Kimberley Airport Mini Guide
About Kimberley Airport
Kimberley Airport is a small airport serving the city and is interesting because it is nearly 4,000 feet above sea level. Only two routes operate to the airport, both domestic routes from Cape Town and Johannesburg. The airport is right on the outskirts of the city and access is easy via the N12 highway that goes straight into the centre of Kimberley. There are no jet bridges at the airport so you’ll have to disembark down steps from the aircraft and walk to the terminal building.
All the major car rental companies are represented at the airport and after you’ve shown your licence and paid for any extras you’ll be on your way into the city. On the day of departure you’ll find facilities are limited to a pub serving food and drink and a kiosk selling newspapers, snacks and confectionery. If you feel that you’ll need more, you should organise it before arriving at the airport.
Kimberley calls itself ‘The City that Sparkles’ and it’s not just because of the amount of diamonds dug from the earth each year. It’s trying to attract tourist with sights such as the ‘Big Hole’, the largest hand dug hole anywhere on earth formed when, after the first diamond was discovered on a small hill, feverish digging ensued, removing the hill and plunging deeper into the earth. Today, Big Hole is Kimberley’s major attraction and is filled with water.
Nearby is the Open Mine Museum which is a lot of fun. The reconstructed mining buildings give a taste of times gone by whilst you can take part in activities such as sifting gravel, looking for your own gem. There are many museums in the city chronicling its history including that of the famous Siege of Kimberley. The monument to those who fell defending the city is crowned with a makeshift gun made in the De Beers factory during the siege.
For natural wonders you should visit Kamfer’s Dam where, on Flamingo Island, you’ll see Africa’s largest breeding colony of lesser flamingos. There can be as many as 60,000 there at any time and the cloud of pink against the blue water and sky is a magical sight. For an unusual night out, try the Halfway House Inn; you may not even need to leave your car to enjoy a drink there as it’s believed to be the world’s only drive through pub. Legend has it that its first customer was Cecil Rhodes who rode his coach through travelling to his mines.