My Diamond adventure to Luderitz and Kolmanskop Ghost Town

Luderitz Travel Blog

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The sand dunes are much harder to climb than mountains

Namibia is one of Africa's less visited countries with so much to offer travelers. It's other worldly desert landscape and coastal plains became known to much of the world only in late 2000, at least that is when I began to see more of it in the tour and travel media. I think the main problem is the distance between the different attractions and accommodations. When I was down there, my friends and I had our own 4x4 and family to stay with. For the national parks we visited; Namib-Naukluft National Park and Skeleton Coast National Park, we had reservations at camps within. Prior to the two parks however, we headed to the famous diamond mines in Luderitz.

Well I could not afford the diamonds, but I managed to see a variety with different colors and lost wage pricing (well, obscenely expensive).

The dunes of Namibia
It was a rather windy day in Luderitz, the winds pushed sand on the roads as we headed from Luderitz to Kolmanskop Ghost town a few miles out. As we drove, my mind drifted to memories of my childhood, watching a movie called "The gods must be Crazy". It is a two park movie by Namibian actor N'xau. The first one came out in 1980 and the second film came out in 1989 when I was but a teenager. It tells the story of a Kalahari desert farmer Sho who is not aware that there is a world beyond his own. A man finds a coca-cola bottle and is determined to go to the ends of the earth to get rid of it, he is a bushman. Now if you have seen the Kalahari desert or if you can look it up, you will find that it is nothing short of a phenomenon. Trying to cross it is unfathomable.

Namibia is referred to in Africa as the land God made in anger, for a while it was inhabited with so few people, perhaps one of the world's less populated countries.

The desert landscape of Namibia
To understand how timeless Namibia is, one has to actually see the land. It boarders the Atlantic ocean to the west, and has a population of less than 2.5 million. Namibia had great German influence and later on South African rule. The tourist attraction to Namibia lies in it's desert dunes and the old mining towns. You should visit the mining towns to understand the history of the land, the land where the mines are seem to have an aura of voices unheard, of people crying out from the land. During the mining craze, many Namibian miners lost their lives and that of their families. Despite the fact that they had the world's most precious stone on their land, many Namibians lived below poverty lines and still do. When in Luderitz, I could not help but identify with my surroundings seeing as I was born and raised in a country as destitute as Namibia.
The dunes of Namibia

Touring the Kolmanskop ghost town/ mine. Kolmanskop is an Afrikaans word for Coleman's Hill located in the Namibian Desert a few miles from Luderitz Port. This used to be a mining town controlled by Diamond giant De Beers, people had rushed into the desert due to the diamond boom in 1908, Schools, hospitals, casinos were established in the desert just like Las Vegas is today. During this time a large amount of diamond was extracted but the amount of gemstones greatly diminished after world war one, much of the population moved out , some went south near the Oranjemund, causing Kolmanskop to become completely abandoned, thus the name ghost town. The ghost town has old buildings with Dutch architectural style, this is as a result of the enormous wealth from the first diamond miners.

The dunes of Namibia

The tourism of Namibia has however picked up with the influx of American young travelers wanting to break barriers, make discoveries and venture to destinations their parents only dreamed of. Social media has been influential in spreading word about destinations that were feared by many prior to social media.

PS: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain 

"Travel is an exciting and adventurous passion, it is quite expensive but the reward outweighs the expense. If you can afford it, do it!" Africancrab.

AdamR3723 says:
Lovely write-up and pictures. If you want to know more about the history of Kolmanskop, please take a look at my piece:
Posted on: Mar 10, 2017
jenniferhibbard says:
The pictures you do have are lovely...
Posted on: May 26, 2012
Africancrab says:
I need to scan them, I guess I will get to it just being lazy. My scanner is giving me lousy resolution.
Posted on: Apr 05, 2010
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The sand dunes are much harder to …
The sand dunes are much harder to…
The dunes of Namibia
The dunes of Namibia
The desert landscape of Namibia
The desert landscape of Namibia
The dunes of Namibia
The dunes of Namibia
The dunes of Namibia
The dunes of Namibia
Luderitz Sights & Attractions review
The Ghosts that Diamonds Leave behind
Touring the Kolmanskop ghost town/ mine. Kolmanskop is an Afrikaans word for Coleman's Hill located in the Namibian Desert a few miles from Luderitz P… read entire review
photo by: AdamR3723