The quaint and attractive town of Calvinia lies approximately halfway between Cape Town and Upington. Life in this picturesque town seems to go slower than elsewhere, here visitors have an opportunity to relax and unwind.
Situated in the Great Karoo and at the foot of the Hantam Mountains, the town falls within the Namakwa Region which is renowned for its splendid Spring flowers which bloom usually between August and the end of September. Depending on the rainfall, they could begin blooming as early as mid-July. The night sky here is as much as an attraction as the spring flowers and city-dwellers often visit for just these two attractions.
The area is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and history lovers alike, offering hiking trails and 4x4 routes, a nature reserve as well as a museum and other places of interest in the small town. The town, its friendly residents and the surrounding beauty of the area will leave you with memories to cherish.
Accommodation varies, but whether you passing through on business or a holiday, you are sure to find a Gust House or Farm Accommodation to suit your needs.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Calvinia Museum
- Hantam House
- Fred Turner Windmill Museum
- Akkerendam Nature Reserve
- 4x4 Trails
- Hiking Trails
- Namakwa Spring flowers (peak blooming season is Mid-August to end of September)
- Tankwa Karoo National Park
Calvinia receives approximately 146 mm of rain annually with the majority of its rainfall occurring during the winter months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 31˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 15˚C.
August – Hantam Meat Festival: A real meat lovers treat where all variations are available for tasting from lamb chops and stews to curries, braaivleis and kebabs. The brave can even try a lamb’s head or tail. Less meaty options on offer are music concert, street party, vintage car rallies, marathons and the beauty pageant. Event takes place over two days.
Calvinia, or Hantam as it was originally known, was founded in 1845 on the farm Hoogekraal alongside the Oorlogskloof River. The farm was purchased by the Dutch Reformed Church in order to establish a parish for the far away community of the Hantam Karoo. The name Hantam has its origins with the Koi people and it is believed the name refer to “the hill where the red nut sedge grows”.
After the arrival of the first Minister, Reverend Hofmeyer in 1851, the village was renamed Calvinia after the Swiss religious reformer and Protestant Theologian Jean [or John] Calvin [1509–1564]. It was the centre for religious activity for the farmers of the district.
Today the town is the regions key growth area and considered the largest wool producing area in the country.
Uit ons gallery
The Akkerendam Nature Reserve spreads out across the curving slopes of the Hantam Mountains, just outside the little town of Calvinia. The Reserve was established in 1967 and is a fairly small Reserve at only 2 750 hectares. This is a…Meer
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