The bustling, modern capital city of the arid Northern Cape, Kimberley was born out of the ‘New Rush’, a stampede for diamonds like the world had never seen.
Today, the city offers a wonderful collection of museums, memorials and historic sites which trace the travails of this exciting time in South Africa’s history!
Contemporary Kimberley may not be as hip and vibey as it was during its dazzling diamond heydays but there are a handful of original pubs and taverns which continue to serve patrons with flamboyant aplomb – The Halfway House Bar, an old haunt of Cecil John Rhodes, the Member’s Bar at the Kimberley Club and The Occidental Bar, a re-creation of the original 1880s drinking tavern!
Family Fun Holiday Destination
The Diamond City is an intriguing family friendly holiday destination which offers a lot of history and little bit of fun. As a popular stop over between Cape Town and Johannesburg and a favoured holiday destination in its own right, Kimberley accommodation is diverse and plentiful and includes affordable bed & breakfasts, Victorian guest lodges and star graded branded hotels.
A popular attraction is the spine tingling Ghost Trail, a guided expedition which ‘tip toes’ into the most haunted places of the old city including the original home of Charles Rudd, Rhodes’ Boardroom and the Kimberley Regiment’s Drill Hall.
The trail, rather appropriately, starts at the Honoured Dead Memorial which commemorates those who died during the year long siege of Kimberley during the Boer War and finishes at the grave of past residents called Frankenstein as the clock reaches the bewitching hour!
The authentic and lovingly restored 1913 tramcar, which ferried well-heeled residents around the old town and diggings, is back in action, this time carrying tourists between the ‘Big Hole’ and the Kimberley Town Hall, a National Monument built in the neo-classical style in 1899.
Dominated by the ‘Big Hole ’, an enormous crater excavated by the thousands of prospectors and diggers who flocked to the area following the discovery of diamonds, Kimberley has successfully preserved the original Old Town.
Lovely period buildings filled with Victoriana and memorabilia have been restored to their former grandeur and include Barney Barnato’s Boxing Academy, the Digger’s Tavern and the opulent De Beers Railway coach.
Kimberley is the ideal destination for a romantic rendezvous as modern diamond dealers market and sell their valuable shiny wares predominantly from Jones Street. Young lovers can take in the romance and history of the diamond diggings and then saunter over to the dealers for a transaction of a lifetime!
Booking a Break in the City of Diamonds
A convenient way of planning and booking a holiday or stop over in Kimberley is online at e-southafrica.com, a comprehensive holiday booking portal featuring affordable lodgings in Kimberley and other holiday destinations in South Africa .
Browse the property details, photographs, current rates and guest reviews posted on site and then book comfortable Kimberley accommodation via e-southafrica.com right now and enjoy the fascinating history of the early diamond diggings!