Five cheap and free things to do in Kimberley. For Cheapflights.

Did you know that Kimberley was the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to install electric streetlights? It was September 1882 and meant that Kimberley’s electric lights went on before those of London, an impressive feat for a village that had grown out of the Northern Cape dust after the discovery of diamonds in the 1870’s saw a rush of prospectors descend on the area to stake their claims and chase their dream of striking it rich.

In a town where fortunes were made and lost, it’s great to know that so many activities are either free or very affordable. Here are 5 you shouldn’t miss as written for the Cheapflights UK blog.

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1. Visit Sol Plaatjie Museum

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.

COST: Free

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 made crater 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.

COST: Free

Kamfers Dam

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.

Feeling inspired? Head on to Cheapflights.co.za and book those flights to Kimberley.

Read more of my Freelance Writing work here.

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Dawn Bradnick JorgensenDawn Jorgensen
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The Incidental Tourist

The Incidental Tourist is a Personal Travel Blog of a conscious traveller with a deep love for Africa, its people and the environment.

Here I bring you narratives, stories, video and photographs from my travels around the globe, including accounts of gorilla trekking in Uganda, tree planting in Zambia and turtle rescue in Kenya, accommodation and restaurant reviews, as well as details of the conservation efforts that I support.

A self proclaimed earth advocate and beauty seeker, I invite you to join me and share in my love of sustainable travel – and the rich offerings of our beautiful world.

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