The former Diamond Area of the Sperrgebiet is rich in more than one way. Once off limits to the public because of its diamond wealth the Sperrgebiet National Park is now the world’s only arid Biodiversity Hotspot. The park that extends north from the Orange River is still undeveloped and largely inaccessible to the public. However the only protected area of the succulent Karoo is as delicate as it is unique and hence a must see for any amateur botanist. Ghost towns and the arch shaped Bogenfels add to the allure of an area that has been off limits to the public for more than 100 years. The Sperrgebiet was created in 1908 by the German government shortly after diamonds were found in this area. After World War I South Africa took over South West Africa from the defeated Germans. During the 100 years diamonds were only mined in 5 of the parks area leaving the rest of the 26 000 km² untouched by civilization. When the Sperrgebiet National Park was proclaimed in 2008 Namibia found itself with a unique flora. The surviving part of the Succulent Karoo is home to 2 439 endemic plant species and 90 are protected by the Sperrgebiet National Park. The largest part of the park has been completely untouched by civilization for the last 100 years allowing this unique habitat to remain in a pristine state.
Tours in the Sperrgebiet
Tours into the Sperrgebiet explore the northern part of the park leaving from Luderitz. The tours take guests into ghost towns such as Elizabeth Bay and Pomona which were left to wither in the sand after the diamond rush. The 55 metre Bogenfels is a popular photographic motif and the valley of Murchental was once covered in diamonds.