Luderitz and Kolmanskop complete guide
Luderitz was our first real stop in Namibia last 100km you drive between sand dunes sometimes if the wind blows the road can be covered in sand. In my opinion Luderitz is not the most beautiful town in Namibia but there are interesting things to see it’s worth to stop here for a day or two if you are in the area. It’s a good place to stock your food, water, petrol and cash supplies as well.We hope our Luderitz and Kolmanskop complete guide will help you to plan a trip. Fore more details and tips on a road trip through Namibia go HERE.
Budget for 2 days for 2 persons:
- Petrol – NAD500/$38 (out tank was empty, we filled it on arrival);
- Accommodation – NAD600/US$46;
- Food, drinks – NAD300/$23;
- Entrance fee (Kolmanskop) – NAD170/$13.
Total: NAD1570/SU$120, $30 per person per day.
Things to see in Luderitz. Luderitz and Kolmanskop complete guide
The town was founded in 1883 after Adolf Lüderitz bought the area from the local chef. But in 1909 when diamonds were found in the area Luderitz started growing really fast. Nowadays it’s a quite town on a windy coast of Namibian desert.
Goerke haus, currently a museum with very limited opening hours (2 hours a day after lunch). A beautiful German art nouveau style building on the top of the hill.
Felsenkirche (church of the rock), a protestant church that sits on the top of the hill. There are a couple of more historical buildings in the town like Deutsche Africa bank, the Railway station, Old Post office etc. Luderitz is quite small you’ll need about an hour to walk around and see the main sights in the town.
The main attraction are actually outside Luderitz
Diaz point to see a lighthouse, cliffs, seals (from far). Between Diaz point and Grusse Bucht there are many other small bays if you wish you can spend all day driving around the area. Diaz point was named after a Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz whose expedition stopped here in 1488 on the way to the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa).
Grosse Bucht (Big bay) where you can see penguins (we didn’t see any), pelicans and flamingos (there were some), sometimes you can spot dolphins or even a whale in the water.
Shark Island (located on Shark peninsula) nowadays is a campsite in the past (1905-1907) one of five German concentration camps.
You can do a catamaran tour to Halifax island where you can see hundreds of African penguins.
If you are lucky with the weather you can take some kitesurfing or surfing lessons, require at Rider’s backpackers.
Kolmanskop, a Ghost Town
Kolmanskop is the main attraction in Luderitz and is definitely worth of visit. 12km outside the town in the past a prosperous place built around diamond mines nowadays abandoned and half buried under the sand. Only few houses and street names remind about its brilliant past. The town was built in early 1900 when diamonds were found in the area. In the beginning there were so many diamonds that people collected them just on the sand without digging or mining.
Nevertheless it’s location in the middle of nowhere Kolmanskop had everything any normal German town had those times.
The World War I interrupted mining at Kolmanskop and later in 1928 after discovering the richest diamond deposit 270km away on the beach mining here was basically stopped. Last inhabitants left Kolmanskop in 1956.
Kolmanskop opened for public Mon – Sun from 8.00am till 1.00pm, admission is NAD80/$6 pp, plus NAD10 per car, the price includes a guided tour (45min.) that starts Mon-Sat 9.30am and 11am and Sun at 10am. You .can walk on your own and take photos but we’d recommend to do a tour it gives you better idea about the place and many interesting facts.
There are several tours you can do from Luderitz inquire in your hostel or at info office.
Places to stay
There are two backpackers and quite a few guest houses in Luderitz for different budget. We stayed at Element Riders backpackers hostel, NAD110/US$8,5 pp for dormitory, NAD300/US$23 for double (shared bathroom). Nice place, safe parking, good kitchen, clean, hot showers, TV room, wi-fi.
Places to eat
We ate once at seafood and meat at Diaz coffee shop, it was good, the place has interesting decor and nice vibe. The rest of the time we bought food at SPAR and cooked for ourselves.
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