Desolation: the Namibian Skeleton Coast

Some time ago I posted a flight along the South African Wild Coast along the south coast. This time I decided on a different area: the West Coast of Namibia AKA the Skeleton Coast.

And wow, is it ever TOTALLY different!!! The Wild Coast is generally lush and green. The Skeleton Coast… not so much. If ever a stretch of coast and adjacent interior was aptly named, this is it! More than once as I was flying over stretches of dry, barren dunes and desert I was thinking: this is NOT the place to lose an engine! Or to have your ship run aground either: Wikipedia notes that there are more than 1,000 wrecks littering this stretch of coast!

I decided to fly from Walvis Bay all along the coast north to the mouth of the Kunene River (border between Namibia and Angola) and then a ways inland generally along the Kunene to land at Opuwo. Flight plan in Little NavMap:

What was interesting was the way the terrain changed while still staying generally the same: it was an education to see how many ways nature can do dry and sandy!

Leaving Walvis bay: All light coloured sand dunes

And then coming up to Swakopmund: from this shot you can see the terrain beyond Swakopmund looks rather different;

Henties Bay: a well known fishing town. If you are brave enough to go there…

And then I cheated a bit: changed the time of day around to get some pretty effects:

This is also Opuwo Airport but a different one (FYPM) compared to my destination (FYMF). But the one thing they have in common: they are certainly not overrun by civilisation… A confusing thing that I have noticed with some of the Southern African airports is this same name, different location and different ICAO code thing.

North of Opuwo before the Kunene mouth

And finally the Kunene mouth

Part 2 will cover the flight to the interior


This is the second part of the flight from the coast generally along the Kunene to the destination. And very, very different it is too! At this stage I had the time as early evening and the terrain was spectacular!!! I really do not have much to add here as the photographs pretty much say it all!

At this stage I am still at 2,500 feet, the airport is 10nm away and at 915 feet! Pretty much hidden in some serious hills and valleys!

Now 5nm away… and still BIG hills!

Turning a U-shaped base/final in the valley! Could have/should have extended downwind

On the ground: this is an AIRPORT??! There is like NOTHING!

And then some drone shots to show the desolation and rugged beauty: just awesome!

I really enjoyed this!


Got some stunning scenery to see there!!

great pics, and yes the arid places in africa are very good looking.

Nice flight. I ‘discovered’ the Namib desert a month or so ago doing an OnAir mission leg. Definitely one of MSFS hidden gems.

Thanks guys. And yes: for me this was a bit of an unexpected treat as it looked better than I thought it would. I especially liked the mountains with the setting sun.

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Fun fact: the Namib desert is where they filmed the Flight of the Phoenix remake and Mad Max: Fury Road. Desolate indeed!