The colourful houses of the early 20th century
During your MSC cruise to Southern Africa, you will be surprised to discover the city of Lüderitz, along the Namibian coast. It will seem like someone had teleported a typical German town from early 20th century Europe to Africa.
The view of the barren profile of the Huns Mountains behind the town’s brightly or delicately coloured houses and the large amounts of sand on its streets produces a strange feeling. Once disembarked from your cruise ship, the obvious point from which to begin a land tour is the small Felsenkirche (1912), a Lutheran house of worship located close to the imposing Goerke Haus, a prestigious residence dating to 1910 designed by the architect Otto Ertl.
Today, it belongs to a mining company. German colonists were drawn to Namibia for its diamonds, which are also responsible for the city’s a railway station (now closed), a post office complete with a clock tower and commercial buildings such as the Krabbenhoft und Lampe. In Lüderitz, you will be able to visit the town and linger in the seaside locales overlooking the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the fishing boats sheltering in the small port, or go on one of the excursion inland.
Just ten kilometres from Lüderitz, there is a ghost town: Kolmanskop. If Lüderitz seemed odd to you, nothing will surprise you more than this group of buildings reclaimed by the desert. Everything is surreal, starting with the sign bearing the name of this town without inhabitants. It is an ideal setting for dramatic photo shoots or apocalyptic films.
Before being abandoned over fifty years ago, this population centre, which was active during the Namibian diamond rush, was bigger than Lüderitz itself. The houses of Kolmanskop, now overrun by dunes, have become a tourist attraction that will make your MSC cruise unforgettable.