Science | November 7, 2016 5:00 am

Luxury Hotel in South Africa Offering $16K ‘Diamond Safari’ to Guests

Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)
Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)

 

When we saw the largest rough diamond in history pop up at Sotheby’s this past May—with a projected sale price of $70 million—it was a no-brainer to cover the auction on RealClearLife. Although the diamond ultimately didn’t sell, it was given its own $120 million insurance policy.

Why are we telling you all this? To get you thinking about a girl’s best friend—and the potential of uncovering one or more for yourself in this unique package deal. Ellerman House, a luxury oceanside getaway in Cape Town, South Africa, is offering two to six visitors the chance to embark on an underwater diamond safari with experts from Benguela Diamonds.

Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)

 

The excursion takes place over a full day, and adventurers get pampered every step of the way: setting out early, guests take an hourlong scenic private jet ride from Cape Town to Port Nolloth on the West Coast (enjoy a cocktail or two while onboard). Guests are then shuttled to a beautiful oceanside villa, between Port Nolloth and McDoogles Bay, overlooking Benguela’s offshore diamond-hunting operation. A personal chef will cook you meals accented by a selection of award-winning South African wines from Ellerman’s own personal collection.

Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)

 

Then you’ll get a chance to tag along with Benguela’s team of expert diamond divers and either look for your own diamonds along the ocean floor, or wait for the divers to bring up the gravel and “pan” it out. (The gravel gives way not only to diamonds, but also to garnets, olivines, and other gemstones.)

Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)
Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)

 

After you find your diamond(s) and fill up on more gourmet fare for lunch, you’ll get a lesson on diamond sorting and grading from the Benguela team—using your actual ocean finds. At this point, you can select a diamond and are free to walk off with it on the same day. Or you can up the ante a bit (this step takes a bit more time but the results are much spiffier): get that same diamond cut and polished by the Benguela team, and have it set in a piece of one-of-a-kind jewelry, courtesy of Stellenbosch designers. Then you can give it to your significant other to wear as a reminder of that day you dove, James Bond–style, to the ocean floor and surfaced with one of the greatest gifts in history.

Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)
Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)

 

Once back at Ellerman House, the night’s only just begun. In time for a light Bento-style dinner from the property’s executive chef, you’ll join in in a “Dom Perignon Experience,” which allows you to uncork a vintage bottle, James Bond–style, while watching the sunset. (There’s a Diamonds Are Forever reference in there somewhere.)

Diamond Safari
(Courtesy of Ellerman House)

 

The diamond safari is currently available for parties of two to six for $16,000 (the price stays the same, regardless of whether your party is two, four, or six strong). However, this does not include any of the diamonds purchased or jewelry designed during the day’s adventure.

For more information on Ellerman House, click here; and Benguela Diamonds, here. Watch a short teaser video on the excursion below.