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Namibia: Kolmanskop

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Kolmanskop | Namibia | Africa

[Visited: February 1995, July 1999]

In the middle of one of the deserts of Namibia, in the south of the country, lies the town of Kolmanskop. Or rather, lied the town of Kolmanskop. Once erected when the diamond trade was booming and a town was needed for those who wanted to make a living of this trade, it was subsequently abandoned completely in 1956 when a slump in diamond sales occurred and subsequently more diamond deposits were discovered in the Orange River to the south.

Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Sand in house of Kolmanskop

Since that time, the sand has been the only inhabitant of the town and it has almost completely devoured it. Some houses have been pillaged, but otherwise the sand, helped by strong winds which are almost always present, has advanced in all the houses. This offers spectacular views for modern day visitors. In some streets, it is possible to walk directly over the sand into the top floor. In other streets the sand has not yet come that high, but still entering the houses and seeing the sand dune formations in the bathrooms, living rooms and bedrooms offer strange sights. Even the casino and the theatre are now only occupied by desert sand.

Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Sand in house of Kolmanskop

Walking around this town, struggling against the winds and the blowing sand, seeing the deserted houses, really gives a feeling of a ghost town. It also gives a deep sensation of the temporariness of life, of everything we esteem to be eternal which suddenly seems so temporal. In this town people had dreams about the future, worked hard to achieve it, and before it could all become reality they had to leave it. Now, the only thing that rests for the time being is an emtpy town which will in the future be completely wiped off the maps, when it will be entirely covered with sand.

Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Sandy house in Kolmanskop
Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Inside one of the houses of Kolmanskop: doors and colourful walls
Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Sand and doors inside a house of Kolmanskop
Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Door with sand in one of the houses of Kolmanskop
Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Desert sand hiding a old door in an abandoned house of Kolmanskop
Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Desert sand reaching the roof of one of the buildins of Kolmanskop
Picture of Kolmanskop (Namibia): Medical items on display in the small museum in Kolmanskop

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Kolmanskop (Namibia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Kolmanskop.
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