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Posted on: Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Exploring Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape

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The Big Hole

The Big Hole

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:

The Big Hole

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.

Mokala National Park

Visit Kimberley

Visit Kimberley

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.

Barkly West

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.

Take a trip to Barkly West

Take a trip to Barkly West

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.

Ghost Tours

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.

Belgravia Historial Walk

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.

Kimberley Information:
Kimberley Attractions
Restaurants in Kimberley
Find things to do in Kimberley
Hotels in Kimberley
Hotels in Northern Cape
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Lauren Manuel McShane


Six continents later, Lauren Manuel McShane still has itchy feet and wanderlust for adventure in all corners of the earth. She recently married the love of her life and together they are traveling the world pausing only to find work, take photos and write. She is currently in Asia and sharing everything about her expat life on The Travel Manuel.

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3 comments about Exploring Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape
  1. May 22nd, 2013 at 15:03
    Michelle says:

    I have always wanted to go to The Big Hole. I didnt realise there was so much else to do in Kimberley. I definitely want to make a trip there now!

  2. May 23rd, 2013 at 13:55
    Chriss says:

    The Ghost Tour sounds so interesting!

  3. May 30th, 2013 at 10:50
    Helen says:

    I went to Kimberley years ago but it was such an interesting trip – really worth a visit.