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Before travelling to Lüderitz, pause for a moment to study the country map and how the town is sandwiched between the barren Namib Desert and the windswept South Atlantic coast. As if Lüderitz’ unique geographical setting wasn’t impressive enough, its surreal German art nouveau architecture will seal the deal. A colonial relic scarcely touched by the 21st century, Lüderitz recalls a Bavarian dorfchen (small village), with churches, bakeries and cafes. Unlike its more well-heeled Teutonic rival Swakopmund, Lüderitz feels stuck in a time warp, a perception that delivers both gloom and a certain charm (at least for visitors). In short, it's one of the most incongruous places in Africa.

But it’s the natural environment surrounding the town where southern Namibia really comes alive. The rocky coastline of the Lüderitz Peninsula harbours flamingo flocks and penguin colonies, while the adjacent Sperrgebiet National Park is arguably the country’s wildest and most pristine landscape.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lüderitz.