As a mining town Cullinan has become world famous. It is located a mere 20 minutes by road from the city of Pretoria, near Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng, South Africa. Cullinan’s Premier Diamond Mine, once owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan, is best known for the discovery of the Cullinan Diamond. It is estimated that a quarter of the world’s large diamonds have been unearthed at the mine. In addition, Cullinan is an important source of highly sought after rare blue diamonds.
The huge Cullinan Diamond was discovered in 1905 and a large blue diamond was discovered in 2008. The town of Cullinan is quaint, historic and a real treat for any history enthusiast. It is literally a living museum. Old mine manager’s homes have been restored to their original grandeur, and converted into bed and breakfast inns, preserving their turn of the century charm.
A very unique adventure activity is the underground mine tour. Cullinan is a working mine and tours are offered for small groups to join a mine guide underground. A surface tour includes a visit to the big hole.
Considerations when considering an underground tour:
- Tours must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.
- Tours are conducted with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 50
- Tours are not conducted on Sundays
- Tours start very early with orientation. Arrive promptly at 7:30am. Your descent will start at 9am and you will be returned to the surface at 12pm.
- You will be fitted with special safety gear. Changing rooms are provided. You may purchase your overalls after the tour as a souvenir.
- In the lamp room you are fitted with Sizamoya self rescue pack. The guide will demonstrate how to use them.
- The tour will last around 4.5 to 5 hours
- Visitors who are asthmatic or claustrophobic should not take the tour. You will descend to a level of 763 m (2,500 feet) below the big hole.
- You must be physically fit to enjoy the experience
- Anyone under the age of 16 is not permitted on the tour.
- Air is pumped through the mine and the temperature is kept at 26 degrees C (78 degree F)
Watch this very informative video on Cullinan to get a real ‘feel’ of a piece of South African history.
Premier Diamond Mine and Cullinan Village
Other tours and activities available in Cullinan are:
- View cutting and polishing of rough diamonds.
- Surface mine tours
- Historical tours
- Historical tram rides
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Author: Principle writer – Celeste Wilson
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