This might be the most romantic exotic adventure we've ever heard of. Taking flight on a 'diamond safari'.
South Africa's Ellerman House, partnering with local Benguela Diamonds, is offering guests the day trip of a lifetime to a unique place of origin for diamonds worthy of the most exquisite jewelry and travel memories.
Benguela Diamonds is named after the Benguela Current, which flows off the west coast of South Africa. The 'diamond safari' allows guests to follow the journey of an ocean diamond from its humble origin beneath the surface of the sea to its transformation into a permanent memento of an extraordinary journey.
It's hard to believe it can all happen in just one day. From the historic luxury of Ellerman House in Cape Town, a limousine, then private champagne charter morning flight transport couples just over an hour away to the remote coastline.
Home base for the day is a luxurious, contemporary villa on the coast, directly in front of Benguela’s offshore concession. Did we mention? A private chef accompanies you for the day, preparing gourmet meals in keeping with the coastal theme. Fresh, line-caught fish or the local specialty, west coast crayfish, paired with South African wines from Ellerman House's wine collection? Of course.
Between gourmet meals on the terrace, the quest for diamonds. If you have Padi Open Water certification, you can join Benguela dive masters under the water – or wait on the surface for divers, or your sweetheart, to bring the haul to you.
It's an underwater, modern, diamond version of 'panning' for gold. Seabed gravel runs into a classifier that separates the larger stones, which are then ‘jigged’ using a vibrating pan system. The heavier gemstones, not just diamonds, but also garnets and olivines, fall into the pan.
An expert from Benguela’s sorting team shares the process of sorting and grading of diamonds. This is the magical moment for you and your sweetheart to select a rough diamond to be cut, polished and set into a piece of dream jewelry at the company's design studio. While nature determines the color, carat-weight and clarity of a diamond, it takes a skilled craftsman to determine the cut and release the fire, sparkle and beauty of your diamond.
By late afternoon, you are winging your way back to Cape Town aboard your private aircraft to Ellerman House, indulging in the hotel’s signature Dom Perignon Experience to celebrate the day. Within three days, your diamond will be cut and polished, and set into your new, signature piece.
Did you choose the perfect gem? The diamond, that is. Your sweetheart is golden. We couldn't dream up a more breathtaking trip for a proposal, engagement, anniversary or any milestone celebration.