The scorched desert that surrounds Luderitz means the city’s collection of German art nouveau architecture couldn't look more unusually placed along the Namibian coastline. This quirkiness is what gives the destination its charm. See gangs of playful penguins skipping across the waves, pink flamingos wading by the coast, and dolphins leaping into the air near Penguin Island and Seal Island. A much more haunting location, with an incredibly dark past, is Shark Island - which witnessed the deaths of between 1,000 and 3,000 people when it was the location of a German concentration camp, between 1905 and 1907. Inland from Luderitz is Kolmanskop, the site of a famous diamond mine and ghost town.