Lüderitz

Lüderitz is an old German coastal town in Namibia. It is noted for its distinctive German atmosphere and colonial style buildings, reflecting the Art Nouveau style architecture at the turn of the century. After a major renovation of the waterfront, it is now undergoing a major renaissance.

German colonial buildings: Kapps Konzert und Ballsaal, with Felsenkirche (right) and Goerke Haus (left) in the background

Get in

Luderitz is located 350 km west of Keetmanshoop along a tarred road, the B4, via the hamlets of Goageb and Aus. If travelling by road, plan to arrive early in the day as sand storms are common in the afternoons.

Get around

By rental car

There are several tour operators in Luderitz which will also take you to some of the areas attractions. There are several standard car rental agencies in town which will enable the tourist to see the Luderitz Peninsula, including Diaz Point, Agate Beach and some of the bays teeming with flamingos.

See

Berg Street, lined with buildings from the period of German rule

There are many historic German colonial buildings including the Deutsche Afrika bank building, the Station building, the Old Post Office, and the small Felsenkirche (the church on the rocks), a Lutheran church. One of the most notable buildings is the Goerke Haus at the end of Zeppelin Street. This is one of Luderitz's best preserved buildings, considered one of the "diamond palaces". Other buildings of note are Troost House, Kreplin House, Krappenhoft and Lampe building, Woerman House and Turnhalle.

Do

Inside a building in Kolmanskop

Town Walking Tour

The historic town architecture is a mixture of German Imperial Style and Art Nouveau. These are best seen on foot, a short walk through the town. Visit the building noted above.

Halifax Island

The Zeepard (sea horse) catamaran drives daily to Halifax Island, home to one of the few colonies of African penguins. Flamingos and seals can be spotted on tour, and a few dolphins usually chase the boat. Departs from the jetty at 8AM, children free, adults N$400 (Dec 2015), to be paid one day in advance at the information office downtown.

Kolmanskop

Do visit the nearby ghost town of Kolmanskop. Founded in 1908, it was a major settlement for diamond miners until richer ore and alluvial deposits were found near Oranjemund. The last settler left in 1956, giving the town over to the sand dunes that have crept in and started to take over the town. It is one of Namibia's premier ghost towns. There are one-hour guided tours daily in the mornings at 9h30 and 10h45. Permits are required and available at Luederitz Tours & Safaris in Bismarck Street, Tel 202719.

Bogenfels

The tour to Bogenfels arch passes the diamond ghost towns of Elisabeth Bay and Pomona. Apply well in advance, as the necessary permits to visit the restricted diamond area take 4-5 days to process.

Feral Horses

West of Aus live unique desert-dwelling horses. The population is between 150 and 200 and are eccentric in their adaptation to desert conditions. For example, they are smaller than conventional hourses, can go without water for days at a time and urinate less than conventional horses. Several theories abound as to their heritage. Some say that they are remnants of the German Imperial Army abandoned during WWI. Others speculate that they are descendants from a shipwreck cargo. Follow the sign post north of the B4 about twenty kilometres west of Aus.

Buy

Fish is the best thing available.

Eat

Lüderitz is a centre for rock lobster. Seafood is a specialty of the area.

Drink

Windhoek Lager Beer, brewed in Windhoek. Brewed according to the German Beer Purity Law, it's the best beer you'll find in southern Africa.

Sleep

More confection-like German buildings in Lüderitz

There are several hotels plus several guesthouses and a backpackers hostel.

Go next

This town can be very windy. Particularly at the end of December through the middle of February, the wind can be quite substantial.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.