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 particularly attractive Reserve with breathtaking scenery and exquisite sunsets. This is a must visit if you are in the area during the flower season, mid-August to the end of September. Although the Reserve itself does not experience the abundance of blooms found in some of the other parts of Namaqualand, during this time the entire area is covered in wild flowers, which is truly a site to see.

The Reserve has been proclaimed a bird sanctuary and bird lovers can view the Cinnamon-breasted Warbler among the rocky kloofs, while the Karee Dam is a haven for various types of water birds. Raptors found in the Reserve include the Black Harrier and Booted Eagle and birdwatchers can also view other species such as the Dwarf Eagle, Karoo Lark, Fairy Flycatcher, Malachite Sunbird and the Black-headed Canary. The Reserve has approximately 65 different species to look out for.

There are two hiking trails which will take you across the Hantam Mountains and both offer spectacular views. The shorter, and slightly easier trail, is about 2 km long and will take about 2 hours to complete. The second trail takes between 6 and 7 hours to complete and reaches the plateau above the cliffs that fringe the mountain tops. Here you may see the rare Sterboom (Star Tree) which is unique to this region. The tree received its name from its needle-like leaves that grow in a spiral star shape that grow around the stem. Other fauna on display includes Sword Lilies, Cape Asters and Brown Peppering Plants.

This Reserve is great for walking, jogging or driving around. Visitors can relax and enjoy a picnic in this stunning scenery with far-reaching views across Calvinia and the countryside.

Things to do and see

  • Hiking Trails
  • Vehicle Routes
  • Birdwatching
  • Springbok
  • Namakwa Spring flowers (peak blooming season is Mid-August to end of September)
  • Picnic Spots


The Reserve is operated by the local municipality and currently there is no admission fee to the Reserve, however permits for the hiking trails must be obtained from the Municipality Offices. Please contact the Calvinia Tourism Offices to confirm permit costs and admission rules and regulations.

Gate Times

Monday to Sunday: 08h00 - 19h00

Find Us

The Reserve is only 2 km outside of Calvinia. It is advised however, to get directions when contacting the Tourism Office or when obtaining hiking permits as the Reserve can be difficult to find.


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.


There are daily flights into Cape Town International Airport. Calvinia is approximately 425 km away along the N7, car hire facilities are available at the Airport.

Contact details

Calvinia Tourism Offices

Tel: +27 (0)27 341 8500

Tel: +27 (0)27 341 1043