Namibia is filled with forgotten places which beg exploration, and the Sperrgebiet is one of the best examples of these. Book a guided tour as you will need a 4×4 vehicle and driver and, unless you wish to become a statistic, it really helps to have someone in your corner who knows their way around when venturing into deserted areas.
Your guide for the day will collect you at your Namibia accommodation and you will be glad that he is driving, and not you, as you jolt your way along roads that haven’t seen any maintenance in decades.
After a seeming eternity, you will reach the Sperrgebiet. This area was once reserved for diamond mining and was previously a no-go zone. Access is still strictly controlled and trespassers face imprisonment or heavy fines, even though only 5% of the 26 000km2 area is used for mining nowadays.
Once through the checkpoint, you will experience the full impact of the eerie vastness and sheer silence of this abandoned place. There are almost no human inhabitants in the Sperrgebiet.
First stop is the train station, once a busy depot for dispatch of goods to and from Pomona. Rail was the only means of transport up until 1917 when the first motor vehicle arrived here. Now, with the people all gone, the tracks lie in ruin and the station itself is slowly disappearing under the sands of the desert.
Pomona, or what is left of it, is next. Once a bustling and productive town, Pomona lies in ruin, with decaying buildings and rusting bits of machinery scattered about.
By 1940, over 4 million carats of diamonds had left the area via Pomona and were becoming scarcer. When the diamond supply dried up, the people simply left, abandoning Pomona to the whims of the desert sands.
You will end your tour at the dramatic Bogenfels – a massive and impressive rock arch standing over 50m tall, which stands as a testament to nature’s victory over man in the unforgiving vastness of the Sperrgebiet.
Contact us for more information about the Sperrgebiet or for assistance in booking a guided tour into the Sperregebiet.