Alluvial Diamond Diggings
Go on the world’s only guided tour of an operational diamond mine! Have yourself kitted out with real miners’ gear - an overall with light reflecting strips, safety boots, hard hat, battery cell with headlamp and your own ‘sizamoya’ which is an oxygen generating survival pack.
Belgravia Historic Walk
Kimberley’s historical suburb of Belgravia plays host to 33 of the city’s most historical sites. Much of the city’s opulent lifestyle and its characteristic architecture can be seen on this two kilometre walk.
Copper and Diamonds
Mining has played, and still plays, a very important role in the development and prosperity of Namakwa, the Northern Cape and indeed South Africa. Copper was discovered in Namakwa by early explorations lead by Simon van der Stel back in 1685.
From Beneath the Surface
The red sands of the Kalahari have been delved into for the extraction of iron ore, leaving jagged gaps in the earth’s surface and creating one of the five largest single pit open-cast iron-ore mines in the world, dwarfing man and tough machines with its enourmous gaping pits.
Take time out to explore the little towns of the Karoo and you will discover a unique style of architecture. Most of the original town dwellings are simple structures with a prominent covered verandah as protection against the harsh sun. The more elaborate homes have traces of Victorian style, but still maintain a Karoo-like integrity.
SA Astronomical Observatory
For the next few years, South Africa and its German, Polish, American, New Zealand and United Kingdom partners will build the largest single telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a hexagonal mirror array 11 metres across. Although very similar to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) in Texas, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) will have a redesigned optical system using more of the mirror array.
The Big Hole
One of Kimberley’s major attractions, the Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum, was once a flat-topped hill and is now an awesome hole - the largest hand-dug excavation in the world - dug by picks, shovels and sheer determination, measuring 215 metres deep with a surface area of some 17 hectares and a perimeter of 1,6 km.
This, the second biggest dam with the highest dam wall in South Africa, is also a holiday resort. When the dam is full, it stretches a 100km long and is perfect for most watersports including sailing, skiing, and windsurfing. Dam tours can be undertaken, giving you insight into the history and workings of the dam.