Hemmed in by the wild Atlantic coast and the encroaching dunes of the Namib to the north and south, LÜDERITZ is undoubtedly Namibia’s most isolated, and for many years forgotten, major town. It’s also the country’s windiest settlement, with gusts regularly topping 40kmph, especially during the summer months (Nov–Jan), and temperatures rarely top 24 degrees Celsius. Yet, on the mornings when the wind drops and the sun gleams on the pretty, brightly painted colonial buildings that decorate the town’s slopes, Lüderitz’s charm is clear to see, and its chequered history easy to forget. There’s enough to keep the visitor entertained for a few days: taking in the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) architecture, making forays into the desert to the abandoned mining communities of Kolmanskop, Pomona or Bogenfels, exploring the lagoon-laden rocky peninsula to the south, or seeking out whales, flamingos or penguins on boat trips round the bay. The annual wind- and kitesurfing speed challenge (Oct–Nov) and five-day crayfish festival (May–June) – when accommodation prices will be hiked – are also major draws.

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