Lüderitz Safaris and Tours
can book accommodation, arrange taxis around town, and issue permits for Kolmanskop
. The opening times correspond with the Kolmanskop tours and you need to book here, preferably on the previous day, and at least half an hour before the tours start so the office knows how many guides to send out. The office also sells books, postcards and a number of quality curios.
Just before entering town, pull over and have a photograph taken next to the triangle red warning signs simply saying just 'Sand'. Also look out for similar triangle red warning signs with pictures of hyenas on them. After the death of a number of brown hyena on this road, the Brown Hyena Project, which monitors these animals who prey on Cape fur seals around Lüderitz have erected these signs to warn motorists. The project has a small visitor information office at Kolmanskop .
Best time to visit
The climate in Lüderitz can be harsh and changeable. Arriving from the interior you will notice a distinct change in temperature getting nearer to the coast, and while most days are sunny, during September and February there are some severe storms and ferocious winds.
Like many tourist centres in Namibia, Lüderitz can get busy during the school holidays; book accommodation in advance if possible. The peak tourist season lasts from June through to September, the winter months. However, because of its relative inaccessibility, the town never gets as overrun as Swakopmund.
The worst time to visit is between the end of December and mid-February. During this period the winds enforce a 60 kph speed limit along the approach road for safety. The last 20 km of the main road pass through shifting sand dunes; if you hit a ridge of sand at speed it is like running into cement and can easily cause you to lose control - drive slowly.
Another significant aspect of the local climate is the absence of the thick fog that plagues Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. This is thanks to the town's position in a bay, thereby protecting it from this phenomenon. Quite often you can see the bank of fog off Diaz Point, but that is as close as it gets to town. In fact, many of the long-time residents who moved to Swakopmund during Lüderitz's decline have returned, unwilling to contend with the terrible fog further up the coast.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF