The Luderitz Port is a small commercial port along the coast of Namibia on the Southwestern shores of Africa. It was founded by Heinrich Vogelsgang, a German trader who bought the surrounding land from local rulers in 1883 and named the town after the German entrepreneur Adolf Luderitz. It began as a German trading outpost in West Africa which dealt with local and German goods on their way to and from Europe. In 1909, the town boomed with the discovery of diamond mines in the surrounding areas. As those reserves diminished, so did the importance of Luderitz, which resulted in the abandonment of mining towns at its outskirts.
Today the town of Luderitz operates as a small commercial port with a rich colonial past, evident mostly in the town's architecture and museum. The harbor itself has a very shallow rock bottom, making it unusable for modern seafaring ships. However, small sailing vessels do visit the Luderitz port of call for a small sojourn after their long voyage out at sea.
The town has three main supermarkets, namely the Spar, OK Grocer and the Beira mini-market. Developments along the new harbor, near the Luderitz cruise terminal and waterfront, contain small shops which sell souvenirs to visitors such as postcards and jewelry, in addition to traditional African handcrafted goods.
Things to See
The town itself is filled with old colonial German architecture that has been maintained by the people of Luderitz over time. It is a colorful town devoid of green flora, and is surrounded by the Namib Desert and ghost towns. Visitors have the option to join guided tours through these ghost towns that were once bustling with diamond miners that came to these shores. The Goerke Haus (Grand Residence) built in 1909 remains the town's best building, with the old Victorian Gothic church of Felsenkirche a close second. The town itself is the remains of German Colonial Africa as immortalized in the artifacts and pictures housed in the Luderitz Museum.
The area surrounding the town of Luderitz has been declared a conservation site, with 12 small islands around the town, known collectively as the Penguin Islands, being a breeding ground for penguin colonies and other rare species of birds. Safaris regularly take visitors to these islands to take a look at them and enjoy the diverse wildlife on offer. Every year the town hosts the Luderitz Speed Challenge, an annual speed sailing event that has been taking place here since 2007 under the auspices of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
Restaurant and Bars
Luderitz is a small cruise port with only a few good places to eat in the town. They offer a rich variety of seafood in addition to local Namibian cuisine. The Pelican Restaurant in the Nest Hotel is one such place, which offers a scenic vista to its customers as they dine on seafood, including lobsters and oysters which are a specialty of this small town. The local bars are friendly. Even though there is no nightlife to speak of, you will always be able to find a drink at one of the local bars that are in close proximity to the restaurants.