Kolmanskop is yet another case of urban development gone wrong, in the Namibian Desert no less. After the discovery of a diamond nearby in 1908, prospectors flooded the area with the hopes of striking it rich. And the facilities they built in Kolmanskop – including a hospital, school, theater, and power station – are a testament to the potential wealth they saw buried here. What they didn’t bank on was World War I, and the diamond price crash that would follow.
Eventually, all of Kolmanskop’s state-of-the-art structures became too expensive to maintain, and by 1954 the town was completely deserted. Today, one of Kolmanskop’s most striking features is the harsh terrain upon which it was established; visitors must wade through several feet of sand in order to tour the area (yes, even indoors).
Getting there: Tours of Kolmanskop must be pre-booked, and a valid passport must be presented. Lüderitz Safaris & Tours offers daily tours.
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