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September 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 31, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Sparkling South African Side Trip: $16,000

from the September, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

If the Sardine Run leaves you with some cash to spare (well, rather a lot of cash, actually!), what about a dive trip organized by Cape Town's Ellerman House Hotel?

For a mere ZAR 215,000 (around $16,000) per person, you can book on a luxury underwater diamond safari with two nights at the boutique hotel in Cape Town, the adventure starting with a limo ride and a private charter flight to Port Nolloth on South Africa's mineral-rich west coast, to make a dive with Benguela's divemasters, who collect precious seabed gravel. This is then 'jigged' on board the boat to separate the heavier gemstones such as garnets, olivines and diamonds, from the gravel. After a gourmet lunch cooked on the terrace at a private villa, guests then have the opportunity to learn about grading diamonds and select a rough diamond to be cut, polished and set into a piece of jewelry at Benguela Diamond's design studio in Stellenbosch. The trip includes a Dom Perignon experience after flying back to Cape Town, but the cost of any diamonds and jewelry made for you is not included. The trip is available for a maximum number of six guests, with a single dive included, but it's weather-dependent. We're unsure if there is a refund if the dive is canceled! www.ellerman.co.za/blog/benguela-diamond-safari

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