how they wash, then. You’ll have to research this next link on these amazing people and their customs:

Women of the Himba Tribe — Google Arts & Culture 

In the feature image of this article, 10-Day Namibia off-road Motorcycle Adventure, you will see the heading in white letters “Skeleton Coast” and may have wondered what that relates to.

Read on, and we will explain more about this 500 km uninhabited, often described as the stark, perilous, and untamed coastline.

A typical shipwreak lying peacefully on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. Image supplied under subscription with Depositphotos for this article titled 10-Day Namibia Motorcycle Adventure.

The centuries-old Namibian shoreline was originally known as the Skeleton Coast due to the ample numbers of seal and whale bones that washed up with the incoming Benguela current and tides. If you pause literally for just a moment and visualize a scene littered everywhere, of animal carcasses and scattered bones.

Nowadays, the South Atlantic Ocean’s uninhabitable coastlines are the burial grounds for hundreds of broken, stranded, and shipwrecked vessels that met their fateful end on the offshore rocks, often caused by unpredictable conditions and dense fog. It is also known as the largest ship cemetery in the world.

It is hard to fathom the number of lost sailors who lost their lives either from the shipwreck itself or from the lack of resources when they landed in an inhospitable environment such as the “Skeleton Coast.”

Here is a poignant story we discovered in our research regarding the brutal history of the Skeleton Coastline of Namibia.

“A large unknown number of seafarers have met their demise on this coastline. Mainly due to the dense fog, coupled with the violent storms that plague the area and ocean. At some point in the 1940s, a slate was found lying next to human skeletons.

The slate had wording on it from one of the survivors. He was writing to anyone who possibly would find it. He was showing the way North to help those in the future. Alas, the shipwreck was known to have happened nearly a century before.”

For off-roader, dirt, and Enduro Enthusiasts, Namibia is the perfect place not to see a tourist in sight for miles.

No queues, no traffic jams, nothing but space, and a real chance to test your skills within this remote national park of some 20,000 sq km of a barren landscape.

Collapsed oil rig wreck in the Skeleton Coastline of Namibia. Attributes going to
Collapsed oil rig wreck on the Skeleton Coastline. Image attribute to drinkteatravel. Thank you for the superb photo.

Most of the historic shipwrecks have long gone due to the overpowering forces of sea, land, and time. But you will discover the remains of an old rusty-looking 70s-roped-off abandoned oil rig.

One famous shipwreck which is still visitable with caution is the 1935 built shipwreck called the Dunedin Star. It had sailed from Liverpool, the Northern Seaport in England, in November 1942. Luckily for all the 85 crew and 21 passengers, including women and children amongst them. Eventually rescued after 25 days, with the loss of life for two of the rescuers only. 

Author’s Note: An incredible feat considering the time and the hostile terrain of some 400 miles of raging surf and a burning desert awaiting the survivors.

For the historians amongst you who would love to research more of the fate of Dunedin Star, check out this next link:

Dunedin Star 

Africa and Lions go hand in hand in the same way as Motorcycle Riding and MotoDreamer Touring.

In this article titled: 10-Day Namibia Motorcycle Adventure, let’s look at the unique colony of Adapted Desert Lions of Namibia.

In the almost waterless environment of Namibia, you will discover a colony of the most hearty set of lions known to man. Surprisingly, these adapted desert lions have somehow found a way to precariously stay alive and thrive from a small pride of 20 a few years ago to an impressive 120 plus.

The big question in an ever-changing climate is, will they survive?

Unlike their more famous Savannah sisters and brothers, these desert lions are woolier and leaner in build, roam in a smaller pride, and do not appear to have infanticide tendencies. This allows the cubs to survive and mature to adulthood under the careful eyes of their mothers.

These boys and girls survive where rainfall is measured in millimeters per year. In this case, it is only an average of 5. 

Do not get us wrong; these magnificent beasts will still enjoy the odd papillon rider or two if the opportunity presents itself.

So, where do they get their source of moisture from? Luckily for these well-adapted desert lions, they can go long periods of time without water, And when they are successful with a kill, the prey’s blood will fulfill their requirements.

A large male adapted desert lion walking in the Namibian coastal area. Image under subscription for this article titled 10-Day Namibia off-road Motorcycle Adventure via DepositPhoto.
  • Often, all the males in the pride will roar together. This is a noisy way of marking their joint territory. They can be heard as much as 5 miles away.
  • The males can happily sleep for up to twenty hours each day. It is hard graft defending their pride territory.
  • Male lions can easily eat up to as much as 40 kg of raw meat in a single meal. That can equate to nearly a quarter of an adult’s body weight.
  • Lions will often drink water from plants such as the Tsamma Melon.
  • A darker mane on a lion often will tell his age. Furthermore, the longer the mane grows is a surefire sign of a dominant cat.
  • A mane acts as a female attraction and will often protect the owner’s neck and head from injury when in a fight.
  • Now, the females, referred to as Lionesses, head out daily and do all the hunting.

Talking about hunting a pride will involve all members in the hunt for prey. They even like to pursue in stormy weather to conceal their noise and make it harder for their prey to see or hear them coming.

An impressive male lion posing in the afternoon sun with the Namibia lanscape as his playground. A perfect image from DepositPhotos under subscription.
  • Meal times, then rightly so, the male sits down to eat first, followed by the females and later the children or cubs.
  • Cubs, when born, look like they have spots on their coats and rosettes on their sandy-looking coats, but in time they disappear.
  • Lionesses rear their cubs together, and cubs will suckle from any available female in the pack.
  • The Desert lions are partial to Ostriches, Gemsbok, and seals
  • The older the male lion is identified by how dark his mane is.
  • Lion’s heels never touch the ground when they are walking.
  • Lion’s night vision is six times more sensitive to light than ours.

Author’s Note: This true story happened many years ago when Legoland near Windsor in the United Kingdom was a Safari Park and home to wild lions.

It was close to the then Prince Charles Polo Horse Training Stables. After consuming a few jars of fine English Ale, I was invited to stay the night in one of the rooms. Accompanied by a pupil who had paid me for being his Driving Instructor for the previous three months.

We had been debating the merits of his being able to attempt to kill me with his growing lack of skills as a potential driver with the hourly premium rate I was charging.

I was interrupted by a roar that sounded like a sonic earthquake. If such a phenomenon existed. The first time I dismissed the reverberating shake of the windows. Then my addled brain came to a conclusion, a lion was nearby. I rationally dismissed my conclusion and settled down for the night.

Of course, In the morning, my braindead pupil informed me that a pride of lions nearby had been very active that past evening and had kept him awake for hours.

If you are lucky, you, too, will experience the thrill of hearing a lion’s roar of displeasure or pleasure, and it will seem very close to your tent under the darkness of a Namibia nightfall. Do not despair; he will actually be miles away. Sounds in the dead of night always appear closer. Or so I have been led to believe…….

If you want to know more about the desert lions of Namibia and wish to understand their ways of life and survival, check out this next superb article from the Guardian Newspaper from four years ago.

Can Namibia’s desert lions survive humanity? | Environment | The Guardian 

In conclusion to this article titled 10-Days Namibia Motorcycle Adventure.

Working and living in an urban environment, visiting Namibia is as far away as it gets. Unless you happen to be an astronaut heading for Mars.

Namibia is like nothing you have ever experienced before. You will feel incredibly tiny by the sheer magnitude of the surroundings you will witness. Expect to be in awe constantly of what Mother Nature has achieved here in Namibia.

Have you always dreamed of experiencing a world of silence and, at the same time, knowingly aware there is life around you cannot see? Then Namibia is the place for you to be on your motorcycle.

For more on the first Tour created in Africa, check out our Uganda article and our once-in-a-lifetime 80 Days around the world challenge.

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