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The harbour town of Lüderitz in the far south-west of Namibia is situated on one of the world’s most inhospitable coastlines. However, it was once an important trading post. In the early 1900s the discovery of diamonds nearby resulted in a further surge of population and prosperity to the region. Nowadays much of what is to see, of interest, are the historic remains from days gone by and a dark colonial past.
The diamond rush to Lüderitz resulted in the diamond mining settlement of Kolmanskop being established just 10km inland. This was once a bustling and wealthy town, home to up 1,300 people at it’s peak and over 1,000kg were collected from the nearby area prior to World War I.
It had the first x-ray machine in the southern hemisphere, an ice-factory and even the first tram in Africa. The town fell into decline in the 50s and now as it is reclaimed by the desert, it is one of the highlights of a visit to the region and a reminder of the boom and bust nature of this resource.
Just off the coast and Lüderitz can lay claim to be the only place in the world where it is possible to penguins and flamingos at the same time.
There used to be many African penguin colonies along the Namibian coast, but numbers have dramatically reduced over the past century and one of the best places to see them is on Halifax Island, which can be reached on a boat trip from Lüderitz. Keep a look out for Heaviside dolphins playing in the wake of the boat and a wide variety of birdlife including flamingos.
This is a year-round destination although sometimes the weather can be extreme, very cold, even snow in the winter and very hot in the summer. It can also be unpredictable, due to it’s proximity to the Cape of South Africa, sometimes it follow’s a weather pattern more similar to this region- rainfall in the winter from May to September and warm, dry summers from November to February. However it may also follow a typical Namibia pattern with rain in the summer and dry, cool winters. What can be sure is that whenever the rain does come, if it is heavy or prolonged it should prompt the sudden bloom of flowering plants, similar to the famous ‘flower season’ found south of the border.
Our 'Namibia Off The Beaten Track' itinerary features a full circuit around the south of Namibia. Including two nights in the small town of Aus. This is perfectly located, not only to enjoy the coastal delights and history of Lüderitz but to explore the rugged Aus mountains by foot, vehicle or perhaps by mountain bike.
Eagle’s Nest is the property which is included in the 'Namibia Off The Beaten Track' itinerary. This is situated on the private Klein Aus Vista reserve, along with it’s sister property Desert Horse Inn. If you would prefer to stay closer to the coast then the best option in Lüderitz is The Nest Hotel. This has lovely views of the ocean as well as a popular restaurant and a cocktail lounge, the accompanying deck is the perfect place from which to watch the sunset.