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The Skeleton Coast

The Skeleton Coast

Author(s): Benedict Allen

Location(s): Namibia

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs, Travelogue

Era(s): 1990s

The “Skeleton Coast”, where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean in south-western Africa, is named after the bleached bones and shipwrecks that lie on its shores. This is Benedict Allen’s account of his thousand-mile trek with camels through the Namib Desert and along the Skeleton Coast. Allen prepares for his journey with the nomadic, goat-herding Himba tribe in the north of the Namib, learning essentials for desert survival. Submerging himself in the community, he comes to understand the everyday fears and aspirations of these extraordinary people. He then travels south to the fringes of the Kalahari, where he undertakes a gruelling three-week period, training his reluctant camels. Escorted by security personnel through diamond areas closed to the outside world, Allen moves north past ghost towns and through some of the highest dunes in the world. The journey continues through lion, rhino and elephant country, where Allen battles to maintain authority over his faithful but nervous camels, until he is reunited with the Himba nomads.

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