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Photographic Safari of Namibia's Kolmanskop
Sand swept ghost towns and off-limits diamond mines
Jun 19 - Jun 22
In the early 1900's, just outside the isolated town of Luderitz, a railway employee discovered some unusual rocks in Namibia's desert. Upon further inspection by a former former De Beers employee, these rocks turned out to be diamonds. As the news spread, the diamond rush of Luderitz began. Diamonds were so abundant that laborers could pluck them off the sands like ripe apples off a tree, and by 1912 Kolmanskop was responsible for almost 12 percent of the world's total diamond production.

With wealth comes prosperity, and the miners sought the finest luxuries available at the time, and soon the town boasted a butcher, baker, post office, and even an ice plant. Two physicians served the local population, with the most popular prescription consisting of an evening tonic of caviar sandwiches and champagne.

As so often happens, with boom comes bust, and the last of the town's inhabitants abandoned the town in the mid 1950's. Since that time, the deserts sands have been slowly reclaiming the town, weathering facades, and leaving behind smooth rolling drifts in doorways and rooms that were once full of people and luxury.

Join WANT Expeditions for this special photographic extension. With special permitted access, we'll have the chance to photograph the beautiful ghost town of Kolmanskop from sunrise to sunset. We'll also spend a day photographing in “Sperrgebiet” (known as the forbidden diamond area), where mining activities are still taking place.

German's flocked to the Kolmanskop was once the home to hundreds of German miners desperately seeking their fortune in the Namibian desert, but almost 100 years after Kolmanskop peaked as a thriving and bustling oasis, it is now a dilapidated ghost town slowly being reclaimed by the sand.

Popular combinations: Namibia Culture & Nature Safari
Detailed itinerary:
Jun 19 Windhoek/Luderitz
  It's an early morning flight to the south western region of Namibia to the beautiful German town of Luderitz. The town is known for its brightly painted buildings, some Art Nouveau work, and wildlife including seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. Depending on weather conditions, we'll utilize the afternoon to explore the town's colonial architecture, and beaches as we search for members of its famous penguin colony. We'll enjoy sunset dinner from the harbour.
  Accommodation: Comfortable city lodge/hotel
Jun 20 Kolmanskop
  Special access has been granted on our behalf to photograph Kolmanskop, so will be awake, fed, and heading to the town well before sunrise for our morning photography session. As you scan the town, on the hilltop that overlooks the town there is an old water tank, just another symbol of the obstacles that challenged those trying to survive without the natural resources essential to sustain life. At one time, Oompah bands played to finely dressed Germans in a gilded ballroom, ice was delivered each morning to homes and housewives, brooms in hand, waged a futile war at their thresholds against the endless onslaught of the Namib Desert.
Today, only fragments of the inhabitants' lives remain, a battered kettle in a beautifully tiled kitchen, a warped wardrobe resting wearily on its side, some painstakingly hand-painted wall designs, a bathtub breasting a growing dune like a boat at sea. We'll visit the shopkeeper's house, the restored mine captain's residence, the butchery, gym and skittles alley. Most buildings are in ruins today but some have been glamorously renovated giving you an even better feel of the contrast between what this place once was and what it is today – a land reclaimed by nature. We'll enjoy lunch and a break from the sun back in the town of Luderitz, then it will be back to Kolmanskop for our evening session to catch the weathered buildings in the falling lights.
  Accommodation: Comfortable city lodge/hotel
Jun 21 “Sperrgebiet” (forbidden diamond area)
  Sperrgebiet is natural park with an area of 26,000 square kilometers, and is jointly managed by De Beers and the Namibian government. Like Kolmanskop, access to this area is only obtained with a permit. Our morning will take us through breathtaking desert landscapes with an incredible variety of desert plants. Our first stop will be the old “ghost” mining town of Pomona where some of the mining equipment dates back to the turn of the century and remains reasonably well preserved. Pomona is different in that we not only will be able to observe how people once lived, but the conditions in which they worked. After a nice lunch, we'll continue on to “Bogenfels” -massive rock arch jutting out from the land and into the Atlantic Ocean. Weather permitting, we'll return slowly to Luderitz, stopping to explore and photograph the desert landscape along the way.

  Accommodation: Comfortable city lodge/hotel
Jun 22 Windhoek
  We return early this morning to Windhoek and join newly arriving guests for our upcoming Namibia photographic safari. Our Welcome dinner begins at 19:00 this evening.
  Accommodation: High end city hotel
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Namibia Trip mapCopyright © WantExpeditions

Trip price: in double room: USD 2,100
  in single room: USD 2,300

Trip images:
KolmanskopCopyright © WantExpeditions
KolmanskopCopyright © WantExpeditions
KolmanskopCopyright © WantExpeditions
KolmanskopCopyright © WantExpeditions
KolmanskopCopyright © WantExpeditions
Narrow guage railroad at KolmanskopCopyright © WantExpeditions
BogenfelsCopyright © WantExpeditions
LuderitzCopyright © WantExpeditions

Trip price: in double room: USD 2,100
  in single room: USD 2,300
Price includes:
· all accomodation
· all meals
· all activities mentioned in the program
· all land transportation
· all airport and local transfers
· all national park fees
· all entrance fees
· all local guiding fees
· all tips
· all government taxes and levies
· photography education and assistance
· Hot air balloon ride
· all domestic flights

Price excludes:
· international flights
· travel insurance
· personal expenses at accommodation
· departure taxes at airports
· visa fees
· any other items not mentioned above