Karl Marx Beach
This is a ship cemetery
on the coast of Angola
just north of the capital Luanda. the informal name after the communist icon and philosopher derives from the name of one of the larger vessels beached here. The official name of this stretch of coast is São Tiago Beach.
Along a stretch of over 10 km, (6.5 miles) some 50 shipwrecks are lined up near the coast, some larger, some smaller, some solitary, some in clusters, and a couple are close enough to the beach that at low tide you can walk or wade out to them. Of some wrecks, little more than a few parts poking out of the water are left, others are more intact. It’s a highly unusual, surreal, even dystopian setting.
How all these ships ended up here is slightly controversial, but the most likely explanation is that they were simply old vessels that the owners wanted to get rid of cheaply so they were just beached here and left to rust away. So this is not a site of genuine shipwrecks such as you can still find vestiges of along the Namibian
coast (the many wrecks on this treacherous coast gave the stretch called “Skeleton Coast” its name), nor is it a ship-breaking yard such as you find in India
The São Tiago Beach is a ca. half an hour drive outside of Luanda to the north. To get there you really need a local guide and driver. Venturing out here independently as a foreigner is not recommended.