Kimberley Travel Guide

Society and culture


Kimberley, from its earliest days, attracted people of diverse faiths which are still reflected by practising faith communities in the city. Pre-eminently these are various denominations of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, as well as other faiths. Traditional African beliefs continue as an element in the Zionist Christian Church (ZCC).

Kimberley is the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman and also of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kimberley – previously the Apostolic Vicariate of Kimberley in Orange. Other denominations having churches in the city are the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church, the Dutch Reformed Church (Afrikaans: Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk), the Baptist Church, the Afrikaans Baptist Church (Afrikaans: Afrikaanse Baptiste Kerk), the Apostolics, Pentecostalists. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa was first established in Kimberley.

Art, music, film and literature

Notable artists from Kimberley include William Timlin and Walter Westbrook, while an artist noted for his depiction of Kimberley was Philip Bawcombe.

Writers from the city or with strong Kimberley links include Diane Awerbuck, Benjamin Bennett, Lawrence Green, Dorian Haarhoff, Dan Jacobson, Z.K. Matthews, Sarah Gertrude Millin, Sol Plaatje, Olive Schreiner, A.H.M. Scholtz.

A notable reggae and rhythm and blues musician from Kimberley is Dr Victor.

Museums, momuments and memorials
The Big Hole, previously known as the Kimberley Mine Museum, is a recreated townscape and museum, with Big Hole viewing platform and other features, situated next to the Kimberley Mine ("Big Hole"). It houses a rich collection of artefacts and information from the early days of the city.
The McGregor Museum, which celebrated its centennial in 2007, curates and studies major research collections and information about the history and ecology of the Northern Cape, which are reflected in displays at the museum's headquarters at the Sanatorium in Belgravia and nine branch museums.
Dunluce and Rudd House Museums.
Pioneers of Aviation Museum: In 1913, South Africa's first flying school opened at Kimberley and started training the pilots of the South African Aviation Corps, later to become the South African Air Force. The museum is located on the site of that flying school and houses a replica of a Compton Paterson biplane, one of the first aircraft to be used for flight training. The first female on the African continent to receive her pilot's license, Ann Maria Bocciarelli, was trained at this facility.
Robert Sobukwe's Law Office
The Sol Plaatje Museum is located in the house where Sol Plaatje lived and wrote Mhudi.
Transport Spoornet Museum
Clyde N. Terry Hall of Militaria
Freddie Tate Museum
A heritage tramway was opened in 1985, putting one of Kimberley's historic trams back on the rails.
On the outskirts of Kimberley, on the Barkly West Road, the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, as well as Nooitgedacht Glacial Pavements. To the south of the city, the Magersfontein Battlefield Museum (see Battle of Magersfontein), while blockhouses can be seen at Modder River.

Memorials include:

The Miners' Memorial, also known as the Diggers' Fountain, located in the Oppenheimer Gardens and designed by Herman Wald. It was built in honour of all the miners of Kimberley. The memorial consists of five life-sized diggers lifting a diamond sieve.
The Honoured Dead Memorial commemorates those who died defending the city during the Siege of Kimberley in the Anglo-Boer War.
The Cenotaph erected originally to commemorate the fallen of World War I, with plaques added in memory of fallen Kimberley volunteers in World War II. There is a memorial dedicated to the Kimberley Cape Coloured Corps who died in the Battle of Square Hill during World War I. Consisting of a gun captured at the battle, it originally stood in Victoria Crescent, Malay Camp, but, post-1994, was moved to the Cenotaph.
The Concentration Camp Memorial remembers those who were interned in the Kimberley concentration camp during the Second Boer War, and is located in front of the Dutch Reformed Mother Church.
The Henrietta Stockdale statue, by Jack Penn, commemorates the Anglican nun, Sister Henrietta CSM&AA (her reinterred remains are buried alongside), who petitioned the Cape Parliament to pass a law recognizing nursing as a profession and requiring compulsory state registration of nurses - a first in the world.
The statue of Frances Baard was unveiled by Premier Hazel Jenkins on Women's Day, 9 August 2009.
The Sol Plaatje Statue was unveiled by South African President Jacob Zuma on 9 January 2010, the 98th anniversary of the founding of the African National Congress. Sculpted by Johan Moolman, it is at the Civic Centre, formerly the Malay Camp, and situated approximately where Plaatje had his printing press in 1910-13.
Burger Monument near Magersfontein Battlefield
Mayibuye Memorial
Rhodes equestrian statue
Malay Camp Memorial
De Beers Head Office
Dunluce (Late Victorian)
Harry Oppenheimer House (mid-1970s)
Kimberley Africana Library
Kimberley City Hall (Neo-classical)
Kimberley Club
Kimberley Regiment Drill Hall (1892)
Kimberley Sanatorium (McGregor Museum) (1897)
Kimberley Undenominational Schools
Old School of Mines (Late Victorian)
Rudd House (The Bungalow)
The Lodge (Duggan-Cronin Gallery)
Notable religious buildings
Dutch Reformed Mother Church Newton is a good example of Stucco architecture in Kimberley. It was declared a National Monument in 1976, now a Provincial Heritage Site.
Kimberley's older Mosques were replaced by newer ones as a result of the Group Areas Act and the forced resettlement of the city's Muslim communities.
Kimberley Seventh-day Adventist Church is a small L shaped corrugated-iron building and is considered the mother church of Seventh-day Adventists in South Africa. It was declared a National Monument in 1967, now a Provincial Heritage Site.
St Cyprian's Anglican Cathedral was designed by Arthur Lindley of the firm of Greatbatch, the building of the nave being completed in 1908. The remainder of the cathedral was completed in stages, partly under guidance of William M. Timlin (also of the firm of Greatbatch). In 1926 the Chancel was dedicated (and as a World War I memorial); in 1936 the Lady Chapel, Vestry & new organ were added; and in 1961, the tower (a World War II memorial). The cathedral contains notable stained glass windows including works by the Pretoria artist Leo Theron.
St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Synagogue in the Byzantine style designed by D.W. Greatbatch, and based on the synagogue in Florence, Italy.

The city is served by both print media and community radio stations.


The earliest newspaper here was the Diamond Field, published initially at Pniel on 15 October 1870. Other early papers with the Diamond News and the Independent. The Diamond Fields Advertiser is Kimberley's current daily newspaper, published since 23 March 1878.

The Volksblad, with a free local supplement called Noordkaap, is read by Afrikaans-speaking readers.


Two community radio stations were founded in the 1990s:

Radio Teemaneng
XKfm which is based in the !Xun and Khwe settlement of Platfontein outside Kimberley and broadcasts in the two KhoeSan languages spoken at Platfontein (!Xun and Khwedam)


Kimberley has contributed to much of cricket's history having supplied several international players. There was Nipper Nickelson, Xenophon Balaskas born in Kimberley to Greek parents and Ken Viljoen, Ronnie Draper and in more recent times Pat Symcox and the Proteas coach Micky Arthur.

Kimberley hosted a match from the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Elsie McDonald was a Springbok bowler.


Frank Dobbin known as Uncle Dobbin was a member of Paul Roos' original Springboks in the tour to the British Isles in 1906/1907. His memory lives in his old colonial-style home in Roper street, bearing a simple brass plaque with the name 'Dobbin'. Later Springboks to wear green and gold included Ian Kirkpatrick, Tommy Bedford and Gawie Visagie, brother of Ammosal-based Springbok flyhalf Piet Visagie. Kimberley is home to the GWK Griquas rugby team.


Richard Henyekane, South African footballer, comes from Kimberley.

Jimmy Tau is from Kimberley, born and grew up in the dusty streets of No. 5 in Makapane Street, Vergenoeg.


Karen Muir, born in Kimberley, became in 1965 the youngest person to break a world record in any sport. This age group record stands to this day. She set it in August 1965 at the junior world champions in Blackpool, England in the backstroke at the age of 12. She went on to break many more world records but was denied a role in world swimming when she lost the opportunity to represent her country at the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City as a result of South Africa being excluded due to its racial apartheid policies. Kimberley also saw a world record broken in the municipal pool which now bears Karen Muir's name. It was Johannesburg's Anne Fairlie who beat Karen Muir and Frances Kikki Caron in world record breaking time.

Charl Bouwer, the paralympic swimmer from South Africa who won gold in the 50m freestyle at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, was born in Kimberley.


Bevil Rudd, Olympic medallist.

Brian Davis, son of civic leader Edgar Davis, was part of the 4x400 metres relay which won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics.

Harold Clarke ran the mile at the Empire Games at Helsinki.

Ester Nell and Joan Carter won gold medals at the Olympics and Empire Games in the high jump.


Prominent cyclists have been Joe Billet, Steve Viljoen and Eddie Fortune.


The first Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships were held in Kimberley in September 2011 and again in 2012. In 2013 a new event is taking over where the Maloof family left off called Kimberley Diamond Cup.

Sporting facilities

"Kimberley has had a profound effect on the course of history in Southern Africa. The discovery of diamonds there, more than a century ago, proved to be the first step in the transformation of South Africa from an agricultural into an industrial country. When gold and other minerals were later discovered to the north, there were already Kimberley men of vision and enterprise with the capital and technology to develop the new resources." - H.F. Oppenheimer, 1976. Foreword to Brian Roberts’ book, Kimberley, turbulent city.

Anthony Trollope visited Kimberley in 1877 and was notoriously put off by the heat, enervating and hideous, while the dust and the flies of the early mining town almost drove him mad:

"I sometimes thought that the people of Kimberley were proud of their flies and their dust."

Of the townscape, largely built of sun-dried brick, and of plank and canvas and corrugated iron sheets brought up by ox-wagon from the coast, he remarked:

"In Kimberley there are two buildings with a storey above the ground, and one of these is in the square: this is its only magnificence. There is no pavement. The roadway is all dust and holes. There is a market place in the midst which certainly is not magnificent. Around are the corrugated iron shops of the ordinary dealers in provisions. An uglier place I do not know how to imagine."

A.H.J. Bourne, a former headmaster of Kimberley Boys' High School, returned to the city in 1937, observing that: "The history of Kimberley would appear remarkable to any stranger who could not fail to think that some supermind was behind its destinies. In so short a time it has grown from bare veld."

In the early 1990s writer Dan Jacobson returned to Kimberley, where he had grown up in the 1930s, giving a sense of how things had changed:

"The people I had known had vanished; so had their language. That contributed to my ghostlike state. In my earliest years the whites of Kimberley spoke English only; Afrikaans was the tongue of the Cape Coloured people ... Now I was addressed in Afrikaans everywhere I went, by white, black, and Coloured alike".

Kimberley dull? – asked virtualtourist reviewer Catherine Reichardt: "Happily, the answer is a resounding 'No', provided that you have a passion for history - in which case Kimberley has it in spades, and you'll probably need to overnight to fully appreciate its attractions and charms. In many ways, exploring Kimberley and its heritage is like experiencing South African history in microcosm."

Kimberley Miscellany
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is an initiative for preventing trade in "conflict diamonds" used to finance the undermining of legitimate governments. It was founded in 2003, following a May 2000 meeting of Southern African diamond-producing states in Kimberley. A tenth anniversary meeting of the Kimberley Process was held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre, Kimberley, on 4--7 June 2013, bringing together representatives of Governments, the diamond industry and civil society. A commemorative event was held at the Kimberley Tabernacle, the venue for the original meeting of the KPCS, where 23 individuals present at the very first meeting were honoured for their involvement. South African Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, addressed the closing session, noting the role of the KPCS in minimising "blood diamond" trade, as well as its "significant developmental impact in improving the lives of people dependent on the trade in diamonds."
The Kimberley Declaration is a statement published by the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, on behalf of the International Indigenous Peoples Summit on Sustainable Development, Khoi-San Territory, Kimberley, South Africa, 20–23 August 2002

source: Wikipedia

Things To Do in Kimberley See All Things To Do in Kimberley

Hotels in Kimberley

  • Savoy Hotel Kimberley

    Having Flamingo World, The Big Hole Kimberley and Kimberley Mine Museum comfortably found near the three star hotel, Savoy Hotel Kimberley; this hotel is perfectly locate...

  • Protea Hotel Kimberley

    Protea Hotel Kimberley is among the top, premium places to lodge in Kimberley. Beautifully positioned nearby The Big Hole Kimberley, Kimberley Mine Museum and Flamingo Wo...

Top Destinations in South Africa