Don’t leave Kimberley without a visit to the Sol Plaatjie Museum. The late writer, journalist and activist Sol Plaatjepenned Mhudi, the first novel by a black South African, while living at No 32 Angel Street in Kimberley. In honour of his contribution to South African literature, his home has been turned into a museum and offers a good introduction to his work in the 20th century.
2. Ride on a vintage tram at The Big Hole Complex
A must visit is The Big Hole Complex, where you can peer into the deepest man madecrater in the world, experience a trip into a mine and walk the old town that still beats to the rhythm of a bygone era. While there, take a ride on the vintage tram, which was introduced in 1897. 120 years later, it is still around with its original wooden seats and steering wheels still in place.
COST: A 20-minute ride is great fun and costs only R20pp
3. Get cultured at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre
About 16km out of Kimberley is the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre where you’ll find more than 400 rock engravings estimated to be over 1,000 years. The work of the Xun and Khwe San people who once lived here and are again returned to their land. The centre offers an introduction to their culture and background during a rewarding 800m guided walk.
COST: R35pp and you may want to support their onsite shop
4. Relax at Kamfers Dam
After a full day exploring the city, head out to Kamfers Dam in search of the flamingoes for which it is famous. Just six kilometres outside of Kimberley, it is a beautiful place to enjoy a peaceful sunset over the Northern Cape plains. The wetland supports the largest lesser flamingo breeding colony in Southern Africa and has been known to host as many as 60 000 birds, over 50% of the Southern African population, at one time. Bear in mind that you may get muddy, so wear practical shoes.
5. Explore Mokala National Park
For the wildlife enthusiasts, just 70km south-west of the city is Sanparks newest addition, the tranquil Mokala National Park, home to a variety of koppies and large open plains, as well as wildlife species such as Buffalo, Rhino and Tsessebe. A great place to get out of the city and experience the African wilderness, there is a restaurant, picnic spots and accommodation on offer too.
COST: Entrance fee ranges from R37pp to R148pp.