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STORY

OF THE DIAMOND ROUTE

The Diamond Route is special, larger than a single site and wider than a series of places. It is multifaceted in the many elements of life it encapsulates and fertile in the opportunities it creates for enquiring minds; be those our children, students, scientists, academics or anyone who has an interest in the natural world.

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About The Diamond Route

Launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, the Diamond Route is about biodiversity conservation, education and sustainability opportunities from the De Beers Group of Companies, E Oppenheimer and Son and Ponahalo Investments.

The Diamond Route shows that regardless of the industry, businesses need not impose any limits on their ambitions to contribute positively to the conservation, management and restoration of our natural capital base.  It currently comprises ten sites covering some 250 000 hectares and stretches from the Succulent Karoo of Namaqualand on South Africa’s west coast to the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve on South Africa’s northern border, right up to the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana with the Orapa Game Park. The Diamond Route grew out of a mining business driven by passionate people all demonstrating  “the good that Diamonds do”.

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Heritage

Heritage is what keeps us focussed and includes many valued treasures; historical buildings, natural monuments, ancient places, wagon tracks and various signs from the past. Stories, legends and places where the well-known and sometimes forgotten men and women from our past lived, worked and unknowingly enriched the facets that now mould our future. Follow the journey through the Diamond Route to see how the discovery of diamonds changed our social and economic history. Read More...

While buildings and relics from past centuries scatter the sites of the Diamond Route there are today petroglyphs left at Rooipoort – ancient messages and expressions of art by the Bushmen. Stagecoach and wagon wheels sliced trails which are still visible on their route out of Kimberley as they wound their way into the hinterland on the excitement of exploration and commerce triggered by the spark that was diamonds. The wagon tracks still defy the force of encroaching grassland and are clearly visible at Dronfield. The City of Kimberley treasures its heritage and complementing fine accommodation, galleries and museums. The Big Hole Experience captures some of the heritage of the boom town that emerged from the sparsely populated veld following the diamond discoveries in 1866 and in Kimberley in 1869.

Venetia and the Limpopo River Valley is home to the Mapungubwe World Heritage Landscape, a strangely abandoned kingdom with tales of gold artefacts and ancient civilizations, including discovery of the famous Golden Rhino. Archaeological sites with Stone Age tools lie waiting to be discovered.

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