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18 minutes ago

Driving through the Skeleton Coast, I was informed of a diamond mining boom that occurred over 100 years ago. We would walk by mining carts, drive down miles of rail tracks and visit former mining headquarters filled with wooden buildings, pumps, windmills and even loads of liquor bottles, that would put a university student to shame. A jackal serves as security for these relics, but one can imagine how serious (and difficult) this former life was. It all started with Zacharias Lewala, a South African, who is credited for the discovery of diamonds in southwest Namibia back in 1908, and what would effectively start the diamond boom. Germany, which controlled Namibia for about three decades, extracted an estimated 7 million carats. It is believed that when diamonds were first discovered in Namibia, one could literally collect the gems from the beach. Today, diamond mining accounts for about 10% of Namibia's GDP and mining advances have been made to include a ship with a crawler attachment, that is deployed to the ocean floor where sediment is sucked onto the ship, diamonds are then extracted and the sediment is returned to the ocean. Pics 1 and 2 are of mining carts and rails. Pic 3 is of the security guard and unknown tracks. Pic 4 is of a "Hut," which was imported in 1897 from Germany, and has had a diverse life as a morgue, shelter for police and custom officials, a post office, an overnight shelter for patrolling police and today it's used as a mini museum to house the relics of the diamond mining area, including more bottles, and an oryx skull, just in case. http://desertmagictours.com.na/