Kimberley Travel Guide

Map of Kimberley

Kimberley, "The Diamond Capital of the World", is the largest and most modern city of the Northern Cape. There is so much to see and do in this fascinating diamond mining town.

 

Imagine, it is 1871 and diamonds have just been found in the Northern Cape! Miners arrived in their thousands and a digger camp arose from the dust creating one of the world’s largest tent and shanty shack "New Rush" frontier towns. The diamonds continued and the town prevailed. In 1873 it was officially named Kimberley after John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley and British Secretary of State for the Colonies.

 

These miners all helped to create “The Big Hole” which yielded 14,5 million carats of diamonds from 28 million tons of 'blue ground'. This impressive feat of engineering dominates the city of Kimberley and is quite an awesome sight. In 1914 the mine was officially closed down. Today, the Kimberley Mine Museum recreates what it was like in its heyday.

 

Because of the wealth the town produced a beautiful town filled with Victorian grandeur sprung up. Today, this quaint side of town lives harmoniously with modern buildings towering over them.

 

Kimberley was not always peaceful and prosperous and some of the most decisive Anglo-Boer War battles were fought here. In 1899 the Siege of Kimberley lasted 124 days, with the entire town (including Rhodes) besieged inside. For four months the town was subjected to sporadic gunfire, and the women and children were sent down into the De Beers Mine to protect them from shelling.

 

Top things to do in Kimberley:

 

  • The Kimberley Mine Museum, widely known as the "Big Hole", is a must see.
  • The McGregor Museum, literally offers you everything from A (Archaeology) to Z (Zoology). It is well worth a visit
  • One of the finest in the country, the William Humphreys Art Gallery is situated in scenic gardens and is the cultural oasis of the Northern Cape.
  • The Magersfontein Battlefield Museum is fascinating. Experience the battle with the gun fire as background in a reconstructed trench and watch the fight taking place right in front of your own eyes!
  • Dunluce house was designed by the architect D W Greatbatch, and is one of Kimberley's most elegant houses.
  • Rudd House depicts the luxurious lifestyle of one of the most famous mine magnates in Kimberley's history, with typical furniture & decorations of the time.