TREASURES OF NAMIBIA’S DIAMOND COAST - Guided Self-Drive 4x4 tour through Namibia’s diamond history

The Namib Desert is steeped in diamond history. Tales of diamond smuggling and intrigue abound, and the sands cover and uncover remnants of the lives of those intrepid folk who ventured into this remote arid region to live in the small mining towns scattered amongst the gravel plains of Namibia’s Diamond Coast. The discovery of diamonds in 1908 near Kolmanskuppe resulted in an uncontrollable diamond rush forcing the government of the day to establish a no-entry area, the “Sperrgebiet”, between 26-degree S and the southern border of the country, stretching about 100km inland.

This tour explores traces of Namibia's diamond history since 1908.

Explore Namibia's diamond history with our off-grid 5-day self-drive 4x4 adventure commencing in Lüderitz into the former Sperrgebiet No.1 (now the Tsau Kaeb National Park) South of Lüderitz.  We initiate our exploration of the rich diamond mining history that began in 1908 with the discovery of the first diamond at Grasplatz that led to the building of various settlements and mining operations under harsh conditions.  Then, the tour leads us into the former Sperrgebiet No. 2 to the north of Lüderitz up to Saddle Hill and Spencer Bay.


Day 1

Grasplatz, Grillental, Pomona.

Our guided adventure commences at 07h45 on day 1 by meeting our guests at their place of accommodation.  We do a short briefing whereupon we will drive the 12km to the Namdeb control point at Komanskop.  After a short registration process we proceed to the Rotkopf entrance gate to the Tsau //Kaeb National Park.

On the way, we will pass the old railway siding of Grasplatz where it all began in 1908, when shifting sand dunes made it necessary for teams of workers to clear the tracks on a daily basis. It was here that Zacharias Lewala found the sparkling gem that set off the diamond rush to the area and resulted in a handful of small towns springing up in the inhospitable terrain...

After a short drive on the gravel road to Oranjemund, we turn westward onto a smaller secondary path which quickly loses itself in a small dune to be traversed.

We continue our drive in a southeasterly direction, driving along the former railway line that linked Kolmanskop with Pomona and Bogenfels more than a 100 years ago.  The remnants of old sidings where materials were offloaded in support of mining activities bear testimony to the harsh conditions in which prospectors and miners operated in this forbidden area.

As we drive on through the diverse terrain and vegetation of the desert, and colours transform from browns and oranges to earthy yellows, our guide will chat about the fascinating mysteries and stories of the time.  We head towards the coast at Jammerbucht where old buildings and the remains of a desalination plant that supplied the nearby village of Pomona with fresh water can be viewed.

From here we head eastwards and after a short drive we will reach the ghost town of Pomona late afternoon where we will set up camp next to the former school that also served as a guest house.  Abandoned houses in the mining settlement at Pomona hold a beauty in their disintegrating frames, and like in Kolmanskop, make picturesque subjects to photograph at sunset and early in the morning.

After setting up camp, sundowners consisting of fresh Namibian oysters paired with crisp sparkling wine in the silence of this ghost town are enjoyed while we start the fire over which dinner will be prepared.  After dinner we sit around the fire to stargeze and listen to the sounds of the night, receiving possible visits of brown hyenas and jackal.

Day 2

Stauchslager, Märchental, Dome cave and Bogenfels.

After an early breakfast on day 2, we visit the diamond separation plant nearby before continuing our drive southwards to valleys with names such as Idatal and Märchental, where workers were able to pick up diamonds from the surface with their hands in the moonlight at night.  We also briefly stop at Stauchslager, a compound for workers where the remains of sleeping quarters serve as reminder of the poor conditions in which local labourers had to operate.

Just before reaching Bogenfels we stop to visit the Dome cave, one of various caves on the shoreline.  The beach here is of untouched beauty.  At around mid-day, we reach the majestic Bogenfels arch.  One of Namibia’s landmarks, and eroded by time and a crashing sea, the arch towers 55 metres above the rugged coast.

In the distance, the Bogenfels plant and old ruins vie with each other for attention in the bleak world.

We subsequently head east before turning and commencing our drive to Lüderitz.   After checking out at the Namdeb control point at Komanskop we should arrive back in Lüderitz at around 18h00.

We check in at our place of accommodation and will enjoy a dinner that night.

Day 3

Spencer Bay, shipwreck and Saddle Hill.

From Lüderitz on day 3, the 4x4 tour will follow the diamond trail northwards to initially explore early diamond mining at Saddle Hill and Spencer Bay.  We depart Lüderitz at 09h00, backtracking along the road to Aus for about 30km, whereafter we will turn North into uncharted terrain where the adventure begins.  After passing through a section of flat stony desert, we will encounter our first sandy dunes on our way to Saddle Hill, which will be our first overnight stop.  Saddle Hill is a former diamond mining camp.  Dinner will prepared on the open fire.

Day 4

After breakfast on day 4 we will explore former diamond mining camps engulfed by shifting sand dunes and old earthmoving equipment.  From here we proceed a short distance northwards to Spencer Bay, where we will climb over a small hill that will reveal a view of Mercury Island and a shipwreck, the “Otavi” that was wrecked in 1945 with a cargo of guano from Mercury Island nearby and is today guarded by a colony of about 30,000 cape fur seals.  Namibia’s coast’s rough seas, roaring winds and strong ocean currents are primarily responsible for a number of such shipwrecks strewn along the Namibian coast. 

We explore former diamond mining activities and the rich diamond history in the area.  After a long day of exploring the abandoned mining settlements and surrounding area, we head back to Saddle Hill for the night, but stop along the way for a sundowner with fresh Namibian oysters paired with crisp sparkling wine on the beach or on a dune. 

Dinner is again prepared over the fire.   

Day 5

After breakfast we head south towards Lüderitz.  Along the way we traverse magnificent dunes and encounter spectacular sceneries.   We arrive back at Lüderitz late afternoon.


The Rack Rate for this tour per person is as follows:

Adults:                         N$21,900 

Children (U/12):          N$18,900 

The rates includes one night accommodation and dinner in Lüderitz on day 2, breakfast and dinner each day, permits.


·         All rates are valid until 31st December 2024.

·         All rates include 15% VAT.

·         For excursions we need a minimum of 12 persons, and a maximum of 12 vehicles is allowed.

·         We supply all cutlery for desert dinners and breakfasts.

·         Vehicles, Fuel, camping equipment and lunch is for own account.

·         100 % cancellation fees will be charged for no shows.

·         Invoice payments to be settled before 30 days.

·         We will be open on 25 and 26 December and 01 January.

·         Please advise in advance if guests need any physical assistance. We do cater for persons with disabilities.

·         We specifically also cater for vegetarians, vegans and persons with gluten sensitivities or other allergies.  Please advise at time of booking.

·         Please advise at time of booking if a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, is being celebrated on board.

·         Kindly note that any transfers/pick-ups are not included in the activity rate - however, it can be arranged at a small additional charge.

·         Due to the nature of the excursions we can regrettably not allow any pets.



•      60 liters water in total of which 20 liters will be used by the kitchen and the remainder will be for showering

•      Bottled water for drinking

•      Tyre pressure gauge

•      Pump to inflate tyres

•      Toilet paper & matches

•      Plastic bags to carry waste (e.g. empty cool drink tins, etc.) – no shopping bags e.g. Spar bags allowed, please use bio-degradable / black bags for rubbish.

•      Brake fluid

•      Gear oil

•      Engine oil

•      Fuses

•      Spare V- Belt set (type of belt depends on your vehicle)

•      Sufficient Petrol/Diesel to cover the distance – 200km. Heavy sand driving conditions (+/- 3 km/liter and +/- 5 km/liter consumption for larger petrol and diesel engines respectively) will be experienced. (You will need to keep the extra fuel in your own jerry cans)