Why Visit Kolmanskop?
Kolmanskop is a Namibian ghost town, situated in Sperrgebiet, 10km away from Lüderitz. Kolmanskop began as Coleman’s Hill after a transport driver called Johnny Coleman abandoned his old wagon on a hill opposite the settlement during a sandstorm. In 1908, Zacharias Lewala found a diamond while working in the area, then soon after showing it to his supervisor, German miners started settling down in the area.
Very well-restored and accessible, Kolmanskop is situated in Sperrgebiet, 10km away from Lüderitz. It was fully abandoned in the mid-50’s. In 1908 the diamond boom started just after the first diamond was picked up off the ground in Kolmanskop. More shinny stones were found to the South near the Orange River, then later, a slow recession crept up on the area, sinking the rush into the desert sand.
Highlights & Places in Kolmanskop
- Ghost Town Tour
- Pomona & Bogenfels Tour
- Sedina Boat Trip
- Kolmanskop Museum
One of the main points of interest is the abandoned diamond mining town of Pomona. Pomona was home to roughly 1 000 people and facilities included a school, church, hotel and bowling alley.
The schooner passes the old whaling station at Stormvogel Bucht, and sails on to Shearwater and Guano Bay. Halifax Island is home to a waddling colony of African Jackass penguins, as well as schools of Heavyside dolphins.
Visit the Kolmanskop Museum, this will offer a fascinating history lesson. Mining implements are on display and an extensive collection of photos transports tourists back in time to the glory days when mining was still in full swing.
Best Time to Visit Kolmanskop
Summer is from October to April. Temperatures can reach 40ºC which plummet at night to cool levels. Average daily temperatures range from 20ºC to 34ºC. Winter is from May to September with wonderful warm days which are contrasted by very cold nights.
When to Go
Namibia's climate is typical of semi-desert terrain, hot days and cool nights. The coastal regions are cooled by the cold Benguela current, causing fog and inhibiting rainfall.
Getting There & Getting Around
Getting To Kolmanskop
Tourists must provide their own transport from town. To get to Kolmanskop, drive east on the B4 from Luderitz for some 10km and turn south on a well sign-posted road.
Getting Around Kolmanskop
Some prefer the independence of self driving and can either hire a car or 4x4 for this holiday. Kolmanskop can also be visited on a guided tour.
Kolmanskop Tips : Know Before You Go
There are only ATMs in Lüderitz, 10km away from Kolmanskop.
Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged during normal banking hours at any of the commercial banks, or at Bureau de change offices. A better rate of exchange can be obtained on travellers cheques than on cash.
Cards are not accepted in small towns such as Kolmanskop. It is best to bring cash.
In Windhoek you will be able to find a few internet cafes, with some hotels or safari lodges offering WiFi. In the more remote areas however, there is not much in the way of internet, leaving you free to unplug in peace and quiet.
Tap water is safe to drink in most towns – in rural areas and many rest stops, it is best to stick to bottled water.
Hospitals & Medical:
As many parts of Namibia are extremely remote, visitors should take care to stay safe and healthy. There is a malaria risk in the Lüderitz area, so malaria medication is essential if visiting the area.
No visa is required to visit Namibia, however all visitors need to provide confirmed return ticket plus proof of their travel plans. A valid passport of six months is also required to enter the country.
Kolmanskop is located in a restricted area that requires permits. It is important to buy special permits before visiting the town.
The only days that Kolmanskop isn’t open is on Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years Day, so yes, it is open on 24th December.
As Kolmanskop Ghost Town is located within the restricted diamond area (the Sperrgebiet) a permit is necessary to visit. These permits are available from Lüderitzbucht Tours & Safaris located in Bismarck Street, Tel: (063) 202719. Guided tours are conducted from Monday to Saturday at 09h30 and 10h45. On Sundays there is only one tour at 10h00. Entrance into Kolmanskop outside of these hours is prohibited. For photographers, photo permits (from sunrise to sunset) can be obtained during office hours from Tel: (063) 203073.
Should you require any assistance with transportation or accommodation for your visit, please let me know and we would be glad to assist.
Is the permit issued on the same day? We are wanting to visit Kolmanskop but the information we have found online indicates that it can take from 6 days to 3 weeks to obtain the permit to visit the Sperrgebeit.
How much is the permit, and how much is the tour? How long is the tour?
A permit for Kolmanskop is 55.00 Namibian Dollar per person at the moment. This includes the entrance fee and guided tour. The tour is about 45 minutes long and the permit allows you to visit from 08:00 to 13:00. Also, no need to worry about a long wait for permit approval - they are issued on the day of entry.