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Sandy bygones of Kolmanskop

Sandy bygones of Kolmanskop

In the Namib Desert a short drive from Lüderitz you’ll find Kolmanskop, Namibia’s proverbial ghost town of abandoned buildings drifting away into sandy bygones. After diamonds were discovered here during the early 1900s, hundreds of German families flocked to the area to claim their fortune. This influx into the once-lonely desert brought about the mining town of Kolmanskop, with facilities such as a hospital, theatre, bowling alley and even a casino!

The town declined shortly thereafter with the exhaustion of the diamond fields after the First World War and the sales of these sparkling gems dwindled, leaving the miners and their families in dismay. Kolmanskop’s last die-hard miner left in 1956, and the town was completely abandoned. “Kolmannskuppe” as it was also known inspires an eerie curiosity about the past and today is slowly being reclaimed by the desert sands, with invading dunes pushing doors and windows open to settle into the buildings – a photographer’s and explorer’s dream!