Kimberley, Northern Cape

The diamond capital of South Africa
Kimberley's main attraction: the Big Hole. © Chris Marais
Kimberley, thanks to the fevered diamond rush of the 1870s, has a glittering past and present. Take a guided tour of a once-operational diamond mine, which descends a staggering 840m below the earth. For those who prefer being above ground, visit the city's glittering choice of jewellery stores.

Did you know?

Birders will find a large flamingo breeding colony at Kimberley's Kamfers Dam.

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 8 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, an exact replica of the city during the frenetic days of the diamond rush. If you are not claustrophobic, take the guided tour of a once-operational diamond mine which descends a staggering 840m below the earth.

A few kilometers from the city centre lies Kimberley’s oldest residential suburb, Belgravia, which dates back to the 1870s. These homes were built at the peak of diamond trade. This is where South Africa's mining dynasty's patriarch, Harry Oppenheimer, was born. It's said that there once was more millionaires in this are than anywhere else in the world.

Art lovers are also in for a treat. The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre and !Xun & Khwe Kamatoka Shop showcases San art, both ancient rock art and contemporary creations. Not far away is the William Humphreys Art Gallery, specialising in South African artists but also offering a fine collection of 16th and 17th century Flemish, Dutch, English and French masters.

Being the diamond capital of the world, Kimberley is well-known for its exquisite. individually-crafted jewellery, offering a precious personalised memento of a trip to Kimberley.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Kimberley Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)53 832 7298
Email: info@kimberley.co.za

Duggan-Cronin Gallery
Tel: +27 (0)53 839 2722
Fax: +27 (0)53 842 1433

How to get here

You can fly directly to Kimberley from all the major cities in South Africa.

Around the area

Grab a taste of Southern Africa’s pastoral life at the world famous Duggan-Cronin Gallery, displaying a collection of 8 000 priceless ethnographic photographs taken on expeditions into rural Southern Africa between 1919 and 1939.

How to get around

Kimberley is the only South African city with an operational tram system, dating back to the time of the diamond rush.

Where to stay

Kimberley has a number of luxury hotels, but the B&Bs and guesthouses in the historic part of town, many of them in buildings dating back to the diamond days, come highly recommended.