THE DEEP SOUTH
As you head towards the Orange River, the border with South Africa, there are a number of sights which make it on the bucket list of any worldly traveller. The most notable geographic feature in this area is the Fish River Canyon, which at 160km long and up to 27 km wide, is the second-largest canyon in the world, behind only the Grand Canyon. The waters that flow through the canyon eventually meet up with the Orange River, on their way to the Atlantic Ocean. There are a number of points from which to gaze over the Fish River Canyon and there are even week-long hiking routes along the base of the canyon.
Heading towards the coast, you will find the towns of Aus, Kolmanskop and Luderitz. Kolmanskop is the most fascinating of the three, being an abandoned ghost town. Namibia has a long history with diamonds, which are still mined along certain parts of the coast today. Diamonds were first discovered in the area in 1908, and fuelled by their desire for quick riches, German colonists flocked to the area and quickly established the town of Kolmanskop. The enormous wealth brought by diamonds meant that the small town developed a ballroom, theatre, school, bowling alley and a hospital which installed the first x-ray machine in the southern hemisphere. The town was slowly abandoned after World War 2, as the diamonds started to deplete and other, richer diamond fields were found further to the south. Over the past 60 years, the desert has slowly been reclaiming the town, which means that visitors today walk through houses which are knee deep in sand. Kolmanskop is a an hour from Aus.
Luderitz a further 45 minutes west of Kolmanskop. Whilst interesting enough to merit a few hours to visit the old town, station and port, Luderitz is a bit of an odd place without anywhere of quality to stay, other than the charmless Nest Hotel. We recommend that Luderitz be included as part of a day trip to Kolmanskop from Aus.
The Deep South is also home to wild desert horses. These wild horses are the descendants of those left behind by German settlers who came to this arid land in search of riches. The desert horses are best seen near the town of Aus, on the way Kolmanskop and Luderitz.
where to stay
From our many visits to Southern Namibia, we have first-hand knowledge of many of the best places to stay and use them in our Namibia itineraries. Open, close, then open each tab again to display the images fully.
our favourites are...
fish river lodge
This is our absolute favourite place in the South of Namibia. The location right at the edge of the canyon is just stunning the lodge offers the best canyon hike options and is great value for money too.
desert horse inn