LÃ¼deritz is a harbor town in southern Namibia, lying on one of the least hospitable coasts in Africa. It is a port developed around Robert Harbor and Shark Island.
It was founded in 1883 when Heinrich Vogelsang purchased Angra Pequena and some of the surrounding land on behalf of Adolf LÃ¼deritz, a hanseat from Bremen in Germany, from the local Nama chief. LÃ¼deritz began its life as a trading post, with other activities in fishing and guano-harvesting. In 1909, after the discovery of diamonds nearby, LÃ¼deritz enjoyed a sudden surge of prosperity. Today, however, diamonds are mostly found elsewhere and offshore, and LÃ¼deritz has lost a lot of this interest.
The harbor has a very shallow rock bottom, making it unusable for modern ships; this led to Walvis Bay becoming the center of the Namibian shipping industry. Recently, however, the addition of a new quay has allowed larger fishing vessels to dock at LÃ¼deritz. The town has also re-styled itself in an attempt to lure tourists to the area, which includes a new waterfront area for shops and offices.
The town is known for its colonial architecture, including some Art Nouveau work, and for wildlife including seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. It is also home to a museum and to the LÃ¼deritz Speed Challenge, and formerly lay at the end of a railway line to Keetmanshoop.
LÃ¼deritz was the starting point for explorer and sailor Amyr Klink’s successful solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, rowing for 101 days all the way to the Brazilian coast with no other form of propulsion, in 1984.