After a short flight we landed at our next stop, the town of Luderitz located on the coast. Surrounded by sand dunes and nine kilometres inland from Luderitz is the airport. I still remember our Cessna 210 landing and seeing the rest of our tour group (from the “caravan”) walking into the terminal. The mass of sand that was being blown around in the high winds meant that I could only see just their upper torso as their legs were lost.
Our lovely hotel (Ludertiz Nest Hotel) was situated right on the waters edge just out of town. We spent two nights here which meant we were able to make three visits to Kolmanskop.
Ghost Town Kolmanskop
Kolmanskop is amazing. The Ghost Town of Kolmanskop is now an abandoned diamond mining town which has been overrun by the sands of the Namib Desert. In its heyday the town was home to over 300 German prospectors and their children. Along with about 800 Ovambo labourers which had come from the North. There were grand residences for the mine manager and other key personnel. A state of the art hospital, bowling alley, casino, baker, ice factory, slaughterhouse, theatre, clubhouse, and library etc.
The discovery of the first diamond in 1908 brought an influx of fortune seekers to the area. So began the construction of the buildings between 1908 – 1910, the town peaking during the late 1920s. Due to dwindling diamond deposits and richer finds to the south, the processing plant was shut down in 1936. The offices were moved south and the hospital was closed down a few years later, with the the last resident departing the town in 1956.