Lüderitz is a harbour town in the
ǁKaras Region of southern
Namibia, lying on one of the least hospitable coasts in Africa. It is
a port developed around Robert Harbour and Shark Island.
The town is known for its colonial architecture, including some Art
Nouveau work, and for wildlife including seals, penguins, flamingos
and ostriches. It is also home to a museum, and lies at the end of a
currently[update] decommissioned railway line to Keetmanshoop.
In 2013, it was announced that
Lüderitz was renamed into
ǃNamiǂNüs. This pertains only to the constituency, however.
6 Economy and infrastructure
10 External links
The bay on which
Lüderitz is situated was first known to Europeans
Bartolomeu Dias encountered it in 1487. He named the bay Angra
Pequena (Portuguese: Small Bay) and erected a padrão (stone cross) on
the southern peninsula. In the 18th century Dutch adventurers and
scientists explored the area in search of minerals but did not have
much success. Further exploration expeditions followed in the early
19th century during which the vast wildlife in the ocean was
discovered. Profitable enterprises were set up, including whaling,
seal hunting, fishing and guano-harvesting.
Lüderitz thus began its
life as a trading post.
The town was founded in 1883 when Heinrich Vogelsang purchased Angra
Pequena and some of the surrounding land on behalf of Adolf Lüderitz,
a Hanseat from Bremen in Germany, from the local Nama chief Josef
Frederiks II in Bethanie. When
Adolf Lüderitz did not return from an
expedition to the
Orange River in 1886,
Angra Pequena was named
Lüderitzbucht in his honour. In 1905, German authorities
established a concentration camp on Shark Island. The camp, access to
which was very restricted, operated between 1905 and 1907 during the
Herero Wars. Between 1,000 and 3,000 Africans from the Herero and Nama
tribes died here as a result of the tragic conditions of forced
labour. Their labour was used for expansion of the city, railway, port
and on the farms of white settlers.
In 1909, after the discovery of diamonds nearby,
Lüderitz enjoyed a
sudden surge of prosperity due to the development of a diamond rush to
the area. In 1912
Lüderitz already had 1,100 inhabitants, not
counting the indigenous population. Although situated in harsh
environment between desert and Ocean, trade in the harbour town
surged, and the adjacent diamond mining settlement of
After the German
World War I
World War I capitulation South Africa took over the
German South West Africa
German South West Africa in 1915. Many Germans were
deported from Lüderitz, contributing to its shrinking in population
numbers. From 1920 onwards, diamond mining was only conducted further
south of town in places like Pomona and Elizabeth Bay. This
development consequently led to the loss of Lüderitz' importance as a
trading place. Only small fishing enterprises, minimal dock activity
and a few carpet weavers remained.
In an effort to remove colonial names from the maps of Namibia, in
2013 the Namibian government renamed the constituency ǃNamiǂNûs,
its name prior to 1884.
The harbour has a very shallow rock bottom, making it unusable for
modern ships; this led to
Walvis Bay becoming the centre of the
Namibian shipping industry. Recently, however, the addition of a new
quay has allowed larger fishing vessels to dock at Lüderitz. The town
has also re-styled itself in an attempt to lure tourists to the area,
which includes a new waterfront area for shops and offices.
Lüderitz lies the ghost town of Kolmanskop, a prominent
tourist destination. This previously bustling diamond town is now
abandoned, and fights a constant struggle against being buried under
the shifting sand dunes of the Namib desert.
Haviside's dolphin off Lüderitz
The coastline in the area is recognised by Bird Life and other global
conservation groups as one of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for
important coastal seabird breeding.
Mercury Island, Ichaboe Island,
Halifax Island and the Possession
Islands support the entire Namibian breeding population of Cape
gannets (Morus capensis), 96% of the Namibian population of the
African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), and nearly one
quarter of the global breeding population of crowned cormorants
Approximately 80% of the global population of the endangered Bank
cormorant (Phalacrocorax neglectus) breeds on
Mercury Island and in
the Ichaboe Islands.
In April 2009, an oil spill from an oil tanker risked hundreds of
African penguins and other flora and fauna.
Several species of cetaceans, most notably Haviside's dolphins, can be
seen close to the shore while larger whales such as southern
right, humpback, minke, fin, pygmy right, are less common but
gradually increasing in numbers.
Lüderitz has a mild desert climate (BWn, according to the Köppen
climate classification), with moderate temperatures throughout the
year. The average annual precipitation is 17 millimetres (0.67
inches). Windy and cold conditions can occur due to the cold South
Atlantic current on the coast.
Climate data for Lüderitz
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Lüderitz is home to the
Lüderitz Speed Challenge, the only
international sporting event held in the town. This is an annual
month-long speed sailing event held in the last quarter of the year
under the auspices of the
International Sailing Federation
International Sailing Federation (ISAF)
World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).
Lüderitz was the starting point for explorer and sailor Amyr
Klink's successful solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, rowing for 101
days all the way to the Brazilian coast with no other form of
In October 2011, Turkish-born American adventurer
Erden Eruç departed
Lüderitz Bay for the final ocean crossing of his Guinness world
record-setting solo human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth.
Eruç rowed to
South America in an oceangoing rowboat, taking five
months for the crossing to the town of Güiria, Venezuela.
Economy and infrastructure
See also: Railway stations in Namibia
Construction of a new port at Shearwater Bay, 30 kilometres (19 miles)
south of Lüderitz, has been proposed for the export of coal from
Botswana with a 1,600-kilometre (990-mile) railway connecting the
Lüderitz is the terminus of the 318 kilometres (198 mi) railway
Seeheim where the railway connects to the rest of the
country's network. This line, built by inmates of the concentration
camp on Shark Island, was completed in 1908 but is currently not
operational. Rebuilding of a remaining 47 kilometres (29 mi)
track gap to Aus has been delayed since 2009.
Lüderitz has a local monthly newspaper, Buchter News. The paper,
which was started as a source of free English-language reading
material, is run by volunteers from the British gap year charity
Lüderitz is governed by a town council that currently[update] has
The 2015 local authority election was won by
SWAPO which gained six
seats (2,679 votes). The remaining seat went to the Democratic
Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) with 265 votes.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March
Previously the German school Deutsche Schule Lüderitzbucht was in the
city. In 1965 it had 13 teachers and 140 learners and was supported by
View of Felsenkirche and Lüderitz
Deutsche Afrika Bank building, erected 1907, national monument
Felsenkirche (English: Rock Church) on
Diamond Hill, a church in
vertical gothic style consecrated in 1912. After the diamond rush of
1908 and the completion of the railway line to
became permanently home to a significant white population. As a
result, a number of churches were built. Felsenkirche, one of the
oldest Lutheran churches in Namibia, has been a national monument
Glück Auf building, built 1907/08 for a lawyer of the diamond
companies, declared a national monument in 2014
Goerkehaus, the residence of Hans Goerke, manager and co-owner of the
early diamond umbrella company, erected 1909–1911, national
Kreplinhaus, the residence of the first mayor, Emil Kreplin, built in
1909, national monument
Krabbenhöft & Lampe building, after co-owners Friedrich Wilhelm
Krabbenhöft and Oscar Lampe. The predecessor of this business, the
Handelsstation F.W. Krabbenhöft in Keetmanshoop, existed since 1880
and was one of the first formally registered businesses in South West
Africa. Erection of the building started in late 1909, and has been a
national monument since 1979.
Lüderitz Railway Station, erected in 1904, is also a national
Kapps-Ballsaal with Felsenkirche and Goerke Haus in background
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lüderitz.
^ Respect the elderly:
Lüderitz mayor Archived 16 May 2012 at the
Wayback Machine. The Namibian, 7 January 2011
^ "Table 4.2.2 Urban population by Census years (2001 and 2011)"
Namibia 2011 – Population and Housing Census Main Report.
Namibia Statistics Agency. p. 39. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
Diamond of Namibia!". luderitz-tc.com.
^ Smith, David (26 February 2015). "
Lüderitz v !Nami≠nüs:
dispute over town's name divides Namibia". The Guardian. London:
Guardian News and Media Limited. Archived from the original on 9 March
2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
Lüderitz renaming misunderstood – Shangala. Archived 24 October
2013 at the Wayback Machine." Namibian Sun.
^ a b c d e von Schmettau, Konny (28 February 2013). "Lüderitzbucht:
Gründer- und Diamantenstadt" [Lüderitzbucht:
Town of Pioneers and
Diamonds]. Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Tourismus
supplement. p. 6.
^ Zimmerer & Zeller 2003, p. 80.
^ Overmans, Rüdiger (1999). In der Hand des Feindes :
Kriegsgefangenschaft von der Antike bis zum Zweiten Weltkrieg (in
German). p. 291. Die Verhältnisse in Swakopmund, zu denen sich
Tecklenburg äußerte, stellten keine Ausnahme dar. Noch schlimmer
lagen die Verhältnisse im Konzentrationslager auf der Haifischinsel
vor Lüderitzbucht, dem größten Gefangenenlager. Dort wurden sowohl
Herero wie Nama interniert und ihrem Schicksal überlassen. Die
Inhaftierung auf de." reprinted in Jürgen Zimmerer Deutsche
Herrschaft über Afrikaner: Staatlicher Machtanspruch und ... (2004).
^ Erichsen 2005, pp. [page needed].
^ a b "Unverwüstliche Felsenkirche zwischen Wüste und Meer"
[Indestructible Rock Church between Desert and Ocean]. Gondwana
History (in German). supplement to various Namibian newspapers
(92). access-date= requires url= (help)
Namibia renames Caprivi Strip". news24.com.
^ Nakale, Albertina (9 August 2013). "President divides Kavango into
two". New Era.
^ "Walk on our coastline". Namibian Coast Conservation and Management
Project (NACOMA). Archived from the original on 21 July 2009.
Retrieved 21 October 2008.
The Namibian Sun. 2013.
Southern right whale
Southern right whale – The right whale to
protect. Retrieved on 24 October 2015
^ Travel News Namibia. 2012. The return of the whales. Retrieved on 24
^ "Klimatafel von Lüderitz-Diaz Point (Leuchtturm) / Namibia" (PDF).
Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world
(in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
^ "World's best at Luderitz Speed Challenge Sailing News".
Seabreeze.com.au. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
^ "O herói do Atlântico" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 October
2008. [dead link]
^ "Guinness World Records – First solo circumnavigation of the globe
using human power". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original
on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
^ "Media Kit – Project Summary Document" (PDF). Around-n-Over (PDF
file linked from "around-n-over.org/media/mediakit.htm"). 22 August
2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved
11 November 2016.
^ Africa News Railways Africa
^ Dierks, Klaus. "The Development of the Namibian Railway Network. The
Rail History Until the 1990s". www.klausdierks.com. Retrieved 6
^ "Know Your Local Authority". Election Watch (3). Institute for
Public Policy Research. 2015. p. 4.
^ "Local elections results". Electoral Commission of Namibia. 28
November 2015. p. 3. Archived from the original on 10 December
Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" (Archive).
Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p.
^ a b c d e Tjihenuna, Theresia (2 September 2014). "Three new
heritage sites proclaimed". The Namibian.
^ Bause, Tanja (21 May 2012). "
Lüderitz church celebrates centenary".
^ Becker, Klaus J. (25 May 2015). "Neuer Eigner übernimmt 135 Jahre
alte Firma" [New owner takes over 135-year-old company]. Allgemeine
Zeitung (in German).
Erichsen, Casper W. (2005). The angel of death has descended violently
among them: Concentration camps and prisoners-of-war in Namibia,
University of Leiden
University of Leiden African Studies Centre.
Zimmerer, Jürgen; Zeller, Joachim (2003). Völkermord in
Deutsch-Südwestafrika: Der Kolonialkrieg 1904 – 1908 [Genocide in
German South West Africa: The Colonial War 1904–1908] (in