Kolmanskuppe, Namibia’s most famous ghost town, sprang up in 1908 after diamonds were found. During the following years the little town was the centre of a veritable diamond rush – which filled it with life. The town reached its pinnacle in the twenties when it was home to 300 Germans and 800 Owambo contract workers. Large elegant house were built and its hospital even boasted Southern Africa’s first X-ray machine. However when richer diamond deposits were found further south operations moved to Oranjemund and Kolmanskuppe was soon abandoned.
All that remains today are the Diamond Restricted Area, where mining of precious stones continues, and the ghost town of Kolmanskuppe. You can join a guided tour through the ruins, including the old ice factory, the butchery, the skittle-alley and the hall which was used for gymnastics and festivities. There is also a small museum and an exhibit about mining and processing diamonds. You can even buy diamonds (up to one carat), issued with a certificate and sealed in a pretty package – a lasting souvenir of your visit to Kolmanskuppe.