Sand People was shot in the Namibian ghost town Kolmanskop, just a few kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz.
The company town was developed after the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908, to provide shelter for De Beers’ workers from the harsh environment of the Namibian Desert. The town was named after a transport driver called Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. The village was built in the architectural style of a classic Dutch town of the time and included a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theatre and sports-hall, casino, ice factory, the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, and the first tram in Africa. It also had a railway link to Lüderitz.
The town declined after World War I when diamond prices crashed – it has been abandoned since 1956.