Our next stop on our epic journey through Nambia was the town of Lüderitz. This town is located on the western coast of Namibia and the only major ingress and egress from the town is via the national B4 road. We took the main road from Rosh Pinah to Aus, and from there on the main tarred B4 road to Lüderitz.
Lüderitz is a small town where the ocean meets the sea. This town is centered around a smallish harbor. The main boats arriving in Lüderitz consist of fishing vessels and diamond mining vessels. There are numerous bays and coves along the coast and a couple of vlei areas.
We stayed at the Shark Island Camp site, which is situated on the Shark Peninsula overlooking the bay, town and the harbor. The location of the camp site is truly breathtaking. The constant sound of the waves crashing around you is wonderful to fall asleep to. The sunsets are truly beautiful as you watch the sun dip into the ocean. This is one of the most dramatic sites we have stayed at so far.
Initially, in the history of Lüderitz, Shark Island was the site of a concentration camp during the 1905 to 1907 war and Nama and Herero prisoners were kept here. Several memorials on the site have been erected here attesting to the troubled history of Lüderitz and the resort. There is also a lovely old lighthouse on the site, which is no longer in operation and has been converted into visitors accommodation.
Each campsite is equipped with 220V power outlets and a built-in brick fireplace. There are also taps located around the site. The water in Lüderitz is clean and drinkable, but due to the high calcium and mineral contests, one needs to get used to the taste. Also be prepared to have a lot of calcium buildup in your kettle. There is also a guard patrolling the site 24 hours a day, which, although we found the crime in Lüderitz to be very low, offered us a sense of security and safely.
There is a large ablution facility on the site. The facility is rather old, but we found it to be clean and serviced regularly. There is also a washing up area for dishes and for doing the laundry. There are also smaller ablutions on the lower slopes of the campsite, but we didn’t make use of these during our stay.
Lüderitz Bay is known to be windy throughout the year. The campsite is located on a very exposed spit of land that juts out into the ocean, and wind conditions can have a major impact on your comfort levels when staying here. The north-east wind blows off the ocean and can be bitterly cold. We encountered this wind on our arrival and it caused quite a bit of havoc whilst trying to pitch the tents. We can strongly recommend that camping here requires a sturdy canvas tent rather than a nylon tent, as the nylon does not hold up too well under these conditions. The north-west wind blows off the desert. This is a warm, dry wind which is not very strong and rather pleasant. We were fortunate enough to experience this warm wind for most of our stay. Shorts and t-shirts were our dress code for most of our time here, with a tracksuit top for the evenings spent by the fire or in the early hours of the morning over a cup of coffee.
The campsite is also in close proximity to the town and it is easy enough to pop out to shops and restaurants. There is also a large nature reserve close to the town and a trip into this area and a visit to Diaz Cross is a worthwhile excursion. Having a 4×4 also allows some extensive exploration of the coves and bays within this area. The town is also in close proximity to the deserted desert town of Kolmanskop, and a really worthwhile day excursion.
Overall our stay at Shark Island was very pleasant, and I cannot overemphasise the beauty of the location of this site directly at the water’s edge.