Exploring Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape
Kimberley is a town filled with diamond mines, haunted corners, home of Anglo-Boer monuments and gentleman’s clubs where the rich and famous all convened. Visiting Kimberley is like taking a tour of big parts of our country’s rich history. Aside from getting an education and looking into the past, you can enjoy the wide open spaces of a national park close to town. Here are a few things to do whilst there:
This has got to be Kimberley’s greatest claim to fame- the world’s largest man-made hole which cultivated vast amounts of diamonds. Visit the site to see where many miners spent their days digging up this natural treasure which drove an industry and fed South Africa’s economy. You can also take a look at the Lady 616 which is the world’s uncut diamond.
This national park offers up an abundance of bird and wildlife. Spot the communal nests of the weaver and Gemsbok who gets moisture from the plants it eats. Enjoy the peace and quiet and get your fix of adventure with river rafting, mountain biking, boating and hiking.
Visit the flamingoes
Joburg Road will render the opportunity to see some of the biggest gatherings of Greater and Lesser Flamingoes in Africa. These beautiful creatures breed on man-made islands in the natural parts of Kamfersdam.
The ancient treasures of Barkly West are something everyone has to get a look at. Hundreds of San Bushmen rock paintings can be found at Nooitgedacht and Wildebeestskuil. They have been estimated to date from 200- 2000 years of age. See the first bridge built across the Vaal River which was constructed in 1884, visit the Tollhouse museum and the once rich alluvial site of Canteen Koppie.
Memorials and Old Battlefields
To get a glimpse of where the battles took place, walk up to Magersfontein Kop and look down over the trenches and old battlefield. The Highland Brigade Memorial stands proudly on top serving as a reminder of those who lost their lives. Another monument in the area is the Anglo-Boer War monument which happens to be the largest one in the world. 27 soldiers were laid here to rest and it was designed by Sir Herbert Bake and also holds the Long Cecil gun.
After all the battles, Anglo-Boer war and other tragic occurrences such as a massive fire in the Old De Beers mine which killed many miners, Kimberley has developed quite a reputation for having haunted corners and areas where ghosts have been spotted. Join an entertaining walk around the town whilst hearing a few truths and myths about Kimberley. You will visit Regiment’s Drill Hall, Rudd House, The Kimberley Club, Rhode’s Boardroom, Gladstone cemetery and Magersfontein battlefield.
Take a walk through Belgravia, Kimberley’s first exclusive residential neighbourhood. You’ll encounter many of the town’s historical sites such as the McGregor Museum, the world’s first drive-in pub ‘The Half’, the Duggin-Cronin gallery and birth place of Harry Oppenheimer, world-famous diamond magnate.