Africana Library Du Toitspan Rd. Containing missionary Robert Moffat’s personal copy of his Setswana translation of the Bible, the library is a rich repository of books, manuscripts and photographs portraying life in the Northern Cape. Tel 053 830 6247. (08:00-12:45; 13:30-16:30)
- Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum Chapel Str The original Museum was built in 1907 in memory of Alexander McGregor, a former mayor. Today, as a satellite of the McGregor Museum, it houses new displays on Kimberley’s Malay Camp and urban history. Tel 053 839 2700
- Art Gallery. Located In the Kimberley Mine Museum. It contains a set of De Beers-commissioned watercolors depicting Victorian life in Kimberley.
Battlefields Route. The many battlefields of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) can be explored on the well marked Ni 2 route.
- Belgravia Historical Walk The oldest, exclusively residential suburb originating in the 1870s. A self-guided walk starts at the McGregor Museum.
- Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum Tucker Str Recently reopened after the whole complex has undergone a R52-million revamp.
- Burgher Monument, The Magersfontein. The gravesite of Boers killed in the Anglo-Boer War’s western campaign (1899-1 902). Tel 053 839 2700.
- Cathedral Church of St Cyprian Du Toitspan Rd. The elegant building, consecrated in 1908, has the longest nave in the country. Tel 053 833 3437.
- The William Humphrey's Art Gallery. One of the few 5 star art galleries in the country
- Kimberley Archaeology Route
Introducing a province with a dynamic past
In a long history stretching back thousands of year's different groups of people have come into interaction in the Northern Cape. Through the colonial frontier period considerable complexity was added to the mix. But partly because of environmental extremes between arid and better watered areas, the different lifestyles such as hunting and gathering, herding, and farming, practiced by people of different cultural background, have persisted alongside one another into the recent past. Many people in the Northern Cape can trace their roots back to a broadly Khoe-San past. In remote northern and western parts of the province there are a few old people still speaking the nearly extinct San language N/u, while a larger number of people speak the Khoekhoe [pronounced as you would say Khoikhoi] language, Nama. In the north eastern regions of the province SeTswana cultural influences have predominated for perhaps a millennium, while groups of Xhosa lived and traded in the Karoo frontier and along the I Garib (Gariep or Orange River) from the late eighteenth century. The history of the Northern Cape Griqua is part of the same frontier story, when forgotten frontiersmen!? including Bastaard’ and white Trekboer herders moved inland from the Cape and established new territorial claims across these wide pastures. The Griqua included elements from an original Khoekhoe group at the Cape, but attracted a following of other people (including San) of, or displaced in, the frontier. Missionaries and traders came and were party to the interactions -and conflicts - between these various groupings. The discovery of mineral wealth changed forever the way people envisaged what is now the Northern Cape. The copper mines in Namaqualand, and then, on a far bigger and epoch-changing scale, the diamond diggings of the Kimberley region, attracted huge influxes of fortune seekers and migrant workers. The Archaeology Route takes you back to a past predating all of this. But much of its contemporary appreciation acquires added significance in relation to the recent past and present concems.
The McGregor Museum’s Ancestors and Frontier Galleries — a good place to start — show the long sweep of human history here from handaxe times more than a million years ago, to the emergence of modem humans in Africa and of cultural behaviours that include art, to the coming of farmers and state formation in the last 2000 years. It concludes with challenging look at our frontier history — out of which different scenarios was possible before the finding of diamonds and gold.
While at the McGregor, you may wish to visit the Duggan-Cronin Gallery. Early in the twentieth century, photographer Alfred Duggan-Cronin was inspired by the cultural mix that was Kimberley to venture into its sub-continental hinterland recording the rural tribal life that was linked into this area through this history. us photographs are a unique snap-shot of a period poised between what was old and what was new.
Mokala National Park
South Africa’s newest National Park, Mokala, is very conveniently situated 80km south of Kimberley, just off the N12 to Cape Town.
The grassy plains studded with Camel thorn trees are the new home to endangered species that were translocated from the old Vaalbos National Park. Temperamental black rhino as well as white rhino, elusive roan antelope, and Cape buffalo are amongst the many mammals that roam the rocky hills and plains. There are also San rock engravings and Anglo-Boer War battlefields to be explored in the area.
The Park includes three Lodges - 1~1osu, Mofele and Lilydate. Mosu and Mofete are in relative close proximity to each other and between the two of them can host 60 guests. Both lodges have restaurant, pub and conference facilities with Mofele specialising in teambuilding. A new camping area, about 10km from the main lodge, has been established around a waterhole. Lilydale has a mix of catering and seLf catering chalets, a pub and restaurant. The main Lodge at Lilydale consists of a fully-equipped conference centre which can accommodate up to 80 people and is very popular for wedding receptions. Here, 12 luxurious chalets overlook the river and are air-conditioned, each with its own sundeck and braai area. The Riet River is famous for its fly fishing with large quantities of small mouth and Largemouth yellow fish.
Kamfers Dam is a perennial wetland Located 2km north of Kimberley. It supports the largest permanent population of Lesser Flamingos in southern Africa. At times in excess of 35 000 Lesser Flamingos are present at Kamfers Dam, about 60% of this species’ southern African population. The flamingos are attracted to this 400ha wetland by its size, perennial nature, and abundance of food (as a result of enrichment from sewerage water inflow).
Both Greater and Lesser Flamingos had previously attempted to breed at Kamfers Dam without success due to receding water levels which expose the nests to disturbance and predation by dogs and humans. In September 2006 Ekapa Mining constructed an island off the northern shoreline using 26 500 tons of material. Since then it has been reported that up to one thousand eggs have hatched at the man-made breeding island and many more are expected. This is first time they have bred on South African soil.
The wetland also supports numerous other bird species, both water birds and terrestrial species; more than 200 species have been recorded during the past 10 years. Kamfers Dam is accredited both as a Natural Heritage Site and an Important Bird Area, and some years ago a submission was made for the wetland to be declared a Ramsar site.
Under Green Pastures
A stone’s throw from Kimberley is three resorts - Riverton, Langleg and Rekaofela. These three resorts offer family fun and activities second to none in the Northern Cape.
Riverton & Langleg Resort
27km from Kimberley on the N12 to Kimberley
These two green-lawned municipal resorts are next to each other on the banks of the Vaal River. Facilities include filly equipped self-catering accommodation, a caravan park, 24 hour security, a walk-in bird park, power boat jetty and other recreational facilities such as putt-putt, volley-ball, swimming in large sparkling pools, a water worm, angling canoeing and water skiing.
5km beyond Barkly West, on the banks of the Vaal River Rekaofela is the Setswana word for "Place of gathering" This resort is home to the Rekaofela Adventure Centre and is situated only five kilometers from the town of Barkly West on the banks of the Vaal River. It radiates an atmosphere of paece and tranquility. It has accommodation for 104 people as well as recreational facilities such as canoeing, boating, climbing, hiking and orientation and leadership development, team and problem solving
Death on the diamond diggings and later during the Anglo-Boer War gave Kimberley many haunted corners. So too did failed romance and other gory deaths, like a huge fire in the old De Beers Mine in which hundreds of miners perished.
Today the shivering facts and fallacies about these ghostly visitations are packed in a fun and entertaining guided ghost trail. Your professional tourist guide will lead you to some of the sites where the ghosts are reputed to be seen. Some stops on the tour include the spot where a former librarian of the Kimberley Public Library. now the Africana Library, committed suicide - his ghost is blamed for unexplained rearrangements of books and files in the library; the Kimberley Club; Rudd House; Kimberley Regiment’s Drill Hall; McGregor Museum; Gladstone Cemetery where some interesting graves such as the one of the first British officer to die during the Anglo-Boer War are found. Your tour Magersfontein battlefield where, it is said, you may hear the lone Scottish piper piping a lament or even lay an eye on the legendary saddled but riderless horse.
The Kimberley Ghost Trail is for people with an appetite for history, old buildings, a good ghost story, thrilling fun and an alternative kind of night-time entertainment. The trail is certainly for people with only a gentle interest in the supernatural and all that goes with it.
Will anybody actually spot the apparitions? Well, no-one can really say, but going on the trail will definitely render you a spine-chilling opportunity to stumble on a phantom still searching for the buried treasure or tying to wrap up unfinished business.
The Romantic Belgravia Walk
Savour Kimberley’s magnificent and romantic past by spending a few hours on a historical walk in the most beautiful and historical suburb of Belgravia. This circular walk covers a distance of some two kilometers and leads the visitor to 33 of the City’s most historical sites. During the walk, old Kimberley’s opulent lifestyle and its characteristic architecture will be revealed and famous monuments will be visited.
The McGregor Museum in Atlas Street sells a Belgravia Historical Guide Book.
The Great Kimberley North Walk
Another great historical walk covering the city centre and the area to the north of the city centre. More than forty enchanting and notable historic sites and streets, including the Executioners Yard and Stockdale Street, are encountered on the route. The walk starts and ends at one of Kimberley’s oldest hotels, the Savoy, and covers a distance of just under four kilometers.
The McGregor Museum sells a Great Kimberley North Walk Guide Book
The Historic City
Steeped in exciting history, Kimberley boasts many traces of the past in its architectural heritag~, ) historic sites, museums, heritage sites, and an incredible number of monuments, The following
is an alphabetical listing of the most important and imposing of these historic attractions,
Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum
This elegant building in Chapel Street was a gift to the citizens of Kimberley from Margaret McGregor in memory of her late husband Alexander, an early Mayor of Kimberley. The museum opened in 1907 was restored for its centenary in 2007.
In its heyday, this imposing building was regarded as one of South Africa’s top three hotels. It began, however, as a modest hotel situated on the old Cape Town road. It was occupied by Boer forces during the Siege of Kimberley. A new luxury hotel was built on the site and opened on 1 January 1903.The new hotel became renowned as a venue for fabulous weekend picnics and dances for welt-to-do Kimberley residents, travelling there by electric tramcar. Today the building serves as the Jack Hindon Officers’ Club for the South African Army.
Anglo-Boer War Memorials
These are spread out over local battlefields. One of the most impressive is the Celtic cross in memory of the Highland Brigade losses at Magersfontein. Also at Magersfontein are the Scandinavian memorials, a monument to the Black Watch Regiment and stones commemorating both Boer and British losses. Close to the Magersfontein battlefield is the hugely impressive Burgher Monument Further afield are poignant memorials to men who died in action or of disease, at Modder River, Graspan and Belmont.
Barkly West Museum
Situated 35 kilometers from Kimberley. Displays in this quaint museum feature archaeological and geological specimens of Canteen Kopje, an early river diamond digging, Klipdrift Diggers’ Republic, and many richly illustrated aspects of life on the early Diamond Fields. Much of the collection was assembled by Mining Commissioner, Gideon Retief, in the 1940s.
Big Hole (The)
Kimberley’s most famous landmark and ‘must see tourist attraction’ has a new exhibition centre, viewing platform and revamped Old Town.
Canteen Kopje, Barkly West
An Earlier Stone Age archaeological site with open air displays and an historical walk on the geology, archaeology and diamond diggings of the area. Two of the world’s largest hand-axes were found here.
Cape Corps Memorial
At the time of the Great War, 1914-1918, the headquarters of this famous military unit was in Kimberley. Brilliant success at the Battle of Square Hill, Palestine, 18-19 September 1918- where the German field gun, now the centerpiece of this memorial, was captured from the Turks - was clouded on 20 September at the Battle of Kh jibeit where 51 men made the supreme sacrifice, and a hundred were wounded. The memorial was unveiled by General Smuts in 1934 and has recently been relocated to a position next to the Cenotaph.
Cape Police Memorial
On the Belgravia Historical Walk, a statue of a uniformed trooper of the Cape Police commemorates their losses during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. Kimberley was the headquarters of the Griqualand West Division of the Cape Police, also called ‘CPU’. One section of the ‘CPU’ even had a field artillery. The Cape Police served in the defense of Kimberley during the Siege. The Boer gun forming part of the memorial was captured during a skirmish at Dronfield, north of Kimberley.
Designed by the famous local architect and painter, William Timlin, it was erected to commemorate 400 Kimberley men who fell in World War I. It is unusual in that it gives the dates 1914-1919 (hostilities ceased 1918; Peace treaty in 1919). Plaques bearing the names of Kimberley men who died during World War 11(1939-1945) were added later.
A City centre Landmark! This imposing building was designed by Fergus Carstairs Rogers in Roman Corinthian style. It was built in 1899 just before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War and served as a distribution point for rations during the Siege of Kimberley.
Clyde N Terry Hall Of Militaria Situated At The Kimberley MOTH Centre
World War II veteran, Clyde Terry, built up his amazing collection over a time span of more than a decade. It comprises, as son Clyde Junior’s puts it, ‘anything military’. Displays include international military badges, uniforms, medals and other relics. The collection is housed in a building constructed by Clyde Junior and a team of helpers.
De Beers Head Office
This building was the original headquarters of Barney Barnato’s Kimberley Central Diamond Mining Company. Today it is the seat of the internationally renowned and influential diamond mining company, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.
The Kimberley Tramways Company
Although the Kimberley Tramways Company was formed in 1880, it took until 1885 for the Gibson Brothers to set up the Victoria Tramways Company and construction on the first tramways started in 1887. It was a 36” gauge tramway linking Kimberley and the then separate Borough of Beaconsfield. These first tram cars were pulled by mules.
In 1905 an electrified tramway was opened by De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd linking Kimberley with the posh Alexandersfontein Hotel while the Beaconsfield route was electrified in 1905. Buses began to replace trams in Kimberley in 1939 but the Kenilworth trams ran until 1947 while the last trams were used in the mining area until as recently as 1954, after which virtually all tramway infrastructure was demolished.
It was decided to reintroduce a tramway between the historic City Hall and the Big Hole as a tourist attraction and the first rails were laid in june 1985. However, the restoration of the present tram, which was donated by De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, had already commenced in 1983. This tram, identified as Car Number 3, was first used by De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.
It was also known as the ‘tower car’, a name derived from the adjustable platform which had been fitted in order to carry out overhead maintenance to the tram poles and wires. It is believed that the tramcar was built by john Stephenson Company and the jG Brill Company of Philadelphia and originally ran between 1906 and 1914.
The livery of the tram follows closely the yellow and black livery of the original Kimberley & Alexandersfontein Electric Railway. The wording added on the frames is ‘Kimberley Tramways’, and so Car Number 3 was restored to its former operational condition and proudly reintroduced on 12 October 1985.
Today tens of thousands of tourists annually take a trip down memory lane on Car Number 3. They literally get carried away by the travelling tram’s screeching sounds, its gentle swaying and the sound of a foot operated warning bell as they pass some of Kimberley’s most historic sites such as the Head Office of the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd and the original Big Hole mine dumps.
Sculpted by Herman Wald, this magnificent Larger-than-Life-size bronze monument situated in the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens honours and recognises the role and effort of the diamond diggers who brought Kimberley into existence. It portrays five diggers holding a diamond sieve on high, each digger representing one of the five major Kimberley mines.
Driekopseiland Rock Engravings
About 70km from Kimberley, near Plooysburg - Only by appointment through the museum. Driekopseiland (Three Head Island) is a site of more than 3 000 Khoesan rock engravings made on glacial pavements in the bed of the Riet River. Believed to be between 800 and 2 500 years old, these engravings are submerged when the river rises,
A reflection of late Victorian elegance and a fine example of the unique Kimberley architecture, this distinguished home was built in 1897 for Gustav Bonas. John Orr, a famous retailer in South Africa,
bought the house in 1902. The house, which retains much the original furnishings, has much decorative woodwork on its facade.
Firsts in History
Unknown to many people Kimberley lays claim to numerous historic firsts.
Freddie Tait Golf Museum
Situated at the Kimberley Golf Club, it is the first golfing museum in Africa. On display are trophies and golf artifacts from a century of golf in Kimberley including the famous putter of Freddie Tait. Tait was British amateur golf champion in 1896 and 1898. He was killed at Koodoosberg, near Kimberley in 1900 during an Anglo-Boer War skirmish.
An old pub steeped in tradition.
Honoured Dead Memorial
This memorial was designed at the insistence of Rhodes by the famous architect, Sir Herbert Baker, who later designed the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The memorial commemorates those who died while defending Kimberley during its Siege in the Anglo-Boer War campaign. Bearing an inscription by Rudyard Kipling, who sometimes resided on Rhodes’ estate in Cape Town, the memorial is the tomb of 27 soldiers. At the base of the monument is the famous ‘Long Cecil’ gun which was manufactured during the siege at the De Beers Workshops, to counter the artillery fire of the Boers. The monument, built of sandstone quarried in the Matopo Hills in Zimbabwe, is situated at the highest point in Kimberley where five roads meet. It is regarded as one of the finest memorials in South Africa.
Kimberley Africana Library
One of the best research libraries in South Africa it contains a wealth of material on Africa, the Northern Cape and Kimberley in particular. There are also special collections of old and rare books, such as Dr Robert Moffat’s own copy of his translation of the Old Testament into Setswana, a local indigenous language. The library opened in 1887 as a public library and the building retains many of its original features like a wrought-iron gallery, spiral staircase and antique furniture.
Here, it is said, were once ‘more millionaires to the square foot’ than at any other place on earth. Established in 1881, its most famous members included Cecil John Rhodes, Dr Leander Starr Jameson, Charles Dunell Rudd, Barney Barnato, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his son Harry.
Kimberley Regiment Drill Hall Originally built as the Arts Hall for the South African and International Exhibition in 1892, it was afterwards used by the Kimberley Rifles for drilling recruits. It serves today as the headquarters of the famous Kimberley Regiment which was established in 1899.
Kimberley Tramways Company
Take a trip on the old car.
Magersfontein Battlefield Museum
An absolute must for the military history buff. This museum depicts the full drama of the Magersfontein battle. Uniforms and many weapons as used during the battle are on display, as well as biographic sketches of a number of combatants. A short but spectacular video-based sound and light show offers visitors an almost real-life feeling of the battle. Sections of the famous Boer trenches can still be seen from the hilltop observation post where there is also a model of the battlefield. There are numerous monuments and information panels on the battlefield and visitors are welcome to take a walk or drive around.
N12, Transvaal Road Tel 053 830 2600
Relive the Diamond Rush era at the Sun International operated Flamingo Casino with its turn-of-the-century style that reflects the romance of the Victorian age. The Casino with its 9 gaming tables and 235 slot-machines is flanked by a family restaurant and a 200-seat conference centre.
Live entertainment is hosted at the 129 Show bar and there are also bars and a small retail component Accommodation is available at the 90-room Road Lodge.
Being situated adjacent to the Kimberley Golf Club enables you to enjoy both the incentive of a challenging game of golf and a stimulating casino experience.
Shop, eat and enjoy
Kimberley’s shopping experience has come of age with the opening of two new shopping centres and yet another one on the cards. All of the mainline banks are represented as well as the post office and all the networks in the cellular services. This is complimented by fashion/ clothes, jewelry and accessory outlets, decor/soft furnishing shops, as well as stationery, optical, photographic, computer, music and many other specialty shops. And if all the shopping makes you hungry you’ll find that restaurants and fast food outlets are well represented with a variety of eateries to choose from.
Corner of Oliver (Bloemfontein road) & McDougal Rd. This new mall is all that you want in a regional shopping centre and brings a shopping convenience to the Northern Cape like it’s never had before, The centre houses many of the well-known shopping brands together under one roof and is anchored by well respected chains such as Checkers, Woolworths, Ackermans, Mr. Price, Edgars and Truworths.
Other Shopping Sites:
Game Centre - Bultfontein Road
Hadison Park Centre - Schreiner Street
Jones Street MaR - Barkly Roa
Monument Centre - Memorial Road
Pick ‘n Pay Centre - Sidney Street
Pick ‘n Pay Rhodesdene - Carters Road
North Cape Mall - (opening April2008)
Riviera Centre - Schmidtsdrift Road
Shoprite Centre - Bultfontein Road
Monday, June 23, 2008
KIMBERLEY ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS