Kolmanskop – The gallery
A real life ghost town for you to explore.
That's right, Kolmanskop has a feel of the eerie about it, as a result you get a real sense of the life that once existed here. It is the remains of a small mining town that fell into decline after World War I before being completely abandoned in 1954. The Namib desert is slowly engulfing it. Some buildings are kept intact and some have fell into ruin.
It's located some 13 km or 8 miles outside Luderitz, so is around a 15 minute drive from the town.
It sits in the protected 'Sperrgebiet' area, a diamond belt where there is a heavy fine or imprisonment if you stray from the road. However you can buy a permit at the town gate, and you are free to wander around exploring until your heart's content.
It is also possible to book a guided tour that's available in English or German. There are more details here.
A helpful guide
If you're considering a road trip through Namibia, then your in for a holiday of a lifetime. I always find it incredibly useful to plan our trips with the help of a guide book.
Take a look at this informative Bradt guide, it will give you great tips and advice.
So what's in Kolmanskop?
It is absolutely amazing because the state of the buildings vary in their condition. Some are almost engulfed by the sands yet others seem to offer a reasonable restoration project. You are free to walk around the town however you will need to exercise some caution and a little common sense. This is no theme park.
I hope the gallery gives the flavour of the town . It is just a collection of my shots from a morning visit to the town while we were staying at Lüderitz.
The technical bits
The camera used of the entire Namibia trip was my trusty Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. For this shoot I limited myself to the EF24-70mm lens. Whilst in Namibia I aimed to keep lens changes to a minimum. The risk of dust or sand contamination was extremely high.
As is often the case with my galleries there is a mixture of shots here. Some are blended, multi-exposure, HDR shots tomemapped with the aim of capturing the full dynamic range of the light. Some are single-shot tonemapped.
As always, if a particular shot interests you or want to know more about my workflow just let me know.
Visited Kolmanskop? Or any other 'ghost town' where a whole settlement has been lost to the elements?
Inspired to visit Kolmanskop?
Ideally you'll stay at Lüderitz to give you a full day at Kolmanskop.
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Wow!! Gary, what a stunning series of photos! And i mean ‘stunning’ in the true meaning of the word! You’ve been able to capture so much atmosphere and detail! I only learned of Kolmanskop a couple of months ago so loved seeing even more insight ??
Cheers Russell. It was one of those places we’d heard about when we were putting our Namibia Road Trip together, so we deliberately planned an extra night at Lüderitz to make sure we captured it. It is fascinating to walk around, the freedom you have is amazing, and it really does feel like a ghost town. Is Namibia on your roadmap at all?