The road between Aus and Sousesvlei in Namibia is a veritable fairytale of a drive. You start out in desert, drive through scraggy plains, through rolling hills, and in between rocky croppings before arriving to towering sand dunes. You are on dirt roads the entire time, but they are some of the smoothest dirt roads I have traveled on – and smoother than many of our tarred roads in Zambia. The experience makes up for any loss of time you may ‘suffer’.
Kolmanskop is an abandoned diamond boom town in southern Namibia. It was founded in the early 1900s when diamonds were found just laying in the sand. The town had a hospital, ballroom, ice factory, school, theater, and sports hall. They even had the southern hemisphere’s first x-ray machine although it was for scanning people to make sure they weren’t smuggling out diamonds. Despite all they did have, thousands of gallons of water had to be imported each week as the desert provided no such amenity. After World War II, the rate at which diamonds were being found tied with new, highly profitable diamond areas being found close by led to the decline of the town and it’s eventual abandonment in 1954. Ever since, the desert has slowly been taking it’s land back.