South Africa launches the world’s first luxury diamond safari – this is how much it costs

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Ellerman House, a Cape Town based hotel, in partnership with Benguela Diamonds, is launching what it claims will be the first ‘diamond safari’  to the west coast of South Africa.

Benguela Diamonds is named after the predominant current – the cold, nutrient-rich Benguela Current, which flows in a northerly direction off the west coast of South Africa.

The trip costs R215,000 for a maximum of six guests, and includes the road transfers, return air transfer on a private jet, and all food and beverages.

The price remains the same, regardless whether 2, 4 or 6 guests travel together, and excludes the cost of designing and manufacturing a piece of jewellery.

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The day trip begins with an early morning private charter flight from Cape Town to Port Nolloth on the west coast.

Guests are collected from Ellerman House by chauffeured limousine and transferred to a private terminal at Cape Town International Airport for a flight on board a Swiss-designed Pilatus PC12 jet or a Kingair 200 aircraft.

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The journey takes approximately an hour and 15 minutes, tracking the coastline to Port Nolloth.

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Home base for the day is a luxurious villa right on the coast, between Port Nolloth and McDoogles Bay, directly in front of Benguela’s private offshore concession.

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The morning begins with a cup of coffee or a glass of freshly pressed juice, followed by breakfast.

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By mid-morning, the adventure gets under way with the option of joining the Benguela dive masters under the water. A current Padi Open Water 1 certificate is all that’s required, as the dive is an entry level one, in fairly shallow water.

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For those who choose not to dive, it’s just as exciting to be on the boat waiting for the seabed gravel to be brought up to the surface.

The gravel runs into a classifier that separates the larger stones from the gravel. The remaining gravel is then ‘jigged’ which means that the diamonds are sorted from the gravel using a vibrating pan system.

The heavier gemstones, such as garnets, olivines and diamonds, fall into the pan. Only then does the final sorting and grading process begin.

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A gourmet lunch awaits you on the terrace of the villa after being on the sea. A private chef accompanies guests for the day to take care of all your culinary needs.

Ellerman House villa guests will be accompanied by their personal in-villa chef.

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After lunch it’s time to sort through the day’s pickings with an expert from Benguela’s sorting team, and learn more about the grading of diamonds.

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By late afternoon, guests are winging their way back to Cape Town aboard their private aircraft. Safely back at Ellerman House, guests round off the day by indulging in the hotel’s signature Dom Perignon Experience.

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The diamond safari will be available from 1 September 2016, and is strictly dependent on prevailing weather conditions.

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