North of Swakopmund, the increasingly wild and seemingly barren coastline stretches towards the Kunene River, which marks the border with Angola about 680km away. Travelling along the compacted salt and gravel coastal road affords you views of endless gravel plains, flat sandy beaches pummelled by the Atlantic waves, and, eventually, pale, distant dunes that creep closer as you drive further north. All of this is punctuated by the occasional flecks of lichen fields, which transform into a colourful tapestry in the early morning mist.

Now, in theory, this whole strip of land (reaching only around 40km inland) is protected, initially by Namibia’s most recently formed reserve, the Dorob National Park (formerly the West Coast Recreational Area). The park extends southwards to the Kuiseb River Delta, south of Walvis Bay, and northwards to the Ugab River, where the Skeleton Coast National Park begins. The ultimate aim is the creation of a coastal megapark that extends the entire length of Namibia’s coastline. For the moment, the incipient Dorob National Park is more a paper park, with various excluded areas (where development has already taken place) and no real facilities; as a result, no park fees are charged as yet, except to enter the seal reserve at Cape Cross.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

05 Jul 2017 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

Namibia has some of the world's most astonishing landscapes. It's home to the world's oldest desert, a long and undeveloped coastline and national parks that te…

31 May 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month