Select a language

Shutterstock Blog Shutterstock Blog

Explore an Eerie African Ghost Town Engulfed by the Desert

Abandoned places that once bustled and thrived with people, ghost towns are remarkable because they provide a vision of what once existed. While there's a historical background to any city, ghost towns possess especially interesting ones, since their histories are all that remains. 

Kolmanskop, which means Coleman's Hill in Afrikaans, is located in Namibia's southern Namib Desert. It was settled by German miners after a diamond discovery in 1908. The inhabitants who took over built homes and local institutions heavily inspired by German architecture. After about 40 years, however, the town found itself on the decline when its diamond resources were exhausted, leading to its eventual abandonment. 

According to rumors, the buildings and homes that remain standing in Kolmanskop are now inhabited by ghosts, and indeed possess a certain haunted eeriness. The interiors of these structures show how the desert has slowly but surely devoured the town after only about a hundred years, which leads us to believe that the strange town, which is now a tourist attraction that requires a permit to enter, may not exist at all in another century.

Scroll on to explore Kolmanskop through stunning images from our collection.