In the Namib Desert of Southern Namibia lies the ‘ghost town’ Kolmanskop, 10 kilometres east of the sleepy seaside town Luderitz.
The rise of Kolmanskop began in 1908 when a railway worker, Zacherias Lewela, was shovelling sand and discovered a small diamond.
In its prime Kolmanskop boasted a bowling alley and great hall for musicians to perform as well as a butchery, hospital and luxury homes.
By 1912 almost 12 percent of the worlds diamonds came from Kolmanskop, some one million carats.
World War One put a hold on the the diamond mining as it was in a German administered area, and after the war, subsequent mining began to deplete the mines while the real decline began in the ’30s. The last of the residents left decades later in 1956.
Today you can visit the town the desert is reclaiming for a small fee, which is sandwiched in the Sperrgebiet or ‘Protected Area’ in German.