The Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum is one of Kimberley’s biggest attractions. Once a flat-topped hill, it is an enormous hole, known as the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. Measuring 215 metres deep with a surface area of some 17 hectares and a perimeter of 1,6 km, it was etched out of the earth with picks and shovels. Travelers wanting to explore can take enjoy the Underground Mine Experience that highlights the 19th century mining conditions, a 15 minute film telling the story of diamonds in Kimberley and the Real Diamond Display, which is housed in a vault, displays the largest uncut octahedron in the world, the famous 616, named for its carat and size.
HOW WE RATE IT & WHY WE LIKE IT
150 years ago, the site of the Big Hole was a featureless, flat-topped hill. When word spread that diamonds had been discovered, thousands of prospectors, armed with nothing more than picks, shovels and hope, descended on Kimberley and created the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. It took 43 years to dig this hole. Just that makes it worth a visit! Visit also the Old Town to see Kimberley in its heyday.