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KKimberley, thanks to the crazy diamond rush of the 1870s, has a glittering past. If you’re a history buff, then you’ll know that South Africa has its past rooted in the ground and this historic little town, the capital of the Northern Cape province is lovingly known as the Diamond City.
It’s time for a Sho’t Left to this historical part of the Northern Cape, history gurus, this one’s for you!
TTours of the Big Hole and the Mine Museum
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. In fact, the Big Hole is one of the world’s largest holes excavated by hand.
Immerse yourself as you take a guided tour of a once-operational diamond mine and descend a staggering 840m underground. When you return to the surface, why not take a walk and visit the city's choice of jewellery stores.
Right next to the Big Hole is the Kimberley Mine Museum, which brings to life the way the city was during the bustling days of the diamond rush. Many of the buildings here are originals that have been moved over the years to this spot.
Art lovers are also in for a treat at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre which 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.
In the market for a diamond?
Being the diamond capital of the world, Kimberley is well-known for its exquisite, individually crafted jewellery. When you visit, be sure to get yourself a precious personalised memento of your trip to Kimberley, the Diamond City.
If you're a battlefields buff, you're in for a treat. The Boers besieged Kimberley for several months during the South African War (also called the Anglo-Boer War), and many battles were fought in the vicinity. Visit the evocative Magersfontein battlefield, dating to 1899, and museum about 30 kilometres from Kimberley.
TTake a Sho’t Left in the Northern Cape. No matter what kind of adventure gets you going and inspires your wanderlust, check out our Northern Cape deals. There's one that’s just for you!