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South Africa travel facts

South Africa map
Area (sq km): 1,221,040
Population: 44,344,136
Nationality: South African
Local Name: South Africa
Language: IsiZulu,
IsiXhosa,
Afrikaans,
Sepedi
Time Zone: +2 GMT
Currency: 1 rand = 100 cents
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Pretoria
Dialling Code: +27
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .za
Religion: Zion Christian,
Pentecostal,
Catholic
Climate: Mediterranean,
Desert,
Subtropical
Government: Republic
Inoculations: Yellow Fever
Driving: Left
Int'l License: Required
Banking: M-F 8.30-15.30
Major Airports: Cape Town(CPT),
Durban(DUR),
Johannesburg(JNB),
Mmabatho(MBD),
Nelspruit-Kruger (MQP),
Polokwane(PTG)

Self catering accommodation South Africa

The discovery of diamonds in South Africa put this country on the map. Visiting Kimberley for self catering accommodation in South Africa will provide insight into the diamond trade and how it transformed a country.

Big Hole in Kimberley
Big Hole in Kimberley

Discovering diamonds

The story begins not long ago in 1867. Just like champagne, finding the first diamond was an accident. A boy found a stone near the Orange River and brought it home to give to his sisters as a toy, a 21 carat toy! Interestingly, the South Africa diamond rush took a further three years to really gain momentum. By 1871, the town of Kimberley, South Africa had two of the richest diamond areas in the world. In total 13,000 people worked on the four diamond pipes in Kimberley. And so began the story of diamonds in South Africa for you to discover from self catering accommodation in South Africa.

Kimberley South Africa diamonds

The claims around Kimberley were numerous. By the turn of the century Kimberley, South Africa had transformed into the diamond capital of the world. Learning about the history of diamonds in South Africa begins by visiting Kimberley tourist attractions. A great place to start your exploration is at the Kimberley Mine Museum and the Big Hole.

The Kimberley Mine Museum is a stunning open-air museum that recreates the town during the Kimberley South Africa diamonds rush era. You can visit the miner’s tavern and the boxing club whilst walking down a street lined with period homes and shops. The Kimberley Mine Museum has the Eureka, South Africa’s first diamond, and an uncut 616 carat diamond.

The Big Hole in Kimberley

The Big Hole in Kimberley is the largest man-made hole in the world. 25 million tonnes of earth were moved in an effort to uncover 14.5 million carats of diamonds. Today the Big Hole has a viewing platform where you can gaze down the gaping chasm. A nearby operating mine offers daily tours and is called the Bultfontein Mine. Take an historical tour in pictures at the Duggan-Cronin Gallery.

In an effort to learn even more about diamonds in South Africa, hop on the Kimberley Tram, a restored tram shuttling visitors from Kimberley City Hall to Kimberley Mine Museum. Interesting diamond mining towns nearby include Barkley West and Griquatown. Choose from self catering accommodation in South Africa to make your holiday fabulous.

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