Just inland from the coastal town of Luderitz lies a ghost town called Kolmanskop, which was once an elegant town which grew up out of the diamond rush. In 1908 a diamond was found by Zacharias Lewala who was working on the railway. He then showed it to his supervisor who realised the area was rich in diamonds. Quickly word spread and German fortune seekers from far and wide headed to the area.

The town was formed in 1908 and in its hey-day the town of Kolmanskop featured a casino, theatre, butchery, bakery, the first tram in Africa, and a hospital with the first x-ray machine in the Southern Hemisphere.

Kolmanskop was named after John Coleman who was a transport driver and abandoned his wagon near the settlement during a bad sand storm. However, after World War I the diamond sales dropped and richer diamond deposits were found elsewhere. This led to a mass exodus from the town and by 1954 it was finally abandoned.

Today the town is a popular tourist destination with the desert sands covering sections of buildings and making for unique photographs. A permit is required to enter the town as it is located in a restricted area.

Have you been to Kolmanskop? How did you find the town?

Map of Kolmanskop