12-day road trip South Africa – Namibia. Day 1 & 2: Durban – Kimberley – Augrabies (South Africa)

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12-day road trip South Africa – Namibia

Day 1 and 2: Durban – Kimberley – Augrabies (South Africa)

Day 1: Left Durban at 11h00 and arrived in Kimberley at 18h45. The accommodation we booked via AirBnb was in a lovely location and was well-priced, but was not really comfortable thus won’t be recommending it here. When you book your accomodation yourself always put attention on wether or not there is an aircon and wi-fi. It is extremly hot in Kimberley in December and if one can survive without wi-fi, it was a nightmare to fall asleep without the aircon. #MirVisaTravel will galdly assist you in finding the best accomodation.

Had dinner at Spur, which had a lovely family vibe. It was very hot during the night and the same hot weather remained (at around 36 degrees) on Day 2 when we went to see The Big Hole;

Day 2: Visiting The Big Hole   – Kimberly’s open cast mine. We have paid R60 per person and walked around on our own, you can however choose to go on a 1 hour guided tour for a slightly higher price. The mine is one of the largest holes excavated by hand in the world. Digging began at the site in 1871, and since then around 2722 kilograms of diamonds have been extracted. Various displays will introduce you to the world of diamond mining and all aspects of diamonds as well as the history of diamonds in South Africa.

 

 

 

The Big Hole is a world-class tourist attraction with an open-air steel platform that juts over the Hole giving one a vertigo-inducing view right into the chasm. It’s all the more impressive and interesting when you realise that the platform is exactly the size of a mining claim.

The mine is 214 metres deep and has a surface area of 17 hectares. The water in the Hole is turquoise; due to the aftereffects of algae.

On show is also the Old Town which will give you an idea of what Kimberley looked like more than 100 years ago.

The Vintage Tram of Kimberley will shuttle visitors straight back to the 19th century, when this previously untouched part of South Africa was transformed into a hub of activity. When diamonds were discovered in 1871 in what is today known as Kimberley, people flooded to the region in search of wealth and prosperity.

In 1887, the first tram came into operation; taking the vibrant population of adventurers to and from their favourite drinking and social hubs to the Big Hole, which was yielding magnificent stones.

Today visitors are invited to experience the thrill of the gold rush all over again on this 20-minute tram ride, which is conducted in one of the earliest trams, complete with its original wooden seats. The tour starts at the Kimberley Mine Museum and skirts around the Big Hole.

 

We left Kimberley at 12h00 and headed further towards Augrabies Falls. The picturesque road leaded us through an oasis of vineyards, a clear sign of the Orange River situated close.

We ran into a peculiar animal called the Sociable Weaver Bird. The birds are called “social” not just because they live in organized colonies, but because they build massive homes outside high poles or trees   out of sticks, grass and cotton that are home to several other kinds birds. The nests are so large that birds of other species are welcome to live there as well, not the least of which is the South African pygmy falcon which lives exclusively inside the social weaver’s nests that often accommodate over 100 birds at a time.

We arrived in Augrabies at around 18h30 and were welcomed by Sandy  at her lovely self-catering lodge called Klein Renosterkop. This place is located about 10 km away from the Augrabies Falls Park and has everything for a comfortable stay. Sandy kindly advised that the best dinner we will get can be found at the Augrabies Camp nearby and after we had a dinner the second day of our road trip was over:-)

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