Grab your bags on arrival and get set for a trip back in time with your Avis hire car.
You will find our Avis Kimberley Airport branch in the car hire building directly across from the airport terminal. Here our friendly staff will be ready to assist and advise on any additional products and services you may require for your trip – be it business or leisure.
Kimberley was once the centre of a massive diamond rush in the Northern Cape and has a fascinating past littered with tales of the riches, rambunctiousness and loss so typical of this era.
Find out about the antics of colourful characters like Barney Barnato, Harry Oppenheimer and Cecil John Rhodes at local museums. Cast your mind back to these wild times among the immaculately preserved period buildings which still line the irregular streets - a throwback to the mud tracks criss-crossing the tent town that once was Kimberley. Such were the riches of this place that the diamond rush in the Northern Cape lasted almost a century, until the outbreak of WWI ended the glory days forever.
Today, vestiges of this dramatic era are dotted all over Kimberley, making it an intriguing place to visit and a bustling tourist hub.
Tours to all the major sites of Kimberley are easily arranged via the Tourist Centre but you will have just as much fun, and can linger as long as you like, with the flexibility of your Avis rental car.
The Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum
By far the biggest attraction in Kimberley, the Big Hole is the largest hand-dug excavation in the world, with the first 240m dug by means of picks and shovels. After that, mechanical diggers continued the work to the full 800m which it is today. Gaze down at this monstrosity from a precarious look out point suspended over the side of the hole and then take a tour of the world-class museum on site.
It’s here at the big hole in Kimberley that you will find out about the incredible diamond operations that have yielded over 13 million carats of these precious stones over the years.
The Old Town
Adjacent to the Big Hole, the Old Town remains much as it was in the days of yore and you can wander among the original buildings of the time - from Barney Barnato’s boxing academy to a church built in Europe and shipped to Kimberley during its heyday. Restaurants, a vault containing real diamonds a trip underground, kiddies play areas, gift shops and a jewellers are part of the attractions of Old Town.
For added fun, park your Avis hire car at City Hall and take the dilapidated tram to explore the Big Hole and Old Town.
Pioneers of Aviation Museum
Once the home of South Africa’s very first flying school, and the place where Africa’s first female pilot earned her licence, this museum is a delight for fans of flying and history buffs alike.
Alexander McGregor Museum
This was the original McGregor Museum which is now housed in Cecil John Rhodes Sanatorium across town. More of Kimberley’s fascinating history unfolds inside these walls, including a number of unexpected firsts such as the early advent of electricity in Kimberley and the ordination of the town’s first coloured bishop.
Before you leave
If you have time to spare before flying onward to your next destination, enjoy a relaxing drink at the airport pub while you catch up on your mail courtesy of the terminal’ s Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you are staying over, you will find several places to lay your hat after a busy day in the boardroom or exploring the countryside.
All of Kimberley’s accommodation options are within easy reach of Kimberley Airport, just 10km’s away via the N8 with your Avis hire car. Try the Sun1 for a budget stay, or the Kimberley Anne Hotel for all the luxury you could ever want.