South Africa is not just about deserts and safaris like most of its neighbors. If you want a real luxury tour in this beautiful country, there is no other place to go to but the sparkling city of Kimberley. You can book cheap flights to Kimberley via Johannesburg or Cape Town.
Kimberley, once called Vooruitzigt and New Rush, is the town in S.A. where diamonds were first discovered in the mid-1800s. Since then, there have been several companies which own diamond mines in the area. The world-famous de Beers, which practically has the monopoly of the diamond market in the whole world, owns several mines in the area.
Visit the Big Hole Complex, an impressive manmade hole dug up hundreds of years ago. Wesselton, Du Toitspan and Bultfontein are three other mines which are part of the usual tours. If you want to see real diamonds, go to the Kimberley Mine Museum. Interestingly, the town was able to maintain some old, Western feel from the yonder days. This is evident with the Galeshew Township where people lived during the ‘diamond rush’ years, the local and very vintage tram line, and the Star of the West Pub. If you ever get bored of the diamonds, you might want to check out the local Ghost Tour. According to locals, there are nearly 200 haunted houses in the area. Understandably, the tour starts with downing a shot of sherry.
You might be able to persuade the guides to let you stay in one of those houses for the night if you’re that adventurous. If not, there are over dozens of really good hotels in Kimberley such as the Edgerton House, the Diamond Lodge and their very own Savoy. Good accommodation here can set you back $50 to $100 a night. Eating out is no problem either. Restaurants here serve local dishes and even the usual Western fare of burgers and fries.
Being an important town in terms of diamond trade, it has its own airport. It is then very convenient for travelers to reserve cheap flights to Kimberley from other major cities in the country. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be glad to know that Grey Hound buses ply South African highways as well.