Kimberley

Overview

Introduction

The center of the 19th-century diamond rush that made millionaires of Cecil John Rhodes and Barney Barnato, Kimberley, South Africa, is most famous today for its Big Hole. The Hole ranks as one of the world's three largest man-made excavations, having produced more than 14.5 million carats of diamonds in its working life.

Allow at least two hours to see the Big Hole and the adjacent Mine Museum, with its examples of rough and finished diamonds and original mining-town buildings (the museum displays a rock that even Liz Taylor would envy: a 616-carat uncut diamond).

If time permits, visit the McGregor Museum for its excellent natural-history exhibits and San artifacts. Kimberley lies 505 mi/815 km northeast of Cape Town.

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