Diamond Fields, Northern Cape
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During the world's greatest diamond rush, hordes of prospectors converged on the Diamond Fields region, scouring the river banks and sifting soil in a frenetic quest for wealth.
At times, there were as many as 30 000 diggers labouring all day and far into the night. Although the name Kimberley evokes images of glamour and romance, the diamond heyday was an era of blood, sweat and tears, high stakes and ruthless power struggles.
Kimberley developed around the huge hole in the ground, formerly a small hill known as Colesberg Koppie, where diamonds were discovered early in 1871. An observation platform provides a good view of the Big Hole, about 365 m deep and covering an area close on 15,5 ha. Between 1871 and 1914, men toiled to remove some 25 million tons of earth from the site. It yielded about 14,5 million carats of diamonds.
Destinations / Town & Suburbs of Diamond Fields
Where to Stay: Diamond Fields Accommodation
Barkly West was the scene of one of the first diamond rushes in the Northern Cape (1869). To this day, the Vaal River diggings attract hopeful prospectors. At Canteen Koppie, there is an open-air archaeological museum ... Barkly West information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Douglas
The first thing one notices about Douglas, however, is the amount of water - the town lies where the Orange and Vaal rivers meet, hence farm land is fertile in the vicinity, to say the least, and the town is regarded as something ... Douglas information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in Diamond Fields
Situated next to The Big Hole, this open-air museum (one of the finest in the world) depicts Kimberley in its Victorian heyday during the diamond rush. It incorporates shops and houses, a church, diggers' tavern, Barney Barnato's Boxing Academy, and the De Beers directors' private railway coach ... more information
Benfontein Nature Reserve, which lies near Kimberley in the Northern Cape, roughly 430km from Johannesburg, is the one place in the country where you can see Africa's smallest cat - the black-footed cat. But you will have to do your sightings at night as the black-footed cat is strictly nocturnal ... more information
Kimberley developed around this huge hole in the ground, formerly a small hill known as Colesberg Koppie, where diamonds were discovered early in 1871. An observation platform provides a good view of the Big Hole, about 365 m deep and covering an area close on 17 ha ... more information
The Diggers Memorial, a fountain and statue in the form of a diamond sieve held aloft by 5 life-size diggers, was erected in honour of diggers past and present. It is located in the Ernest Oppenheimer Gardens, which are in turn a memorial to the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, a mining magnate and the first mayor of Kimberley.
Lying just off the N12, a mere 10km north of Kimberley, Dronfield Nature Reserve is on the De Beers Diamond Route. The game farm is a favourite with families who stay in the reserve whilst taking in other Kimberley, and surrounds, highlights - like the Big Hole, Magersfontein, the ... more information
With its famous 'Big Hole' where adventurous prospectors dug for diamonds, the town of Kimberley is steeped in history - and so too is the Kimberley Golf Club, which was established way back in 1890. Many famous names have played at the club. 1890 was the year that Cecil John Rhodes began his six-year term ... more information
Mokala is South Africa’s newest National Park, situated approximately 80km south-southwest of Kimberley, and west of the N12 freeway to Cape Town. Nestled in the hills, Mokala's landscape boasts a variety of koppieveld (hills) and large open plains. The isolated dolerite hills give the place a calming feeling of ... more information
The Vaalbos National Park is an extraordinary area along the Vaal River where wildlife such as black and white rhino, buffalo, eland, red hartebeest and tsessebe can be seen in the former heart of the the alluvial diamond diggings near Kimberley. A tourist route, built with material from the diamond diggings ... more information
Featured Things To Do in Diamond Fields
Holiday Accommodation in Diamond Fields
destinations / attractions in the northern cape