What do you really know about Namibia’s off-the-beaten-path, southern destinations? It rarely happen that people plan for their vacations or adventures down south. This is a sad fact because so many people miss out on one of the out of the ordinary places in Namibia, Lüderitz. Besides, many have already said that it is windy.
The harbour town was established in 1883 when Heinrich Vogelsang purchased Angra Pequena and some of the surrounding land on behalf of Adolf Lüderitz from the Namas. Angra Pequena was then named Luderitzbucht. Thus, the word “buchters” that the locals call themselves.
The town of Lüderitz stands in isolation on a great frontier between the desert and ocean. Beyond the structures huddled together beside the bay and a lighthouse on the peninsula. The Peninsula has numerous coves, locally called fjords and bays, juts out of the coast at an angle to form the bay proper. Lüderitz is located on the only part of the Namibian coast with a rocky shore.
The town encapsulates everything there is to love about the Namibian history. It has a unique blend of history and a desert that characterises the town. The locals of the town call themselves the “Buchters”
So much to see, so much to do
Your Lüderitz experience won’t be complete without visiting several historical sites of the town. Dias Cross is a must see when you are in Lüderitz. It marks the location of where Bartholomew Dias landed in Namibia. The town is also a gateway to the South of Namibia, and when staying in Luderitz it is very easy to visit such attractions as Kolmanskop, Pomona, Fish River Canyon, Klein Aus and many, many other places that are of interest to anyone looking for a bit of adventure.
Beaches near Lüderitz, with white sands and shallow waters, are a perfect choice for having picnics and sunbathe. The Agate beach has hundreds of Agates lying on the shore which you can take home and cherish. The fact that there are so few people in town indeed helps you appreciate the isolated beauty of the locations around Lüderitz.
There are three small islands namely the Penguin, Seal and Flamingo that lies within the bay. Shark Island was once also an island in the bay, but a solid causeway now joins it to the mainland. It encloses the harbour and a yacht basin. The islands are bleak and barren, except for a few bushes on Possession, the biggest one with an area of 90ha.
Colourful buildings built during the time of German days mostly line the streets of Lüderitz. However, the buchters have also dipped into their paint pots, boldly painting their century-old German houses in primary shades, adding brilliance and colour to the bleak desert landscape.
The town is also known for its diamond history which makes it a perfect choice if you have an interest in diamond history. That can be found at the old diamond mining town of Kolmanskop on the outskirts of the town. Strolling down the German named streets also gives you an unsurpassed view of the town.
Its annual Crayfish festival has become a calendar highlight for most Namibians but its museums, colourful buildings make it an historic adventure. If you like exploring hidden gems, and finding out more about the rich history of one of the oldest towns in Namibia, then get yourself down to this small town.
So when you go to Luderitz, do not forget to stick around a bit in the town and take in its sites. It is a quaint, friendly place, unique and unlike any place you might have stayed in. This unique blend of history and desert characterises the town.