The Big Hole in Kimberley, seen in the photograph, is a remnant of South Africa's great diamond rush of the 19th century.
Thousands of people from all over the world poured into the region after diamonds were discovered. They dug this 550-yard-wide (500-meter-wide) hole, which was on a farm owned by the De Beer family, by hand. Today the hole is Kimberley's most popular tourist attraction, along with a museum that recalls the town's glory days.
South Africa continues to be one of the world's largest producers of gem diamonds. It is also still the world's largest gold producer. A feature of Johannesburg is its mine dumpsgiant mounds of mine residue.
Tourists can visit a Disneyland-like reconstruction of Johannesburg's gold rush days at Gold Reef City. The theme park includes a casino, period hotels and saloons, shopping streets, an amusement park, and an opportunity to tour the authentic discontinued gold mine on the property.
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.Kimberley (Northern Province tourism site)Gold Reef City
Photograph courtesy South African Tourism