Kolmanskuppe

The ghost town of Kolmanskuppe was once abuzz with a myriad of activities, all centered around the diamond mining industry. In 1908, Zacharias Lewala picked up a peculiar stone and showed it to his supervisor. German railway inspector August Stauch immediately realized the wealth of the discovery. Shortly thereafter, the German government proclaimed the area a Sperrgebiet, or forbidden zone, in order to safeguard the significance of the find. As mining commenced, the town boomed with an assortment of businesses and entertainment venues. Sporting a ballroom, skittle alley, theatre and casino, Kolmanskuppe quickly grew to a town of importance. The first X-ray machine as well as the first tram in Africa was installed in the mining town. As the supply of diamonds dwindled however, so did the town’s fame and lifeline. Officially abandoned in 1954, the town is but a skeleton of its formal glory. The unforgiving Namib Desert is slowly reclaiming the area with many buildings already covered with dunes, shifting sands cascading through broken windows and houses standing empty and forlorn. The town can only be visited by joining a guided tour as the area is still regarded as off limits to the public.