Africa Plus travel blog


6-18

We went to Big Hole for tour, 1st time we’ve been given “pensioners” discount on a tour so we basically got one breakfast free at their restaurant, nice!

Historically, the area was largely Khoe-San, Xhosa & Sotho-Tswana people before “The Trek” into the area by Boer/Afrikaan pioneers in 1800’s. In 1860 children playing by the Orange R. found a shiny stone which was the beginning of the “Diamond Rush” …1871-1914. The Big Hole is the largest hand dug hole/excavation in the world. In 1888 Ceci Rhodes & Barney Barnato formed a partnership calling it DeBeers after the original landowners who gladly sold their ‘worthless’ farmland in the beginning. As an aside, Barnato drowned at sea just nine years later, age 44 and Rhodes 5 years after that of a heart attack, age 48.

The tour was very instructive – history, mining, and overall diamond info(where they come from, how they are valued, etc). Here in Kimberley was the first instance of a diamond discovery that showed diamonds originating from volcanic eruptions due to weak spots in the earths mantle. Only found in India, S. Africa, and Botswana, the youngest 45 million years ago, others dating much much older – 90 + million.

Left at 1:30 and stopped in Bethlehem where we stayed at The Sanctuary, Nicolas the owner in his late 20’s has been laboring for the past 4-5 yrs creating an accommodation on a hillside/top using only the lumber from trees on his property and recycled materials. The dorm is one room cabin w/ wood heat stove, electricity, sm. Kitchen area and separate outhouse w/ flush toilet & running – very frigid – water.

Met Bobby & Eurika there, they are reps for a company which developed condo type units adjacent to golf courses in S. Africa. Kind of like time shares lonely members join a Club and membership amount you pay determines how many times you can stay/play at the different courses – something in the neighborhood of 40+ to choose from in S. Africa.



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