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South Africa

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Kimberley – Capital of the Northern Cape

Kimberley Diamond City and Big Hole

Kimberley is the Capital of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, and the most famous diamond mining town in South Africa today, thanks to the famous Big Hole.

Kimberly has a pivotal place in South African history, particularly that of diamond prospecting and the emergence of the world famous De Beers Diamond Mining Corporation, but Kimberly’s diamond mining past is inextricably tied up with the Colonial and Boer history of South Africa.

There are many museums and historical attractions in Kimberley, as well as some beautiful examples of Victorian Architecture, and one of the best ways to experience the heart of Kimberley is on a walking tour. A variety of tour operators offer tours that take you in to the ‘old town’, via museums and the mansions of the those that made their fortunes, through haunted sites, homes and battlefields, to cultural sites and monuments. These include the McGregor House Museum, City Hall, Rudd House, Oppenheimer House, the Kimberley Club, Dunluce, Digger’s Fountain, the Newton Dutch Reformed Church, the Magersfontein Battlefield and Bultfontein Mine – to name a few. See a detailed article on the Kimberley Museums and Art Galleries.

No visit to Kimberley would be authentic without a visit to the Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum, which offers mine tours and tours through the old town.

Other Kimberley attractions and activities include the award winning Mokala National Park 80kms south of Kimberley, the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre and the Kimberley Ghost Trail offered by many tour operators (probably the most interesting way to experience the old buildings and history of the city).

If you are a golfer, the Kimberley Golf Club is one of the oldest in South Africa. No expense was spared in the development of this stately club.

Getting there: Kimberley is situated on the juncture between the N12 and the N8. From Cape Town, take the N1 east for 534km, turning left onto the N12, travelling a further 420km on the N12. From JHB take the N12 south-west.


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