13. Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port town of L├╝deritz. Once a small but very rich mining village, it is now a popular tourist destination. The first diamond was found in Kolmanskop in 1908, and thereafter many of German miners settled in this diamond-rich area.

With the wealth produced by diamond mining, the residents built this German village, with amenities such as a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theatre, casino and a ice factory. The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. The geological forces of the desert mean that tourists now walk through houses knee-deep in sand. Kolmanskop is also very popular with photographers.