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about Calitzdorp

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About Calitzdorp – this is a small, peaceful farming town set in a lush valley of top quality fruit orchards and vineyards, surrounded by towering fold-rock mountains.

Well known for its exceptional award winning port wines, Calitzdorp has rightfully gained the Port Wine Capital of South Africa accolade from the consistent production year after year of prize winning champion Port wines by local wineries.  Tasting Calitzdorp’s famous wine and Port at our several wineries is a must.

The climate varies from mild to cold in winter with occasional snow on the mountains to very hot in summer with cooling prevailing breezes in the evenings.  Average rainfall is about 250 ml per year.

Building architectural styles are varied. Beautifully restored, quaint old traditional Karoo cottages stand alongside gracious neo-Gothic and Victorian homes. The imposing sandstone neo-Byzantine Dutch Reformed church around which the village developed is a proclaimed Heritage Site (National Monument)

Facilities : There are municipal offices, a bank, estate agents and lawyers in town. We have two clinics and two public libraries – the main ones in Voortrekker street (route 62) and the satellite ones in Bergsig. There is a clothing store, bottle stores, a well stocked new supermarket, two superettes, a butchery and other small shops where general supplies are available.  Fuel, agricultural and gardening supplies are available near the railway station and a fuel station is sited in the centre of the village on Route 62. Various trades people and service providers are also in the area.

Doctors consult at the clinic during the week and a physiotherapist visits when required. The closest hospitals are a Provincial Government hospital and a private Medi-Clinic Hospital in Oudtshoorn. There are dentists in Oudtshoorn and George and all specialist medical services are available in George approximately 100 kilometres from Calitzdorp.

While basics are available in the town, most residents do their main shopping in Oudtshoorn, 48 short, scenic, traffic-free kilometres away.

There is a selection of good accommodation to suit every pocket in Calitzdorp – ranging from camping and backpackers establishments to the most luxurious country houses and everything in between.

A number of restaurants, coffee shops and galleries provide meals and treats for all culinary and visual tastes.

Join the visitors who celebrate the annual Winter Festival mid-year, the apricot harvest in November and grape harvest in the new year;  great fun to pick your own apricots or grapes and relax afterwards with a glass of choice wine. See our site’s ‘Events’ page for dates and details.

Well known artists live and work here. They include highly talented painters, potters, glass workers, photographers, a guitar maker and smoking-pipe maker. An impressive art competition has just completed its successful fourth year with local artist Marinda Combrink winning the 2016 coveted R20,016 cash prize.

Calitzdorp is situated in the middle of four overlapping world Hot Spot biomes, making our town the perfect base for succulent fans.  On the 3rd of July 2015,  at a UNESCO  meeting in Bonn, Germany,  our existing Rooiberg, Gamkaberg and Groenefontein Protected Areas were elevated to World Heritage Site status.  We live in an area that is incredibly special in global environmental and conservation terms!

Visit ostrich show farms and drive mountain passes and ports. See astonishing folded rock cliffs in the awe inspiring Seweweekspoort and the Huis Rivier Pass. Take the nearby spectacular Swartberg Pass over the mountains into the Great Karoo.

Venture the back roads through the Gamka, Groenfontein and Matjiesvlei valleys. Adventurous hikers, motor-cyclists, mountain bikers and 4×4 enthusiasts will experience spectacular scenery and the rich bio-diversity of the area which boasts a greater plant variety than the whole of Europe.

The Spekboom (Portulacara Afra) which is valued for its exceptional ability to sequester carbon – much needed to counter global warming, grows prolifically in this area. The Kanna plant or ’kougoed’, known for its mood enhancing abilities (said to rival Prozac!) and after which the local Municipality – Kannaland – is named, was also once prolific in the area, but due to over zealous harvesting is now more difficult to find in its natural habitat.

Have a different experience – come and see for yourself!