Stock Photo - Kolmanskop (Afrikaans for Coleman's hill, German: Kolmannskuppe) is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, 10 kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. Once a small but very rich mining village, it is now a popular tourist destination run by the joint firm NamDeb (Namibia-De Beers). In 1908 the worker Zacharias Lewala found a diamond while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor, the German railway inspector August Stauch. Realizing the area was rich in diamonds, German miners began settlement, and soon after the German government declared a large area as a ""Sperrgebiet"", starting to exploit the diamond field. Driven by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, the residents built the village in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theatre and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, as well as the first tram in Africa. It had a railway link to Lüderitz. 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.

Stock Photo: Kolmanskop (Afrikaans for Coleman's hill, German: Kolmannskuppe) is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia.

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Inge Johnsson

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