Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape province, is known as the Diamond City. Start your exploration of the city at its main attraction: the Big Hole. Imagine a hand-dug hole the size of eight football fields and you have some idea of the labour that went into creating the Big Hole. Adjacent to the Big Hole is the Kimberley Mine Museum, which brings to life the way the city was during the frenetic days of the diamond rush.
The Diamond Fields of the Northern Cape
Blood, sweat, tears, triumph, murder and despair such are the foundation stones of Kimberley, diamond capital of the world and gateway to the Kalahari and Diamond Fields of the Northern Cape. Diamonds were first discovered in 1871 on Colesberg Koppie. It triggered rush fever which led to frantic mass diggings, culminating in what is now the Big Hole, the largest artificial construction to be found anywhere in the world
Kimberley’s McGregor Museum
Kimberley’s McGregor Museum is based in the old Kimberley sanatorium building in the upmarket suburb of Belgravia, but it has a number of satellite venues spread around the 'city of diamonds'. It is also a major Northern Cape research institute specialising in natural and cultural history.
Fly-fish in the rivers around Kimberley
If you want to know about fly-fishing in the rivers near Kimberley, speak to Turner Wilkinson who has been fly-fishing for nearly 30 years and who is one of only 15 people who have taken all 9 yellowfish species on the fly. The yellowfish populations in this part of the Northern Cape are arguably some of the finest in the country.
Battle for the diamond fields – the Siege of Kimberley
When Kimberley was besieged by Boer forces during the South African War (formerly the Second Anglo-Boer War), diamond magnate Cecil John Rhodes was a key player. Not only did he run a soup kitchen and have a massive field gun designed and built, but he offered townsfolk refuge in his underground mines.
Kimberley’s flamingos: a pink parade
The flamingos of Kimberley’s Kamfers Dam offer a rare and lovely sight – thousands upon thousands of these pink birds stretching as far as the eye can see. This area in South Africa’s Northern Cape province is one of only four breeding sites for lesser flamingos in Africa, making it a must-see for any birder. Even for non-birders, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime sight.