Welcome to Kimberley, South Africa!
Often referred to as the City of Diamonds, South Africa’s Kimberley is one of the main attractions in the Northern Cape. Whether you wish to admire the famous Big Hole and its mining museum, enjoy a wine tasting at one of the many fabulous wine estates, or hop on a vintage tram, there is plenty to look forward to when visiting Kimberley.
Walk down the picturesque streets of Kimberley and discover the city’s museum as a worldwide local, a traveler who knows how to find the finest sites in Kimberley. This travel guide offers useful local tips and takes you to the city’s finest attractions.
Begin at the Heart of Town
Kick-off your travel itinerary in the city of Kimberley with a visit to the city’s Town Hall. This charming building on Old Main Street is famous for its stunning architecture. It’s a great place to take nice photos and to learn more about the history of Kimberley. Our next stop is the world’s largest hand-dug excavation, the famous Big Hole. Covering an area of 17 hectares (42 acres), the mine site was excavated for about 40 years and gave up diamonds which weighs approximately 3,000 kilograms total. There is also a nice open-air museum where travelers can experience how fortune-seekers lived their lives in the 19th century.
Worldwide Local Tip: As you leave your Kimberley hotel, hop on a vintage tram which was used when diamonds were excavated in the 19th century. These pristine trams still have the original wooden seats and you can go on a 20-minute ride around the Big Hole.
A Day of Art and Culture in Kimberley
Art lovers can pay a visit to the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, which houses the ancient San Rock art. To see a nice collection of 17th century French, Flemish, and English masters, stop by the William Humphreys Art Gallery.
After all the sightseeing, it’s time to unwind with a cold drink. Welcome to the Star of the West Pub, the second oldest pub in South Africa. Opened in 1870, the pub used to welcome thirsty miners. The next stop on our list is the magnificent McGregor Museum and its natural science exhibitions. The museum is also a research institute that focuses on cultural and natural history.
Worldwide Local Tip: To mingle with the locals and purchase local foods and souvenirs, I recommend visiting the Kimberley Town & Country Market. There are about 30 stalls here selling everything from baked treats and homemade biscuits to artisan cheeses, fresh produce, and game meat--a perfect, budget-friendly alternative to the Kimberley restaurants.
Find the Best Glass of Wine
South Africa is famous for its production of some of the world’s finest wines. To attend a wine tasting, it’s best to visit the Hartswater Wine Cellar in Kimberley. Tours of the cellars are available and you will have a chance to taste some of their best wines.
A Haunted City
An interesting thing about Kimberley is that there are many stories about ghost sightings here. So, why not take the scary ghost trail, which starts at the Honored Dead Memorial and takes visitors to some of the city’s believed to be haunted buildings and houses.
Worldwide Local Tip: Shopaholics visiting Kimberley will fall in love with the Diamond Pavilion Shopping Mall. With more than 100 shops and convenient stores such as Edgars, Woolworths, and many others, this shopping mall is located just a short drive from the center of the city. Besides shopping, you can have a snack at one of the fast-food joints or order a cup of coffee at the amazing Seattle Coffee bar.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Going on vacation to Kimberley can be an unforgettable experience. It’s a beautiful city that offers plenty of unique sites and outdoor activities. Remember that exploring Kimberley as a worldwide local allows you to discover its best attractions from a different point of view.