of Northern Cape Province
, South Africa
Surrounded by arid desert, Kimberley used to be a small farming community until in 1871, diamonds were found there. This led to the digging of The Big Hole, the largest hand-dug hole according to the Kimberley Tourist Office and made the De Beers company into what it is today, the world's largest diamond mining and trading company. While mining stopped there in 1912, after extracting close to three metric tonnes of diamonds, mining continues in the Bultfontein and De Beers mines.
A mine tour (dirty, loud and a bit strenuous) is a must, also a visit to the local mining museum.