The Dias memorial near Luderitz harbour


Dias memorial stone


While the famous Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias was recorded as the first European to Luderitz in 1487, it is German occupation and colonisation that has made the town what it is to-day. Between 1842 and 1845, it was annexed to the Cape Colony for its rich guano pickings but in 1883, the Germans took over completely, naming the town after Adolf Luderitz who wanted to establish a trading post and a foothold for the German Empire.

The town’s foundations are on guano, fishing and of course, diamonds. Consequently, it has always been a ‘boom or bust’ town and this is reflected in the architecture, abandoned and beautiful buildings ad the remnants many failed developments.

Luderitz lightohuse


The rickety walkway from the lighthouse to the Dias memorial.

The wind never stops blowing! The sand dunes cover everything with sand, and the fortunes have fluctuated with every gust of wind. In 1928, diamond were discovered at the Orange River mouth further south and the focus moved to Orannjemund. However, in 1989 mining started again with NAMDEB in  Elizabeth Bay and the town is reviving. Not only that, but the Namibian government is rebuilding the railway line from Keetmanshoop to the sea in Luderitz, re-opening a trade channel.

It had been another dusty ride and the look of the Protea Hotel and other establishments in Luderitz did not appeal, but we were there to view Kolmanskop (much more later!), and we peeped over a hill to see Nirvana – the Luderitz Nest Hotel . Spoil time!

The Nest Hotel. Luxury beckons.

40 luxurious rooms, all overlooking the sea, a good (if not gastronomic) restaurant and the usual smiling, friendly Namibian staff. Bliss! And, wi-fi!





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