10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

Winona Griggs

Uncover the Mysteries of Southern Africa: 10 Abandoned Sites to Explore

In the vast landscapes of Southern Africa, lie hidden treasures of the past. These forgotten places, once teeming with life and purpose, now stand as eerie reminders of a bygone era. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the untold stories of 10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa.

Throughout history, human ingenuity has given rise to remarkable inventions that have shaped our world. Yet, not all of these creations endure the test of time. Some falter and fade away, forsaken by progress or marred by misfortune. It’s astonishing to realize that in our own backyards, there are relics of these lost wonders, waiting to be explored.

Why should you venture into these forgotten realms? The answer is simple: adventure awaits. By stepping foot into these abandoned sites, you’ll unlock a fascinating history lesson, embark on a thrilling quest, and capture mesmerizing moments frozen in time. So, let’s dive into the curated list of captivating sites from Southern Africa, where the ravages of time whisper their tales.

1. Eduard Bohlen Shipwreck: A Fascinating Discovery in Skeleton Coast National Park, Namibia

Imagine stumbling upon a haunting sight as you explore the Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia. You come across the remains of a ship, the Eduard Bohlen, firmly embedded in the sandy dunes. Its weathered, rusted hull tells the tale of a bygone era, whispering the secrets of a maritime mishap.

When I first laid eyes on the Eduard Bohlen shipwreck, I couldn’t help but be drawn into its captivating history. How did it end up stranded here, surrounded by a desolate landscape? As I delved deeper into its story, I discovered that this shipwreck has been a source of intrigue for adventurers and history enthusiasts alike.

As you approach the Eduard Bohlen, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder at the power of the ocean and the relentless forces of nature. The ship lies broken and battered, a testament to the unforgiving coastline and the perils faced by seafarers. It serves as a stark reminder of the risks and challenges they encountered in their quest for exploration and trade.

This shipwreck is a treasure trove of historical significance. It dates back to 1909 when the Eduard Bohlen set sail on its final voyage, carrying a cargo of railway materials. Its ill-fated journey came to an abrupt halt when it ran aground in thick fog. Now, it stands as a silent memorial, frozen in time, commemorating the sailors who navigated treacherous waters and succumbed to the forces of nature.

As you stand in awe of this remarkable sight, it’s hard not to reflect on the mysteries that lie beneath the surface. The Eduard Bohlen shipwreck is just one example of the countless stories waiting to be uncovered along the Skeleton Coast. Each ship that found its resting place here has a tale to tell, their secrets buried within the depths of the ocean.

So, if you find yourself drawn to history and adventure, I urge you to visit the Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia. Explore the Eduard Bohlen shipwreck and discover the wonders that lie within. Feel a connection to the past and embrace the awe-inspiring forces of nature that shape our world.

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

There’s something truly captivating about the Eduard Bohlen in the Skeleton Coast. It’s like a symbol of isolation, representing the mysterious and desolate nature of the Namib Desert.

Imagine this: in the vast and desolate Namib Desert lies a hidden gem called the Skeleton Coast Park – a place shrouded in mystery and isolation. This incredible coastal region, spanning two million hectares, has earned its haunting name due to its insatiable appetite for devouring everything in its path: metal, life, and even the unfortunate souls who cross its unforgiving terrain. Over time, the Skeleton Coast has gained notoriety for consuming wayward ships, with the Eduard Bohlen being its most famous victim.

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The Eduard Bohlen was a massive vessel, measuring 95 meters in length. Its ill-fated journey took it from Swakopmund to Table Bay, where it carried precious supplies for diamond prospectors. On that fateful day, September 5th, 1909, the ship met its demise when it ran aground, never to sail again. Now, the battered wreck lies half-buried in the desert sands, an eerie testimony to the solitude and harshness of this unforgiving landscape. Inside the ship, one can find the remnants of seal and hyena, an unexpected blend of life and death encapsulated within these haunting walls. It’s a photographer’s paradise, offering a glimpse into the raw beauty and desolation that characterizes the Skeleton Coast.

Coordinates is all about location: where in the world something is located. It’s like a secret code that tells you exactly where to find something.

So, let’s talk about coordinates! You might be wondering, what are coordinates and why are they important? Well, coordinates are a set of numbers that help us figure out where something is on the Earth’s surface. They’re like the address of a place, but instead of using street names and numbers, we use numbers that tell us the latitude and longitude of a location.

Latitude and longitude? Yeah, those are the two main types of coordinates. Latitude measures how far north or south something is from the Equator, which is an imaginary line that runs horizontally around the middle of the Earth. Think of it as the Earth’s waistline. Longitude, on the other hand, measures how far east or west something is from the Prime Meridian, which is another imaginary line that runs vertically from the North Pole to the South Pole. You can think of it as the Earth’s backbone.

Now, why are coordinates important? Well, imagine you’re playing a game of hide and seek. You want to find the perfect hiding spot, but you need to give your friends some clues so they can find you. That’s where coordinates come in handy. Instead of saying, “I’m hiding somewhere in this huge park,” you can say, “I’m hiding at latitude 40 and longitude -74.” Bam! Now your friends have an exact location to start looking.

And it’s not just for hide and seek. Coordinates are used in lots of different ways. They help pilots navigate the skies, they help ships find their way across the vast ocean, and they even help you find the closest pizza place on your phone’s map app.

So, the next time you hear someone talking about coordinates, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about. It’s like having a secret code to find your way around the world!

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

In northern Mozambique lies the coastal town of Beira, home to one of the world’s largest ship graveyards.

For centuries, sailors have been drawn to the 2,500-kilometer coastline of Mozambique (don’t miss the chance to spend eight days on an Ibo Island and dhow sailing safari in Mozambique). However, there’s another side to this allure – it’s a place where ships come to rest forever.

Beira, located in the northern region of the country, proudly exhibits a beachfront adorned with shipwrecks that date back to the colonial era. Through these maritime remains, history enthusiasts are given a fascinating glimpse into the past.

GPS Coordinates: S 19.81922°, E 34.90411°

3. Namibia’s Diamond Mine Graveyard

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

Did you know that the Consolidated Mine in Oranjemund, Namibia, houses the world’s largest collection of abandoned earth-moving vehicles?

In 1909, the De Beers diamond mining company discovered diamonds in Oranjemund and wasted no time seizing the opportunity. Over the years, they discarded all the machinery used in the mine, resulting in the creation of a massive graveyard of moving fleet vehicles. This extraordinary site can even be seen from space and offers a fascinating glimpse into Namibia’s diamond mining industry. If you have a passion for photography, this place is an absolute dream.

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GPS Coordinates: S 20°38’52”, E 13°34’41”

4. Meisho Maru shipwreck, Cape Agulhas, South Africa

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

Hey there! Have you ever heard of Cape Agulhas? It’s this amazing place at the very bottom of Africa where two mighty oceans meet. They call it the Cape of Needles, and it’s been drawing people in for centuries. First, the Khoi fishermen came here, and then it caught the attention of brave explorers.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows here. The Cape of Storms, as they call it, is a treacherous place for ships. Many unfortunate vessels have met their demise on these rocky shores. One such vessel is the Meisho Maru 38, a Japanese ship that ran aground here back in 1982. Ever since then, it has settled into the shallow water, becoming a permanent fixture.

If you’re looking for a weekend adventure, you don’t have to look any further than Cape Agulhas. Not far from the shipwreck, you’ll find the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, which has been standing tall since 1848. Together, these two landmarks make for an incredible sight, and they’re just waiting for you to explore.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can use the GPS coordinates 34° 49′ 45.48″, E 20° 0′ 32.04″ to find your way there. Trust me, it’ll be an experience you won’t forget!

5. Smitswinkel Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Hey there! Let’s talk about Smitswinkel Bay in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s an incredible place that you absolutely have to visit. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Smitswinkel Bay is located in the beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. It’s known for its stunning views and pristine beaches. When you visit, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The turquoise waters and soft sand make it the perfect spot to relax and unwind.

One of the things that makes Smitswinkel Bay so special is its unique wildlife. You might even spot some playful dolphins swimming in the distance or a majestic whale passing by. The area is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers.

If you’re an adventurous type, you’ll love the activities available at Smitswinkel Bay. You can go snorkeling or diving to explore the colorful underwater world. The marine life is diverse and vibrant, with beautiful coral reefs and fascinating fish species to discover.

Another popular activity is hiking along the scenic trails that surround the bay. You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the coastline. It’s a great way to get some exercise and appreciate the beauty of the area.

When it comes to accommodation, Smitswinkel Bay has a range of options to suit every budget. You can choose to stay at a luxury seaside resort or opt for a cozy guesthouse. Whatever you decide, you’ll be treated to warm hospitality and excellent service.

In conclusion, Smitswinkel Bay in Cape Town, South Africa, is a true gem. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty, exciting activities, and comfortable accommodation. Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, this place has something for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Smitswinkel Bay and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

If you’re up for an adventure, ship-wreck diving in Smitswinkel Bay is an experience like no other. As I dive beneath the beautiful ocean surface in Smitswinkel Bay on the Cape Peninsula, I discover a treasure trove of shipwrecks waiting to be explored. To see these incredible wrecks, all you need is your diving gear and a craving for adventure.

Located at a maximum depth of 34 meters, Smitswinkel Bay is home to five captivating shipwrecks. It’s also blessed with a pristine beach nearby, making it the perfect spot to not only explore but also practice your underwater photography skills. The combination of history and natural beauty makes this spot truly mesmerizing.

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If you’re curious about the GPS coordinates, they are S 34° 15′ 52.92″, E 18° 28′ 1.2″. So bring your sense of curiosity, and get ready for an unforgettable dive.

6. Discover the Ghost Town of Kolmanskop in Namibia’s Sperrgebiet National Park

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

If you’re looking for ghosts in South Africa, you have to pay a visit to the ghost town of Kolmanskop in Sperrgebiet Namibia. Developed in the early 1900s, Kolmanskop was once a bustling diamond mine industry town, complete with a hospital, power station, school, theatre, and sports hall.

But, like a tale of failed urban development, the town couldn’t survive after World War 1 and the crash of diamond prices. The people of Kolmanskop abandoned the town and migrated to Oranjemund, a new diamond town. Now, a trip to Kolmanskop offers a glimpse into the haunting history of this failed experiment in Namibia’s unforgiving Namib Desert.

GPS coordinates: 26°42’15” S 15°13’57” E

7. Vredehoek Quarry, Cape Town, South Africa

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Cape Town, let me tell you about the Vredehoek Quarry near Devil’s Peak. It’s an abandoned site that not many people know about, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

The quarry is located near the old Vredehoek Tin Mine, and you can access it through an old tunnel. It’s like stepping into a completely different world within the city. And if you’re an adventurer, you’ll love that it’s a great spot for rock climbing and mountain biking.

When you’re in the area, you should also check out the Deer Park Café. It’s a cozy little place where you can grab a bite to eat.

8. Pinda Lighthouse, Mozambique

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

Hey there! Have you ever heard of the abandoned lighthouse in Mozambique? It’s a fascinating piece of history that I’d love to share with you.

Back in 1923, the Portuguese decided to build a lighthouse in Memba Bay to help guide ships away from the dangerous Pinda Shoals. This mighty 31-meter structure stood tall and proud, ensuring safe navigation towards the port of Memba.

Now, fast forward 90 years, and you’ll find that the once bustling lighthouse has been left behind. Despite its abandonment, it remains a captivating sight on the picturesque Pinda Peninsula, overlooking the stunning north-eastern coast of Mozambique. It’s definitely worth taking a small detour when you’re on your way to the breathtaking Wimbe Beach.

9. Aeroplane graveyard, Lanseria Airport, South Africa

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

Did you know that there’s an airplane graveyard right in Johannesburg? It’s not just something you can imagine; it actually exists at Lanseria Airport. This airport is home to one of the biggest collections of abandoned planes in Southern Africa. It’s a fascinating sight that not many people get to see, as access is restricted. However, lucky individuals occasionally get the chance to explore this unique space.

If you’re curious about finding the plane graveyard, the GPS coordinates to Lanseria Airport are S 25° 56′ 22.9, E 27° 55′ 32.1.

10. Oil drilling rig, Skeleton Coast National Park, Namibia

10 abandoned sites in Southern Africa worth visiting

When I first laid eyes on the abandoned oil drilling rig in Skeleton Coast, I was filled with awe. As an industrial tourist, this site was an absolute must-see for me.

Photo by calips96 This fascinating structure, located within Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia, serves as a profound symbol of the oil drilling industry’s struggle in the unforgiving Namibian terrain. Back in the 1960s, ambitious businessmen erected this rig with hopes of extracting oil. Unfortunately, their venture proved to be unsuccessful, leading to its abandonment in the 1970s.

Over the years, the harsh elements have taken a toll on the rig, causing it to deteriorate. However, despite its worn appearance, the rig still houses its formidable V16 Caterpillar engine – a powerful reminder of the past. If you’re seeking an unusual blend of industrial landscapes and desolate surroundings, look no further than this extraordinary location. It offers the perfect backdrop for some truly unique photo opportunities that highlight the marriage between industry and desolation.

For those adventurers eager to explore this intriguing site, you’ll find the abandoned oil drilling rig at the following GPS coordinates: S 20°38’52” S, E 13°34’41”.

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