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Kolmanskop

 
 

In 1908, Luderitz was plunged into diamond fever. People rushed into the Namib Desert hoping to make an easy fortune and within two years, a town, complete with a casino, school, hospital and exclusive residential buildings, had been established in the barren sandy desert. The diamond-bearing gravel was screened and washed in huge recovery plants. Over 1 000 kg of diamonds were extracted before World War I. However, the amount of gemstones greatly diminished after the war. Furthermore, considerably larger diamonds were found to the south near Oranjemund, causing Kolmanskop to become a ghost town.

You can visit Kolmanskop. Every day, there are one-hour guided tours, in the mornings at 9h30 and 10h45.

The weight unit for diamonds is called a "carat". One carat equals approximately 0.2 grams. In Elisabeth Bay, located nearly 30 kilometres from Kolmanskop, about 1000 carats, that is around 200 grams, of raw diamonds were extracted daily. To achieve this, many wagonloads of diamond-bearing sand and gravel had to be brought in to the recovery facilities. The material was then screened and washed in huge drums.

Normally, 10 tons of sand contained only 1 to 2 carats of diamonds. Today, Elizabeth Bay, like Kolmanskop, is a ghost town. However, although very picturesque, the place is only allowed to be visited with a special permit. Because a new recovery plant began operation nearby, Elisabeth Bay is situated in a strictly guarded diamond zone. Visitors who apply for a permit must prove that they have no criminal record.

 

  kolmanskop   kolmanskop namibia  

Other Namibian Destinations:

Etosha National Park   Sossusvlei / Sesriem
A visit to the Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of travelling Namibia. Etosha, which was...more   The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by...more
     
Fish River Canyon   Kaokoveld
The Fish River canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive...more   Located in the far north-west, Kaokoland (also called Kaokoveld) is one of the relatively untouched regions in Namibia. The...more
     
Ai-Ais / Fish River   Swakopmund
Thermal water rich in sulphates and fluorides and with a temperature of approx 60°C gushes forth from the...more   Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbour during the German colonial era even though the...more
     
Caprivi   Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia, about 400 kilometres long. Germany exchanged the area...more   The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is located between the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The park covers an area of...more
     
Aus / Wild Horses   Namib Naukluft Park
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Luderitz   Waterberg Plateau Park
Luderitz is a slighty sleepy and maybe also bizarre place, which forms the basis of its appeal. The founding...more   The Waterberg Plateau east of Otjiwarongo towers over the surrounding plains, being about 200 metres higher. The...more
     
Kolmanskop   Mariental / Hardap Dam
In 1908, Luderitz was plunged into diamond fever. People rushed into the Namib Desert hoping to make an...more   Mariental lies 260 kilometres south of Windhoek on the B1. The little town provides for the...more
     
Maltahöhe   Keetmanshoop
Maltahöhe lies 110 kilometres west of Mariental atthe end of the tarred part of the C19 Pad, quite easily...more   Keetmanshoop lies on the B4, 500 km south of Windhoek. It is the traffic junction and the economic centre for the...more
Kalahari Desert    
Stretching to 360,000 square miles, the Kalahari Desert extends beyond the borders of three countries in Africa... more    

 

 
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