North West Province DestinationsLichtenburg, Central Region
The pretty little town of Lichtenburg, whose streets are lined with willow trees, emerged as early as 1873 but it was the diamond rush that placed Lichtenburg on the map, bringing thousands of prospectors to this part of the world in the late 1920s. The world’s largest red diamond discovered in 1927, known as a ‘pigeon blood red’, added further weight to the influx of diamond diggers to Lichtenburg. This is an incredibly rare stone and the claim is that fewer than twenty naturally occurring red diamonds exist today - one can only imagine the price tag attached to each of these.
You can learn more about this history at the Lichtenburg Diggings Museum, which covers the alluvial diamond diggings in and around the town between 1925 and 1935.
Also be sure to visit the Willem Annandale art gallery whilst you’re about it, which exhibits over 300 priceless and incredibly beautiful paintings, sculptures, graphics and ceramics of South African and North West artists.
Lichtenburg remains today predominantly because of the surrounding maize, groundnut and sunflower seed farms that owe their existence to the presence of natural water resources in the area - hence the willows. Lichtenburg is worth a stopover for the quaint tranquillity, sense of history and calm that the little town offers visitors. It’s also a convenient stopover en route to the Mmabatho casino.