Kimberley Diamond Museum

Those with a hankering for history will discover a hidden treasure in Kimberley’s Diamond Museum. Visitors can relish authentic relics from the diamond rush while catching a glimpse of what Kimberley looked like in its Victorian heyday.

A highlight on a number of Rovos Rail’s tours, the Diamond Museum captures a moment in a bygone era for those on the Dar es Salaam, Cape Town and Namibia Safari trips.

During the two-and-a-half hour stopover in Kimberley, Rovos Rail offers patrons a tour of both the Big Hole and the Diamond Museum.

What to expect

Situated next to the Big Hole, the unique open-air museum whisks visitors away on a journey that recreates the town of Kimberley as it was during the diamond rush of the late 19th century.

With authentic, restored houses and shops from the time, Victorian bonnets and horse-drawn carts wouldn’t look out of place as visitors stroll down the dusty streets and take a break at Digger’s Tavern.

As part of a restoration initiative down the years, much of the Old Town recreates the feel of Victorian-era South Africa. Some of the more striking replica buildings include the German Lutheran Church of South Africa, the old Standard Bank of British South Africa building, Barney Barnato’s Boxing Academy as well as two old locomotives and a vintage tram.

The luxurious De Beers private railway coach is another popular destination among visitors and was custom built in 1897 in the United States to transport the company’s directors around South Africa.

In addition, motor-heads can feed their fascination with a peek inside the Transport Hall which proudly houses a sweeping assortment of late 19th century vintage vehicles.

The main attraction, though, is the De Beers Hall and this is where you will find the undisputed stars of the show; Kimberley’s famous diamonds.

The Kimberley Diamond Museum

The Museum features a valuable display of uncut diamonds, precious stones and jewellery. In the collection, starry-eyed spectators can spot a selection of diamonds, as well as one of the largest uncut diamonds in the world, the 616, named for its carat size. The aptly named ‘Eureka’ diamond is also on display here and holds the prestigious title of being the first diamond discovered in South Africa.

Visitors can also enjoy an excursion underground in a recreated mine shaft and learn about the history of diamonds in Kimberley from the discovery of ‘Eureka’ to the end of the rush in 1914 in an informative 15 minute film.

Following the tour, guests are free to peruse the artefacts, archived material and old photographs all carefully curated to leave visitors with a lasting impression of Kimberley. Find out more about the tour here!

Retail therapy

The Museum doesn’t just have diamonds on display, those looking to splurge on some sparkle won’t be disappointed as the Diamond Museum offer visitors a deluxe retail experience in one of the world’s most renowned diamond locations.

From the most spectacular diamonds to classic jewellery and precious gems, the Diamond Museum has something for people looking to treat themselves or someone equally special.

A unique luxury train experience

Kimberley’s Big Hole and Diamond Museum offer visitors unique insight into historic South Africa in one of the country’s most famous cities, it is a must-see for anybody on one of Rovos Rail’s African rail trips.

For more information, visit the Big Hole’s website.