Discovering Luderitz and surrounds

Our second day in Luderitz was spent discovering the town and its surrounds and it was another really interesting day.

We decided to visit another ghost town, Kolmanskop, just 10kms (15 miles) outside of Luderitz. Our vehicle had not been returned so we used the little car loaned to us by the B&B owner. This caused a bit of a stir at the entrance gate to the town as the young man who owned the car we were using often worked there.

 

At KolmanskopeVicky & Trevor at entrance to Kolmannskuppe

Kolmannskuppe, or Kolmanskop as it is more commonly known, was at one time a very wealthy town where many of the diamond mining magnates lived. It was abandoned in 1930 by most of the residents with a few remaining until 1956 when it the easy supply of diamonds had completely dried up.

Kolmanskop was very similar to Pomona which had visited the previous day with houses, work buildings such a grocery store and offices, a school and, of course, a bowling alley. The main obvious difference was the size of the homes. It was very clear that the residents of this town were much more affluent than in Pomona.

Beautiful home2A home of a wealthy diamond miner

Bowling alleyThe former bowling alley which was being restored when we visited

School buildingThe renovated school building

In addition, some of the buildings had been restored to show their previous purposes and a museum created. Being a tourist attraction which is much easier to visit than Pomona and Grillental, these developments and reconstructions had been done and guided tours were offered. We took advantage one of these tours and found this most interesting and enlightening. 

ButcheryThe butchery

Part of the tour included visiting the museum which has been excellently developed. Even we could identify with some of the items on show such tins, jars and other containers.

Trevor with old Weetbix tinTrevor with a Weetbix tim from our childhood

Shop in LuderitzTrevor looking at jewelry in the Museum shop

 After about 2 hours we went to Diaz Point across the bay to the South West of Luderitz. On the way between Kolmanskop and Luderitz we happened to see the mechanic driving Lyn’s car to the B&B as he had repaired it. He told us that the oil leak was not a problem and had been sealed. We were to learn differently at a later stage. We used this car to go to Diaz Point.

We spent a lovely time exploring the Diaz Point area which includes a lighthouse and a cross. It would seem that Bartolomeu Dias placed a cross at almost every place he stopped on the Southern African West Coast. We, personally, have now seen 3 of them – Cape Cross Island and Luderitz in Namibia and in Kwaaihoek near Alexandria in the Eastern Cape of SA. Exactly how many there are is something I have been unable to ascertain. It is believed that the first cross was the one at Kraaihoek which disintegrated and pieces were found and reconstructed and is now housed at the University of the Witwatersrand. A new cross was erected there.

T on walkway to Diaz CrossTrevor on walkway to Diaz Cross Down and across walkway to lighthouse from Diaz CrossLooking from the Diaz Cross to the lighthouse

We finished our trip to the area by having a delicious if decadent tea and cake at the simple café on the beach. At the same time we were able to admire the dozens of flamingos and gulls all around. Near the reastaurant was a fascinating 'weather rock'. A very worthwhile visit.

Restaurant deckThe deck of the restaurant

Weather rock

Explanation of the rock which hung on a rope from a tied to a wooden stand

Flamingoes with GullsA few of the flamingoes and gulls

We drove back to Luderitz by a different route seeing some new and interesting vegetation and landscapes. As we came back into town we drove up a steep hill to visit the Church on the Rock and we were fortunate to see it inside as it is only open for an hour late afternoon 5 days a week. The stained glass windows are quite beautiful. For a building which is over 100 years old and has stood in blaring sun and salt air it is extremely well maintained. The views from the church across the bay and inland are spectacular.

 Church on a Rock

Rear of the Church on the Rock 

The only problem was that, with it being on a solid rock, it was quite an effort to walk around and enjoy the full beauty.

T climbs the rock at the churchTrevor climbs the rock behind the church

We ended our day by taking a walk down to the local harbour area from where we could see across to Shark Island from the B&B. It was here that German forces created a concentration camp for indigenous people of South West Africa (as Namibia was known at the time). It is a most harsh and unfriendly place to have been imprisonered in old tents and little other protection.Boats in Luderitz BayBoats in Luderitz harbour with Shark Island across the bay

 Today there is a memorial to Captain Cornelius Fredericks who acted as leader of the prisoners of war and to all the men, women and children who were incarcerated there.

Memorial to Capt FredericksMemorial to Captain Fredericks and all incacerated at Shark Island

It was a glorious evening and Lyn was able to obtain some lovely photos of the sunset before we headed back into town for a pizza dinner and early night. In the morning we would leave for the Quiver Tree Forest and the Giants’ Playground on the return journey to Swakopmund.

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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