The Skeleton Coast

A journey through the Namib Desert

Named after the bleached bones and scattered remains of shipwrecks washed up on its shore, The Skeleton Coast is where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean in south-western Africa. Benedict Allen trained three camels - including the indomitable Nelson - single-handedly, and walked them up the coast on a thousand mile trek, the first time this had been permitted through the diamond-scattered and harsh but delicate environment.

BA's comment: "Although commissioned to accompany the BBC TV series, the book stands alone - I like to think. Based on detailed diaries, and heavily illustrated thanks to the photographer Adrian Arbib, the book I hope accurately evokes not just a journey but this glorious part of the world. It was my first long trek through a desert, an environment that, for all its harshness, I found liberating after so long living in stifling rain forest. Namibia remains one of my favourite countries, and Nelson (the lead camel) my most cherished of all companions."

1997

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