Travel back in time to a sleepy German town frozen in the past and stuck between a hostile coastline and the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. Just a few kilometers away from the Sperrgebiet (prohibited area) in the Deep South of Namibia you will stumble upon the historic coastal town of Lüderitz.
Not without its own contrasting beauties, the town is best explored on foot. Walking around Lüderitz you will definitely feel the German influence with the names of the Turnhalle (gym) and Lesehalle (reading hall) written on the buildings and the impressive colonial German architecture of the houses being castle-like and situated in an array of red, orange, yellow and blue colours. One breathtaking house, very difficult to miss is Haus Grünewald on the corner of Berg Street, boasting a brick red A-frame roof and red window outlines all contrasting to bright blue walls. One of the true beauties to discover is the Felsenkirche (church on the rocks), an evangelical Lutheran church, very unique as it was built in 1911 solely on materials brought from Germany. Make your way up Diamond Hill to the church and experience a beautiful panoramic view of Lüderitz from the top. Inside the church is an awe-inspiring stained glass window behind the pulpit that glows when the sun sets. Another landmark, and considered a national monument, that cannot be missed is the Goerkehaus. Architected in a German art-nouveau style the beautiful antique furniture and décor will teleport you to how life used to be lived.
Situated by the sea, Lüderitz is renowned for its characteristic bays, beaches and lagoons that can be visited. Robert Harbor, boasts a beautiful waterfront where you can walk along the promenade or watch the sail boats in the new quay as you sit at one of the cozy café’s. Take a Zeepard catamaran to the nearby seal and penguin islands, of which Halifax island houses Namibia’s largest African penguin colony. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen such as flamingoes, Cape-fur seals, Heaviside’s dolphins, whales (at certain times of the year), jackals and even gemsbok. The bird lovers will have a great day sighting all kinds of marine birds including rare Crowned Cormorants. Continue your expedition nearby and take a day trip to the famous Dias point where a stone cross was erected by the Portuguese Bartolomeu Dias in 1487. It’s located on a beautiful peninsula with amazing views and great photo options. For the wild at heart camping is available by the old lighthouse for any willing to brave a cold, windy night in the Atlantic Ocean. Another historical site to enjoy a raw camping experience is on Shark Island. A former concentration camp it is rich in history and offers an amazing view, overlooking the town and the harbor.
Another incredible experience around Lüderitz is to take a 4×4 safari out of town into the Sperrgebiet (prohibited area) to the desolate ghost town of Pomona. You will be taken to Spencer Bay where you can view the old shipwreck the Otavi. Be prepared to hold your breath as you take a photo of the splendid Bogenfels Arch as the waves of the Atlantic crash behind the natural rock formation.
Being a windy town, adventure lovers can enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing especially at the Grosse (Big) Lagoon. Join us at the annual Lüderitz Speed Challenge in October or November where world speed-sailing records are sure to be broken.
If you’re just looking to spend the day in town you won’t be bored with lots of little curious shops and restaurants and bars full of delicious food offering great harbor views. You can even spend the day on Agate Beach and collect some agate and quartz pebbles. Lüderitz is a must-see when visiting Namibia and it is certainly worth the trek to see this gem scarcely touched by the modern world.