Geography and History
Kimberley is the capital city in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Kimberley, known as the "Diamond City", is in the centre of South Africa with two national roads leading to it. The N12 (Cape Town via the N1 to the south and Pretoria/Johannesburg to the north) and the N8 going east to west.
Kimberley is was founded in 1871 when diamonds were discovered on a nearby farm named Vooruitzicht (owned by the De Beers brothers). The town was also known as New Rush before it was renamed to Kimberley (after then British Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Kimberley).
Kimberley was incorporated into the Cape Colony in 1880. The De Beers Consolidated Mines, organized by Cecil Rhodes, assumed control of the diamond fields in 1888, and its headquarters are still in Kimberley.
Activities and places of interest in Kimberley include:
Kimberley Mine Museum and Big Hole - Do you want to retrace the lives of the rough-and-ready diggers who made it all happen? Or experience life in Kimberley as it must have been during the diamond-rush days when races, lotteries, pubs and ballrooms made the town a very bright place indeed? Then visit the Kimberley Mine Museum. Consisting of original and carefully reconstructed buildings this open-air museum has preserved a great deal of the city's past.
Africana Library - Containing a wealth of Africana and other historically significant material, the library offers its visitors valuable insight into the Northern Cape, diamond mining, travel and missionary word and early printed works, including Tswana printing.
Steam Locomotives - Rhodes's envisaged Cape to Cairo railway passes through Kimberley, and steam train enthusiasts will have a field day when they visit the Beaconsfield Marshalling Yards. Here a few of the steam locomotives in beautiful condition are still to be seen. A trip on the tram - For those who would like to travel to the Kimberley Mine Museum in grand old style, a ride on the Kimberley Tram is a must. Tram services were introduced to Kimberley in 1887, and ultimately came to a halt in 1947. Revived in 1985, the tram service now operates daily between 09:00 and 16:30 carrying visitors between De Beers and the Star of the West.
Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens and Diggers Fountain - The Gardens are a memorial to the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, diamond magnate and the first elected mayor of the municipality of the city of Kimberley when Beaconsfield and Kimberley were combined into a city in 1912.
The Peace and Justice Memorial on the Greenpoint Community Square - This very modern memorial on the Square in one of Kimberley’s oldest suburbs, Greenpoint, was unveiled in September 1998 by the then Mayor, Alderman Maria Chwarisang. The sculptor, Kimberley resident Wilfred Delport, originally designed it in 1968 as an appeal to the apartheid government to release all political figures including Nelson Mandela. It was then entitled “The Appeal for Peace and Justice”.
Accommodation in Kimberley includes hotels, B&B's, Guesthouses and self catering establishments.
|Kimberley Tourism Office Information|