Kimberley is a small city in the east of the Northern Cape Province. It also happens to be the capital of this province. Despite its small size, Kimberley is historically significant and staying in one of the city's bed and breakfasts can make for an interesting few days.
The city is surrounded by flat plains which are occasionally interrupted by small hills (or "koppies", as they're known in South Africa). It is an arid region with low rainfall, very hot summers (December to March) and mild winters.
Historically speaking, Kimberley lies at the heart of the South African diamond industry. The city was initially developed because of alluvial diamond deposits found in the area. Later numerous mines were opened and the landscape was largely blighted. Today, one of Kimberley's greatest tourist attractions is what's known as The Big Hole - an old diamond mine which has since filled partially with water, leaving an interesting water-filled crater to behold. The Big Hole viewing deck is accessed via the Big Hole Museum, a fascinating place representing the townscape of Kimberley during the diamond rush period.
If you spend a few days in Kimberley, you should also be sure to take a look at the Pioneers of Aviation Museum. The museum premises were once the home of South Africa's first flying school, the same place where Africa's first female pilot earned her pilot's license. Another museum worth a visit is the Kimberley Transport Museum displaying old relics such as South Africa's first tram.
If museums don't get you ticking, Kimberley, like most regions of South Africa also offers one the opportunity to appreciate nature. Just north of Kimberley lies the Komfers Dam, a pan which is home to a breeding colony of lesser flamingos. The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre has examples of rock art engravings (as opposed to the usual paintings) which are said to be the work of the San and their ancestors. A little further afield one can also visit the Mokala National Park among other reserves. Kimberley is small enough that the guest houses and hotels are close by to all of these attractions.
Kimberley is an understated city, but has much to offer the visitor.
Swanlake Luxury Accommodation is a truly magnificent residence set on the exquisite Magersfontein Memorial Golf Estate a mere twenty minutes' drive from Kimberley on the N12 to Cape Town.
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Nice to see things happening in my old home town!
- Sanita Welgemoed
Wonderful place, warm friendly people. I will definitely visit Kimberley again.
- Maggie Grootboom
Kimberley is well worth a visit! Historically speaking, a most interesting place and much to keep one busy. Good eateries and great shopping too!
- Louise Cloete
Kimberley is worth visiting. I did not see much of the town because of the nature of my visit. Am hoping to come back again as it is a tourist attraction.
- Busisiwe Sishuba
Lots to see
- John Moses