Lüderitz, Namibia
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Lüderitz, Namibia iStock.com / PytyCzech
Lüderitz, Namibia, Dias Point Lighthouse
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Dias Point Lighthouse iStock.com / 2630ben
Lüderitz, Namibia, Oryx in Sossusvlei Dunes
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Oryx in Sossusvlei Dunes iStock.com / filrom
Lüderitz, Namibia, Colorful homes
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Colorful Houses iStock.com / tibu
Lüderitz, Namibia, Quiver trees
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Quiver Trees iStock.com / 2630ben
Lüderitz, Namibia, Naukluft National Park
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Namib-Naukluft National Park iStock.com / SerengetiLion
Lüderitz, Namibia, Brown Fur Seal colony at Cape Cross
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Brown Fur Seal Colony at Cape Cross iStock.com / PytyCzech

Lüderitz, Namibia

Lüderitz, Namibia, Oryx caution sign Oryx Caution Sign iStock.com / 2630ben

Lüderitz was established as a German settlement in the 1880s when present-day Namibia was known as German South-West Africa. Today, Germans make up the majority of visitors who've come to celebrate their heritage (including German art nouveau buildings) and to enjoy relaxing, seaside breaks. The craggy Atlantic shores shelter penguin colonies and flocks of flamingos, and farther inland, the Namib Desert is home to rock arches and succulents.

What We Love

Wildlife: The rocky coast bordering the South Atlantic is a habitat for penguins, flamingos, and Cape fur seals. In the desert, you can catch glimpses of ostriches.

The Desert: The Namib Desert is as wild and starkly barren as it gets. Here, you'll find Kolmanskop, a former diamond mining center, now an eerie ghost town standing amidst blowing sands.

Best Known For

Architecture: Most of the city's architectural heritage can be seen on foot; secure a walking tour map from the tourist office. Among the highlights: arcaded stores and public buildings in both the Imperial German and art nouveau styles; the Deutsche Afrika Bank, built in 1907; and the gothic-style Lutheran Rock Church.

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Who It's Best For

Nostalgic Nature Seekers: Intrepid travelers flock here to get a taste of faded German colonialism and pure nature in the raw. It's also a gateway to Namibia’s wildlife (elephants, cheetahs, lions, giraffes) in the northern national parks.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Sperrgebiet National Park Is a Full-Day Visit: It's the minimum to properly see the untamed desert. So make advance plans with a reliable operator who will get you there and back on time.

Theodore W. Scull

Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.

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