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Lüderitz is a surreal colonial relic – a 19th century Bavarian village on the barren, windswept Namib Desert coast, seemingly untouched by the 20th century. It has everything you’d expect of a small German town – delicatessens, coffee shops and Lutheran churches. Here, the icy but clean South Atlantic is home to seals, penguins and other marine life and the desolate beaches support flamingoes and ostriches.
Lüderitz merits the 600km detour from Keetmanshoop, via the sealed B4, which features far vistas between the desolate southern Namib and the forbidden Diamond Area.
The Lüderitz Peninsula, much of which lies outside the Sperrgebiet prohibited area, makes an interesting half-day excursion from town. The picturesque and relatively calm bay, Sturmvogelbucht, has a lovely beach and is viable for swimming, but the water temperature would only be amenable to a sea or a penguin.
Grosse Bucht (Big Bay) at the southern end of the peninsula is another wild and scenic beach. This normally cold, windy spot is favored by flocks of flamingoes that feed in the tidal pools. It’s also the site of a small but picturesque shipwreck on the beach. Just a few kilometers north lay the small seaside rock arch known as Klein Bogenfels.