The former diamond boom town of Kolmanskop, finally deserted in1956, is now a ghost town and lies crumbling in the desert 15 km inland of Luderitz, gradually being weathered by the wind and buried by the sand. It is a fascinating place to visit, offering as it does a glimpse into an exciting part of Namibia's history.
Following the discovery of diamonds at Kolmanskop in1908 and the ensuing diamond rush the German colonial authorities declared a Sperrgebiet or 'for bidden zone' along the coast. This area extended from the Orange River in the south for 360 km northward to latitude 26S and inland for 100 km, and is known today as Diamond Area No.1.
Exclusive mining rights from this area are held by NAMDEB, owned jointly by Namibian Government and De Beers, and it is forbidden to enter the area without permission.
Even where the Sperrgebiet becomes part of the Namib - Naukluft Park, access is strictly controlled and visitors are required to remain on the road at all times.