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Barkly West

Formerly known as Klipdrift, the first digging activity took place here in 1869 following the discovery of diamonds on the De Kalk farm. The site of the diggings was Canteen Kopje, now a national monument and an archaeological open air museum. The remains of past digging activity may be seen on both banks of the Vaal River.

A digger hoping to find the big one. Diamond digers are still digging for aluvial diamond in the Barkly West area.There is a self-guided walk through the old digging remains at Canteen Kopje which includes an interpretative display. Also visit the old Toll House on the banks of the Vaal River. The Toll House house a museum which depicts the history of the area and in particular the history of the diggings. While here, enjoy a refreshment at the Pumphouse Pup and Coffee Shop.

Your visit to the town should include a visit at the St Mary’s Anglican Church, Gong-Gong Waterfall and Waldeck’s Plant which was the scene of many excellent diamond finds.

At Barkly West alluvial diamond diggings, 32 km from Kimberley, licensed prospectors still search on their allotted claims for those illusive gems, washing the gravel and looking for diamonds the way it has been done for more than a century. Here the Vaal River show traces of their constant search. Sometimes when the river is at its lowest, the diggers build breakwaters to deflect the current and then excavate the gravel, recovering many valuable stones. Guided tours offer the most rewarding sightseeing.

Accommodation can be found at:

Grand Hotel
Melkvlei Guest House
Vaal Inn Guest House
Rekaofela

Augrabies National Park
Barkly West
Calvinia
Colesberg
Delportshoop
Fraserburg
Kakamas
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kimberley
Kuruman
Modder River
Namaqualand
Nooitgedacht
Pella
Sutherland

Upington
Victoria West
Williston

Witsand

4x4 Routes

 

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This page was last updated on 07 June 2009
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