top of page

Garub railway station

​The Garub station was constructed in the early 1900s when the railway line between Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop was being built. During World War I, South African forces used it as a military base.

After the war, the building was abandoned and fell into disrepair over the years. Today, all that remains next to the railway tracks are the signboard and the ruin of the house that was once the residence of the station master who oversaw the railway and watering stations.

We passed it on the way to Kolmanskop. I managed to get this shot while a sandstorm blasted the vehicle.



Kolmanskop is a ghost town in Namibia, located someway off the port town of Luderitz.

The discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908 led to a diamond rush, and Kolmanskop was founded.

The town grew rapidly as miners flooded the area, becoming a prosperous mining community with a hospital, school, power station, ice factory, and sports hall.

It was a vibrant and wealthy town, and the residents enjoyed a high standard of living.

The beautiful, intricate wall decorations that remain even today are striking and a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of those who constructed them. Many rooms were spacious and airy, with high ceilings and large windows that let in plenty of light. A reflection of the town's wealth and status.

However, as the diamond deposits dwindled in the 1920s, the town began to decline. By the early 1950s, it had been completely abandoned.

The strong winds that blow through the Namib desert constantly deposit sand and dust into the empty buildings, forming beautiful shapes and gradually filling them up over time.  Despite the harsh conditions, the dry desert air has helped to preserve the buildings in Kolmanskop for future generations to explore and appreciate.

Elizabeth Bay

Elizabeth Bay

​While diamond deposits in Kolmanskop were drying up, the new lucrative mining town, Elizabeth Bay, was built approximately 30 km away in only two years between 1924 and 1926. However, like Kolmanskop, operations stopped after a few years, and the mine was shut down in 1931. Finally, it became a ghost town after all residents had departed by 1940.

Unlike Kolmanskop, this town made me uneasy.

The ruined buildings stood against the pale blue sky, their bricks having been eroded so that only the mortar that bonded them together remained like skeletons holding on to some glorious past.

A person in our group commented that it reminded him of an apocalyptic scene in the Terminator movie.  I could not agree more.

The stark contrast between the casino, worker houses and the sleeping quarters of the miners stirred a deep sadness in me. The miners were crammed into sleeping halls with narrow concrete beds separated by small dividing walls, and I believe the doors were locked at night to prevent them from escaping.  It brought to mind

images of slave trader ships.