Northern Cape of South Africa
The city of Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape and is famous for its Big Hole which was created after years of diamond mining.
Diamonds were first discovered here in 1867 and the rush happened 3 years later when a handful of the glittering minerals were found on a farm belonging to Nicholaas de Beers. De Beers, named after Nicholaas and established by Cecil John Rhodes, is now one of the most famous diamond companies in the world. Soon the Kimberley Diamond Mine was established on Colesberg Koppie site and thus began the digging that would later lead to the largest hole ever to be dug by man. It measures 215 meters in depth and a perimeter of around 1, 6 kilometers and covering 17 hectares.
The diamond rush has been perfectly replicated here in the Old Town and all the restored buildings around the Big Hole are exactly as they would have been during that time. There is also a museum where you can learn about the history of diamonds in South Africa, a real diamond display which shows the largest uncut diamond in the world, an underground mining experience, displays of old mining equipment and views from above the Big Hole.
Belgravia Historic Walk
While visiting Kimberley, make sure you take a stroll through the suburb of Belgravia. This 2 kilometer walk will allow you to see the amazing opulence in architecture and gardens brought about by the economic strength of the mine. You can start at McGregor Museum and see various mansions, inns, churches, temples and statues making up the top 33 historical attractions of the city.