Luederitz, founding town of Namibia, was built on bare granite rocks at the fringe of the Namib Desert and is openly exposed to the Atlantic winds which frequently blow with gale-force. Dense sea fogs and heavy sand storms contribute to the rough weather conditions of Luederitz.
Nostalgic Luederitz presents itself to the visitor as a very colourful town, due to the numerous lovingly maintained buildings in the Wilhelmian Art Deco (the German equivalent to the Victorian style) from the times of German colonialism. Above the town towers the Lutheran "Felsenkirche" built in 1911, and from the Goerke house with its blue roof and a beautiful sundial.
Luederitz today has some 20,000 citizens. Many people make a living from tourism and diamond mining and, the majority, from fishing. The cold Benguela current brings in huge amounts of seaweed providing for an abundance of fish in the coastal waters. The water is very clean, clean enough for oyster farming. On a big floating isle in Radford Bay some 60 tons of oysters are harvested every year for export. So far, lobster catching was very lucrative as well. However, in the last years the waters were overfished, though, and the quota had to be reduced.
Left: Lobsters grow very slowly and had been overfished, mainly by foreign fishing fleets. Top: Goerke house, example of the many colourful colonial buildings in Luederitz.
Even in the hot summer months the water temperature in Luederitz rarely excedes 18 degrees celsius. The rough coast of Luederitz is thus not a desirable place for the swimming enthusiast, but it has quite a few other attractions. In the Museum in Diaz Street the history of the town and its diamond mining industry is well presented. On Shark Island, the monument of Adolf Luederitz can be seen, and it affords stunning views of the town and the harbour. The buzzing harbour itself is also worth a visit. Fishing trawlers are constantly docking and leaving while fish is unloaded and transported away. East of the jetty lies the Waterfront with cafés, restaurants, boutiques and curio shops.
There are wonderful walks available, for example at the beautiful Agate Beach, 8 kilometres north of town. If you are lucky, you can find an agate splinter in the sand or one of the sand roses which consist of crystallized gypsum. Very rewarding is a drive across the Luederitz Peninsula, a nature conservation area with many little bays and coves and untouched beaches. The drive leads around the lagoon, where flamingoes and many other seabirds can be observed.
Luederitz has some excellent restaurants where one can enjoy finest seafood for little money. Freshly caught fish, mussels, oysters and crayfish can be found on every menu. Luederitz can also offer hotels and guesthouses in all price ranges.
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