In the Sperrgebiet, or ‘forbidden area’ outside of Luderitz lies the abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop. You need a permit to visit, as Rob and I did on our 2006 Namibia trip in the Landy, but it’s worth it: here’s a small town, complete with bakery and shop and miners’ houses, slowly being infiltrated and swallowed by the desert. It’s one of those places that make you think about human endeavour in a wider, more geological and philosophical perspective, and it makes for some good photos.
Here is a baker’s dozen.
Luderitz, on the southern coast of Namibia, is a time capsule of German Art Nouveau architecture, a sleepy fishing port at the end of a windswept road across a lunar landscape. Our stay there, in December of 2006, after our explorations of Sossussvlei and the Fish River Canyon, was a bit longer than we had planned – in fact, we were lucky to make it.
Somewhere along the road, as we were overtaking a huge pantechnicon, at around 120km per hour, we had a blow-out, and came within microseconds of being killed. Fortunately I managed to bring the Land Rover to a halt – amazingly, the Discovery didn’t even swerve, although it shook as though a fist had struck it. We had to wait an extra day in Luderitz for a spare tyre to come from Windhoek – the original was shredded, and you can’t travel by road through Namibia without a good spare, preferably two.
All of which meant we had plenty of time to sample the Luderitz oysters and to explore the town. Here are some photos, taken on an early morning walk.