Written by Lindsay Krause
Embarking on an African safari usually entails early morning wake up calls and spotting members of the Big 5 from your 4×4 safari vehicle. We are here to change it up and introduce the thrill of an exclusive 24 hour diamond safari, taking you from the lively City of Cape Town, up the West Coast of South Africa to the mineral-rich shores of Port Nolloth. The first of its kind, board a private charter flight before diving for diamonds on the ocean floor in search of raw aquatic diamonds yet to be discovered. And the best part? They are yours to keep. After your salvage dive you will select your own rough stone to be cut, polished, and set into a custom jewelry piece.
Founded in 2016, Benguela Diamonds was named after the cold Benguela Current that flows from the Cape of Good Hope, along the West Coast of South Africa and north to the equator. Today it is one of the most prestigious diamond companies in South Africa which started off as a passion project by owner and diamond diver, Wynand Hendrikse. This diamond diving day tour invites guests to experience, first-hand, the journey of a rough diamond to a sparkling, precious jewel for you to keep.
Originating from the streams, rivers and estuaries of Africa, the Benguela current carries a vast amount of conflict-free diamonds to the sea floor of the Angola-Benguela Front. Today the banks of the private ocean concession on the West Coast of South Africa are rich in mineral stones and diamonds waiting to be discovered. Guests are exposed to the ethical process of the Benguela Diamond trade, ensuring each diamond is traceable and conflict-free.
Your diamond safari starts on a high-note in the City of Cape Town, South Africa. Your chauffeur will meet you at your accommodation to transfer you to Cape Town International Airport. From here, your pilot will welcome you on board your private jet before starting the engine and soaring over the picturesque West Coast of South Africa to the private runway at Port Nolloth, a mere 75 minute flight. After a safe landing, you will be welcomed by your hosts and transfer to the luxurious beach villa located off the private Benguela coastline.
After an artisan breakfast prepared by your private chef, your dive master, Wynand Hendrikse, will start your debrief on the salvage dive for the day. Soon after, you will kit up and board the boat before taking a giant stride into the icy Atlantic Ocean. Complete your descent to the seabed and look out for the transparent stones as your dive master prepares the salvaging area by making use of the vacuum hoses and pumps to clear the seafloor. Not a certified diver? Don’t fret, you can observe the divers as they bring raw aquatic diamonds up to the surface before selecting one to keep.
Note: Determined to dive out your own diamonds, all that is required is a PADI Open Water 1 diving license.
After your dive you will return to the beach villa for a debrief accompanied by a well-earned gourmet lunch. The private chef will prepare a South African-inspired menu which boasts fresh seafood paired with excellent South African wines which you can enjoy on the terrace overlooking the beach and ocean.
After lunch it’s time to sort through your ‘harvest’ of the day and grade the stones alongside diamond experts. Here, you can select your rough diamond which will then be polished into radiant gems and set into a unique piece of jewelry at the Benguela design studio in Stellenbosch. End off your diamond safari toasting to your unique adventure and capturing a photograph from the sky on your return flight to Cape Town.
This once-in-a-lifetime diving for diamonds experience is the most unique way to acquire an ethical and traceable African diamond. Planning a trip to South Africa? Get in touch with our expert Ker & Downey® Africa Adventurists to add this unique diamond safari day tour to your itinerary.