Kolmanskop - Swallowed by the Dunes


The "ghost town" of Kolmanskop in southern Namibia is one of our most photogenic locations. Its existence is due to one man - Namibian worker Zacharias Lewala - who found a diamond here in 1908 and showed it to his German boss. Realising the area was full of diamonds, the German government prohibited entry to virtually the whole of Namibia's southern coast - and named it "Sperrgebiet" - meaning "forbidden zone".

Kolmanskop was built in this gem-rich land, in German colonial style, complete with all modern facilities, including a hospital, ballroom, casino, ice factory and sports center. Its tram and x-ray machine were the first in Africa, funded by the diamond wealth.

The town was abandoned almost sixty years ago as the diamond supply was exhausted, and Kolmanskop gradually succumbed to the timeless power of the dunes. Though still in the forbidden zone, visitors can access the ghost town - with a permit - from the nearby coastal town of deritz. Our advice? Bring your camera to capture some spectacular scenes!

Here is a gallery of images shot in Kolmanskop by James McCaul.

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

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