I just came back from a ten day road trip in Namibia. We arrived in Kolmanskop after driving six hours from the main road through the Namib desert.
Kolmanskop is an old abandoned diamond town. In 1908 the worker Zacharias Lewala found a diamond while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor, the German railway inspector August Stauch. Realizing the area was rich in diamonds, German miners began settlement, and soon after the German government declared it a prohibited area, starting to exploit the diamond field. During its heydays, the place was home to hundreds of people, it had a school, hospital and a theatre. The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954.
For more pictures from Kolmanskop and other abandoned places, visit my website.