Also called the Open Mine or Kimberley mine, it is an open-pit mine and claimed to be the largest hole excavated by hand. From 1871 to 1914 up to 50,000 miners dug the hole with picks and shovels, yielding 2,720kgs (6,000lb) of diamonds.
Once above-ground operations became too dangerous and unproductive, the Kimberlite pipe of the Kimberley Mine was also mined underground by Cecil John Rhodes' De Beers company to a depth of more than 1km.
In 2006 De Beers invested R50 million (about USD 7.7 million) in the renovation of the Big Hole heritage site. The museum has been modernized, with an audiovisual theatre and a cantilevered platform above the rim of the Big Hole that allows visitors a vertical view down into the hole, as its end is across the rim.
The William Humphreys Art Gallery is considered one of South-Africa's finest art museums. The gallery provides for the aesthetic and cultural needs of the local community it serves as well as of the people of South Africa. To this end it collects, preserves, documents, researches and exhibits works of art which represent the artistic heritage of all South Africans and utilises its assets for the edification, enrichment and enjoyment of the people
The gallery concentrates on collecting truly South-African works of art. Additionally, the Gallery serves Kimberley's community as an educational and cultural center.
Visit the gallery's website for more information.
The McGregor Museum was officially founded in 1907, following several calls for the establishment of a museum in Kimberley. Eventually, Mrs. McGregor, widow of the previous mayor of Kimberley, Alexander McGregor, donated the funds necessary to establish the museum.
The building that currently houses the museum was originally constructed in 1897 by De Beers as a sanatorium. Since then, the building has been used as a luxury hotel (Hotel Belgrave) and later as a convent school.
The McGregor Museum is a primary research institute in and for the Northern Cape (and is anticipated to have a role in articulation with the School of Heritage which is to be a part of the Sol Plaatje University) in fields of natural and cultural history (including zoology, botany, general history, South African struggle history, archaeology, social anthropology). It curates important collections and archival material (see below) and, on the basis of its collections and research activities, performs educational and outreach functions to the community locally and throughout the province. Research programmes include international collaborative projects.
For more information, visit the museum's website.
As a celebration of the turn-of-the-century style and romance of this Victorian age, the design of the Flamingo Casino is based on the contemporary architecture of the gracious buildings in modern Kimberley that survived the rash days of the diamond rush.
The casino provides a fun, exciting and memorable gaming experience to its customers. It sports an elegant restaurant, providing a lavish dining experience for the whole family, a conference centre, bars and a small retail component.
Experience the lifestyle, history, architecture, entertainment and culture of the historical diamond rush era in Kimberley. The guided walk is about 2km long and includes all the key historic sites in the area.
During the walk you will visit more than 30 places of interest, including the McGregor Museum, The Halfway House, Sister Henrietta Stockdale's Nursing College, the war memorial, Masonic temple, the Rudd house, Dunluce and Alex Hall Memorial Gardens.
Visit Northern Cape Tourism for more information.
The rock art centre is situated just outside of Kimberley. It has a visitors' centre where a 25-minute film is shown to introduce you to the site. San and Khoe people, researchers and other stakeholders joined together to conserve the engravings here - more than 200 are spread over a small hill.
The community-based guides are trained to show you the site or you may choose to go on an audio tour of the site (you will receive a small portable audio player), and you will enjoy equally fascinating commentary at each of the 10 marked "stations".
A short way off was the Sanatorium (now McGregor museums), used by Rhodes as his headquarters during the siege of Kimberley (1900). A 100 lb shell from Long Tom, aimed by the Boers at the Sanatorium, fell short, and instead landed through the roof of the house, damaging a bedroom and breakfast room below. This event was recorded in the Souvenir of the Siege of Kimberley, published by the Diamond Fields Advertiser.
Kimberley is a town that is filled with history, and the Magersfontein Battlefield situated nearby is looked upon with both pride and heartache. The Magersfontein Battle was a short and furious battle, and although many lives were lost, this battle has an interesting story attached to it. A story of bravery, respect, empathy and compassion.
The battlefield of Magersfontein, scene of a British defeat during "Black Week" in the Boer War, lies 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Kimberley. There is an observation point from which there are good views of the battlefield and the trenches. There is a small museum with a collection of weapons and uniforms.
The dam typically supports 20,000 Lesser Flamingos, but occasionally over 50,000 Lesser Flamingos are present, a large proportion of the sub region's total population.
The birds are mobile and commute between the major feeding sites in southern Africa.