National Geographic: Flight Over Africa


of the Namib Desert

called Kolmanskop and

this town was founded

because a railway worker

working on the rail line

found a very pretty stone.

And this lead to a diamond

rush which caused

this town to spring

out of the desert

and then as quickly as

it started it disappeared.

Kolmanskop was followed

by other boomtowns

a sudden cluster

of Diamond settlements

that sprang up

in the lifeless desert.

At the turn

of the century,

Diamonds were

so plentiful here,

they say you could collect

a jarful a night

by just picking up

whatever glistened

in the moonlight.

In the saloons

you could buy your whiskey

and your woman with raw diamonds.

May 10th.

It's a ghost town,

almost like

the American west.


Hotels. Houses.

There's something haunting

and magical about this place.

I keep looking

in the sand half expecting

to find a diamond.

But there are none.

When the sand was

picked clean,

the people disappeared.

What they left behind

is am eerie memento.

An empty museum.

A movie set.

I can almost imagine

the sounds of music

and laughter here.

Claytor's itinerary is

deliberately unpredictable.

If he has enough money for gas

he can simply scout around

off the beaten path

for material for his book.

What I'm trying to do is

visit remote parts of the world

places like this desert

jungles ice caps

and places which are basically

the frontiers of civilization.

And the venue by which I do

that is I look for bush pilots

because bush pilots work

in these areas and very often

they're not just pilots

but they're scientists

they're businessman,

they're researches

they're missionaries

and conservationists.

These pilots also teach me

the particulars of

these various areas and

how to go through them safely.

Recently, another bush

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"National Geographic: Flight Over Africa" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Jun 2020. <>.

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