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TThe Diamond Coast Hiking Trail in the Namaqua National Park in the Northern Cape province was launched in 2010 with the aim of giving explorers a chance to access areas that were previously off limits to the public due to mining activity.
The Diamond Coast Hiking Trail, jointly managed by De Beers and the Namaqua National Park, links the former mining towns of Kleinzee and Koingnaas, situated near the border between South Africa and Namibia.
The trail is 50km long and the walk is divided into 3 days, allowing participants to take in the scenery and history without having to rush.
The hiking trail is run by De Beers' Coast of Diamonds, and they will provide tents, chairs and ablution facilities. Hikers, however, need to bring their own sleeping bags, food and refreshments. Supplies are transported between camping sites by vehicle, meaning hikers need only carry the minimum.
The hike starts in Koingnaas and concludes in Kleinzee, where explorers will be taken on a tour of a diamond mine, as well as the local diamond museum.
Budding geologists will be amazed by the variety of rock and mineral remains along the hiking trail, including chert, garnet, jasper and epidyte.
The natural scenery is an eclectic blend of coastal terrain, including unspoilt sand dunes punctuated by an array of wildflowers and indigenous plants.
Some of the wildlife you may catch a glimpse of along the way includes springbuck, gemsbuck, water mongoose and brown hyaenas. Birds to be seen include ostriches, buzzards, hawks and sunbirds.
Various 4x4 tours of the Diamond Coast are also offered by the Coast of Diamonds for those who wish to see some of the shipwrecks in the area that are not on the hiking trail route.
Please note that in order to obtain security clearance to the area in time, those interested in walking the Diamond Coast Hiking Trail should book well in advance. It's such a unique hike, you should make a point of doing it.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
De Beers' Diamond Route
Namaqua National Park
Tel: +27 (0)27 672 1948
How to get here
Kleinzee has an airstrip that you can take a charter flight to. Or you can hire a car in Cape Town and enjoy the scenic 660km drive along the west coast of South Africa.
Best time to visit
Hikes are available throughout the year, but if you wish to avoid the heat, visit between April and October.
What will it cost?
The hike costs approximately R1 600 per person.
What to pack
Sleeping bag, food and drink for 3 days, tough hiking boots, plenty of sunscreen and a hat.
What to eat
The fresh seafood available in Kleinzee is highly recommended.