One often wonders whether young Erasmus Jacobs experienced even a tiny shiver of anticipation on that momentous day in 1866 when he set off on his walk. At some point during his walk, he stooped to pick up a shiny pebble and put it in his pocket, perhaps to keep as a goodluck charm. With that small action he set off a chain of events that would change the history of South Africa forever. The pebble he picked up was the Eureka, a 21-carat diamond. With the subsequent diamond discoveries made in this region, such as the “Star of South Africa”, an amazing 83-carat stone, a diamond rush became a reality. From 1869 onwards it brought treasure hunters from all over the world to this region, hungry for the riches they thought were theirs for the taking.
The Diamond Fields region is tucked into the upper eastern corner of the province. The region borders the Free State and North West provinces. Incorporated in the Diamond Fields are Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape, as well as the towns of Barkly West, Hartswater, Jan Kempdorp, Modder River, Warrenton and Windsorton.
Echoes of the past reverberate throughout this region and are an inextricable part of its character. The recorded human history of the region dates back to the ancient people who made engravings on glacial pavements and rocks. San rock art sites form an invaluable part of the history of the Diamond Fields.
Many important battles of the devastating Anglo-Boer War that lasted from 1899 to 1902 were fought in this region. Today, the land still bears its battle scars, often attracting history buffs.
Despite its eventful past, there are still large undisturbed areas where the landscape offers ample opportunities for hunting and adventure tourism. Hunters, hikers and 4×4 enthusiasts are welcome visitors to national, provincial and private conservation areas in the region.