Kimberley and the Big Hole in South Africa

Kimberley is a quiet city in South Africa and is considered the diamond capital due to its rich past.

Kimberley was founded in 1871 when diamonds were discovered on a nearby farm called Vooruitzicht, owned by the De Beers brothers.

The city was also known as New Rush before being renamed Kimberley in honor of the British Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Kimberley; and later nicknamed the City of Diamonds.

De Beers Consolidated Mines, to which Cecil Rhodes entrusted the extraction of diamonds, took control of the diamond fields in 1888 and is still based in Kimberley.

What used to be a small village soon became a city and numerous miners flocked here in search of fortune but unfortunately as the work progressed many men died due to mining accidents and the unsanitary conditions, as well as the scarcity of water. and vegetables also took over the workers and caused disease.

From mid-July 1871 to 1914, 50,000 miners excavated the Kimberley Mine with picks and shovels, 22.5 tons of rock were mined and 2,722 kilograms of diamonds were mined.

The open pit mine has an area of ​​17 hectares and has a diameter of 463 meters, what is now known as the Big Hole was dug to a depth of 240 meters, but then partially filled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 meters and later it was partially submerged by water for about 40 meters, leaving a visible crater of only 175 meters.

The Kimberley Mine, the Big Hole, is one of the largest diamond mines in the world and is famous for extracting some of the largest diamonds in the world.

Today Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape Province in South Africa and is a tourist destination thanks to the mine museum and the reconstruction of an old mining village.

De Beers has invested over 50 million South African Rand to convert the now closed mine into a world-class tourist attraction, today on the Big Hole site a suspended walkway offers incredible views of the crater and a museum tells the life of the miners and explains the stages of diamond processing, from extraction to cutting to the finished product.

Numerous tools used by the early miners are kept in the museum but the diamond vault is the section of the museum that most impresses as well as the replicas of the huge diamonds mined at this site.

The Big Hole is surrounded by original buildings from the golden age of the mine, transferred from previous sites to form an unforgettable experience, you can walk the streets of this old mining village and enter the various buildings to admire the bank, a saloon , a barber shop and many other activities.

In the Big Hole information center you will also find bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and of course two jewelers.