Posts tagged with “Kolmanskop”

Namibia Tour 2017 – Part 2

Tuesday, 18 July, 2017


Mariki was up early to climb the rocky koppie just meters away from Zum Anker.  It provided a nice bird’s eye view of Luderitz.

We were the only newbies to Luderitz.  As the rest of the touring group had all previously done Kolmanskop, we went there on our own.  This was one of the two primary objectives of my tour, and we did not intend missing this.

Due to high numbers of tourists, we were divided in three groups.  English, German, and Afrikaans.  Our guide was very knowledgeable, and her presentation very good.   Space would preclude a complete rundown of the history of Kolmanskop, but you can read more about it at

But in short, diamonds were found there in 1908.  It was so prevalent that it was picked up in jars, even at night with diamonds identifiable in the moonlight.  Amazingly, each house in Kolmanskop at that time had electricity and a telephone, with ice blocks being delivered to each house every morning to be used in the “top loader” fridges to cool down food.  The complex even sported a pool which looked about25m x 25m and about 3m deep.  However, in 1928 even richer diamond deposits were found at Oranjemund, and everyone then flocked there, simply leaving their homes at Kolmanskop.  Easy come easy go, I guess.


I’d prefer not to stay in this one.

The railway line between Luderitz and Aus, which had been in rehabilitation for more than ten years now, had been built at that time within an amazing ten months by 1908.  It is scheduled to re-open again this year.   It seems like an uphill battle, though, as there are places where whole sand dunes became settled across the tracks.

Johnie hoped to go on a tour to Bogenfels, but apparently these tours require two days’ notice, for which we did not have sufficient time.  We took a drive around the Luderitz peninsula, instead.  We managed to see Kleiner Bogenfels,

and also went down to one of two fjords.  The rather bad smaller roads caused us to thereafter rather aim for Diaz point, where the wind was blowing that I believe would meet the criteria of “fresh”.  Sommer very fresh.

Water over a troubled bridge?

Down below from Diaz cross a young man had a spot of bother with his Nissan bakkie.  After a picnic with his girlfriend, he got stuck.  Under Rosie’s command those of us close enough not to be able to ignore his plight, were all commanded to assist in pushing the bakkie back to dry ground.

It turned out that, independent of our group, my remaining brother also arrived in Luderitz sometime during the day.  Just after dark we happened to pass each other on the road, and he recognized my vehicle.  Well, he should, I would think.  I’ve had it for the past 17 years.

I took him along to Barrels, where the rest of our crowd already convened for dinner.

We might have arrived there a bit late, as the place was full, and we were taken through the kitchen to what seems to be a breakfast corner. This was a lot quieter than the hustle and bustle of the main restaurant and bar.   We also met up again with the gentleman with the Nissan.  He still had the same girlfriend.

We had to wait rather long for our food, but we were advised that, due to the popularity of the place, if you’re not there by six in the evening, this is bound to happen.   We in any event were not in a hurry.


Day three    

The horses of Aus, Tiras Mountains, Gunsbewys

We could once again get on the road fairly quickly, as we only had to pack our bags, with all the camping stuff having remained in the bakkie for the two nights we stayed at Zum Anker.

Before we left we visited the campsite at Shark Island.  It looked rather nice, but I understand Shark Island (as the rest of Luderitz) to have a bit of a reputation for being windy.  Shark Island was a concentration camp between 1905 and 1907 where Nama and Herero prisoners were held.  A monument with several plaques had been set up to commemorate a rather grisly bit of genocidal history.

[Picture:  Mariki Stassen]

Now having mobile phone contact with each other, we left before the rest of the convoy.  Apart from Kolmanskop, the feral horses of Aus were the other item high on our bucket list and we wanted to spend time at the Garub viewpoint about 20km’s before Aus.

The history of these horses is unclear.  Different theories had been put forward, such as that the horses came from the Duwiseb breeding station, that they originated from a 19th century cargo ship, or that they became scattered from South African Expeditiary Forces during the first World War.  Whatever their origin, they adapted to the harsh environment.

Due to ongoing drought (now apparently in its fourth year) steps had been taken to provide limited support of the horses in terms of feeding and water.   More information could be found at

When we got to the viewpoint, two rather lame and skinny horses were hanging around.  They came to within touching distance of us, but remained wary.

[Picture: Mariki Stassen]

We overlooked the plain below where a number of Gemsbok could be seen.

Shortly thereafter more horses approached the water hole, and some came up to the viewpoint.  At one stage a mare approached the viewpoint, causing a flurry of two other mares neighing and rearing, with one of them then departing.  The remaining two mares then came together, necking each other.

This was really a site worthwhile spending time at.

The rest of our convoy joined us, and from there we departed for Aus.  This was our first hot day with temperatures measuring 32 degrees.

I had to fill the bakkie up at Aus.  We in any event had to go back to the shop at the garage just to check on something.  When we passed through on our way to Luderitz, I took a travel brochure from the magazine rack.  Going through it in Luderitz, however, I spotted what seemed like a price on the back cover of the book, …