African Travel Concept


Kolmanskop is Namibia's most famous ghost town, and is situated in the Sperrgebiet (forbidden territory) a few kilometres inland from the port of Luderitz.

In 1908, the railway worker Zacharias Lewala found a sparkling stone amongst the sand he was shovelling away from the railway line, near Kolmanskop. His supervisor August Stauch was convinced it was a diamond and when this was confirmed, the news spread like wildfire, sparking a huge, frantic diamond rush and causing fortune hunters to converge in droves on Kolmanskop.

The town soon developed, becoming a bustling little centre and providing shelter for workers from the harsh environment of the Namib Desert. Large, elegant houses were built and it soon resembled a German town, complete with an impressive array of amenities including; a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, 4-lane skittle alley, theatre and sports hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere. At the time, there was also a railway line to Luderitz.

The town declined when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. The eroding forces of the desert mean that tourists now walk through houses knee-deep in sand.

A visit to the town of Kolmanskop, once the focal point of a glittering diamond rush, is an excursion not to be missed.

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