A trip to Kimberley would be incomplete without visiting the city’s main attraction, the Big Hole.
Right in the middle of the city, this giant 215-metre deep crater serves as a reminder of the diamond rush of the 1870s, where prospectors carved out the largest hand-dug excavation in the world in search of the precious gemstones. In its time, the Big Hole yielded an incredible 2 722 kilograms of diamonds.
Today, the Big Hole and its surrounds have been converted into a museum and tourist attraction.
Visitors can go underground in a recreation of a mine shaft of the period and learn about the history of diamond mining in Kimberley, see historic memorabilia and buy diamonds slightly cheaper than usual. There is also a fascinating reconstruction of the ‘Old Town’ at the big hole that gives visitors an idea of what it was like to live there back in the town’s heydays of the late 1800s.
The Kimberley Mine, discovered 16 July 1871 by Fleetwood Rawstorne.
Diamonds produced: 14 506 566 carats
Equivalent to: 2722kg
Ground Excavated: 22 500 000t
Depth of Hole: 215m
Depth from Surface to Water: 174m
Depth of Water: 41m
Original Depth of Open Cast Working: 240m
Original Depth of Underground Working: 1097m
Working Ceased: August 1914
Image Source 1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hole
Image Source 2: https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g312643-d459976-i117268281-Kimberley_Mine_Museum-Kimberley_Northern_Cape.html
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