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Diamonds among the dunes! We explored an old Namibian diamond mining town, Kolmanskop, now a deserted relic from Namibia's diamond rush. This country's economy depends on mining its rich mineral deposits. The world's richest gem-quality diamond fields are here, in a area called the Forbidden Zone (tourists aren't allowed to see). In the early 1900's when diamond's were discovered here, people could actually pick up large stones lying exposed in the sands. What is the current price for a roughcut, au-natural diamond? $300 US dollars per carat.
Like most Namibian towns, Luderitz is a town of German architecture.
Luderitz is named after Alfred Luderitz, a German merchant that persuaded the German government to annex Namibia during Europe's "scramble for Africa," the period of frantic European colonization of the continent at the end of the 19th century.
The dunes steadily swallow Kolmanskop town, once a prominent diamond mining town, now only inhabited by beetles. Luckily, we visited on a calm, windless day. Our guide told us that sandstorms often hit this area with winds in excess of 100 km per hour.