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Calitzdorp municipality had its own Coat-of-Arms which was registered to it in perpetuity. Calitzdorp Municipality no longer exists but legally no one else may use the Arms.
When electricity was installed in Calitzdorp in 1937, it was the smallest electricity supply setup in the country, the least costly installation and Calitzdorp’s supply price was the cheapest per unit in South Africa.
When built between 1943 -1954, the concrete road from Calitzdorp to Oudtshoorn - known locally as the \'sementpad\' - was the longest concrete road in South Africa. It was NOT the country\'s first concrete road, as is frequently claimed.
The last ever steam train on the Oudtshoorn-Calitzdorp line was a special Union Line day trip for steam train enthusiasts on 13 August 1997, four years after the official closing of the line. The loco was a class 19D No 2753
The Little Karoo was once an inland sea of approximately 14,500 square kilometers. It would have been a quarter the size of Lake Victoria, half the size of lake Malawi, 24 times the size of the Dead Sea and 87 times the size of the Sea of Galilee!
Huge Fossil bones found in the Calitzdorp district were thought by Hoffman in 1966 to possibly be those of the Giant Plesiosaur – the same as Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, ‘Nessie’. However they were later identified as those of the sauropod Algoasaurus related to the Brontosaurus.
In the 1800s and early 1900s there was a thriving Jewish community in the Little Karoo. Many of their shops had no doors for customers - who climbed in through the windows!
Calitzdorp has South Africa’s largest Pale Chanting Goshawk bird population – the only polyandrous raptor in South Africa.
The Calitzdorp Nel’s river dam was the first mass-concrete agricultural irrigation dam wall built in the country.
The dam was built in 1913-1918, before modern equipment was available, and work was done with picks and shovels. Donkeys and mules did the hauling. There was one 36 BHP suction gas engine which ran all the major plant.
The Nel’s river which flows through Groenfontein valley and fills Calitzdorp dam was previously known as the Kango river and is shown as such on the original subdivision map of the Buffelsvlei farm, dated April 1834.
The word Kango comes from the Khoisan language – The Khoisan called the Swartberg mountains the Kango and the word means ‘place rich in water’.
A Surveyor General’s Map dated 25 Jan 1847 shows that Daniel Nel owned large sections of the Kango river / valley farmland, Probably why the river became known as ‘Nel’s river’.
Cape leopards still roam freely in the mountains around Calitzdorp. Extremely shy, and ranging over enormous territories, these rare, beautiful animals are seldom seen.
Calitzdorp sits on a geological fault line that runs for 300 kilometers along the southern edge of the Cape Fold mountains – proof being our local hot spring at the Calitzdorp Spa.
In the 1850s the town of George was a 50 hour trek by ox-wagon from Calitzdorp! This time did not include overnight stops and time for the oxen to rest and graze.
After their discovery, the Cango caves were known as \'die Druipkelder’. and only became known as Cango Caves many years later.
When Electricity was first provided in Bergsig, each of the smaller houses had one connection to a street light, and electricity was only available at night when the street lights were switched on.
Lucerne – a major fodder crop around Calitzdorp, came to South Africa from South America in 1861. Its introduction into the Little Karoo dramatically changed the ostrich industry
There are 34 internationally recognised biodiversity Hotspots in the entire world - and Calitzdorp is surrounded by four.
The plant biomes – areas of a certain type of plant growth - are identified as World Hot Spots because of the unique - and threatened vegetation, found nowhere else in the world.
Each of the four World Hot Spots around Calitzdorp –fynbos, thicket, remnant forest and succulent Karoo – has at least 1500 endemic plant species – each Hot Spot biome having more plant variety than the whole of Europe
Calitzdorp’s first cemetery is said to have been in the area of “The Queen of Calitzdorp” Lodge - but maybe this old cemetery was under the \'spookhuis\' - giving reason for its name? Long demolished, the police station now stands where the \'spookhuis\' once was.
During the world-wide ‘flu epidemic of 1918, Calitzdorp was not spared and the beautiful double-storey home at 1 Queen street was used as a make-shift hospital for the duration of the epidemic
More than eleven thousand hand-cut stones were used to build the Dutch Reformed Church. The raw stone was transported by ox-wagon from Swartkop at Vlei Rivier and dressed on the building site.
Because of its enormous size, the Dutch Reformed Church vestry table (5,2m) had to be made on site.
On 22 February 1991 the imposing sandstone Dutch Reformed Church and its surrounding fence was declared a National monument - now known as a Provincial Heritage Site.
The cast-iron fencing, erected around the perimeter of the Dutch Reformed Church grounds in 1899, is eleven years older than the church itself.
The five massive Dutch Reformed Church bells - three huge and two slightly smaller ones, cost £425 and were cast in Germany. They were donated by J J Grundling and his wife in memory of their grandson Jacobus Johannes Grundling Meyer
The magnificent Dutch Reformed Church organ - considered the best in the country at the time and said to have then had 942 pipes, was imported from Hamburg, Germany.
The Huisrivier Pass underwent major upgrading in 2012 and 2013. To the astonishment of workers at a stop/go point on the construction site, a leopard crossed the road right in front of them - in broad daylight!
The very rare, unusual, yellow Protea - Mimetes chrysanthus – was discovered in the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve by game guard Mr Willie Julies in September 1987.
Calitzdorp is on Route 62 – the longest wine route in the world.
Voortrekker road – or Route 62 – was firstly known as Bloekomlaan (Bluegum avenue) due to the number of gum trees which lined the road.
A number of original little houses were demolished on Voortrekker Road and the bluegum street-trees were removed to widen the road when Route 62 was built.
The house which reputedly stood on the land where the police station and magistrates\' court now stand, was known as ‘die Spookhuis’. Could the reason be - that just maybe - this might have been the site of Calitzdorp\'s first unmarked, unidentified cemetery?
Axe Hill winery was named after stone-age hand tools, from some 250 thousand years ago, found on the property when the farm was being established by the late Tony Mossop and his wife Lyn.
It is rumoured that Cecil John Rhodes gave a speech to Calitzdorp residents from the steps of the beautiful residence at 1 Queen Street, but so far we have found no proof of him visiting the town.
Old timers have suggested that the beautiful home at 1 Queen street was ransacked or torched by Boer Commandant Gideon Scheepers and his men during the second Anglo-Boer War. We have found no proof - but we do know that Scheepers was active in the Calitzdorp area at the time.
In 1922 when Howard Carter opened Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt, one of the first things he found was a perfect, 3,000 year old, ivory-handled ostrich feather fan.
In 1918 there were outlying schools in Groenfontein, Buffelskloof, Buffelsjagsfontein, Gamka-Oos, Gamka-Wes, Huisrivier, Janfourieskraal, Kruisrivier-Wes, Uitvlug, Warmbad en Warmwater, along with the Juta and Reenen school.
Spekboom - Portulacaria afra - takes in and uses huge volumes of atmospheric carbon – part of the global warming problem – and converts it into oxygen. How great is that? Plant some and help save the world!
\'Kougoed\' - the Kanna plant, Sceletium tortuosum of the Mesembryanthemoideae family - is a local ancient herb with mood enhancing properties said to rival Prozac! – but it is non addictive and has no side effects.
In 1869 Arthur Douglass invented an ostrich incubator , causing a stir in the Little Karoo where farmers now started fencing their lands to farm ostriches more intensively
In 1872 Mr Burdett opened Calitzdorp’s first shop
On the 3rd of July 2015, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), at a meeting held in Bonn in Germany, approved the elevation of the existing Rooiberg, Gamkaberg and Groenefontein Protected Areas, to the status of World Heritage Sites
Each return journey of the steam train between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp, burned up four tons of coal!
The first regular train from Oudtshoorn ran into Calitzdorp on Friday 14th November 1924 and the official opening took place a few days later on the 20th November.
Seweweekspoort peak at 2,352m is not only the highest peak in the Klein Swartberg range, it is also the highest in the Western Cape. Classified as an ultra prominent peak it is also the 8th highest peak in South Africa.
Endemic to Seweweekspoort, the first specimens of an unknown, rare Protea were collected by botanists T P Stoekoe and R Primos in 1928. Later thought to be extinct – this Protea Aristata was ‘re-discovered’ in 1953.
The survey for the new Huisrivier Pass was started in 1951. It took almost ten years to find a suitable route over the difficult, treacherous mountains to Ladismith, before construction of the Pass could start.
Seweweekspoort’s rare endemic red Aristata protea was proudly displayed on the 10 cent postage stamp of the South African 1977 Protea Series.
Calitzdorp became the Port capital of South Africa by accident. Years ago, Shiraz vines ordered and planted by the Nel family of de Krans, later turned out to be Touriga Nacional – the main port grape! What a happy mistake!
On 25 December, 2015 there was a full moon. Younger than 38 years old at the time? Then this would have been your first Christmas full moon. The last one was in 1977 and the next one will only be on 25 December 2034!
Everyone knows South Africa’s symbols – the flower symbol is the King Protea, the animal is the springbok, the tree is the Real Yellowwood and the bird is the Blue Crane. But did you know that we have a national fish? Believe it or not, we do! the Galjoen
Western Cape’s provincial symbols : The provincial flower is the Red Disa, the provincial tree is the Silver Tree. Our animal is the Bontebok and our provincial bird is the Cape Sugarbird
The ostrich is the world\'s largest flightless bird, followed in size by Australia\'s Emu and Cassowary.
The Cape Leopard is a small animal - probably the size of a large dog – and is half the size and weight of its Kruger Park cousins. The average weight of a male Cape Leopard is about 35 kilograms.
No longer viable, the Oudtshoorn - Calitzdorp train service was officially stopped and the line closed to regular traffic on 31 May 1993.

Calitzdorp winter festival June 2017

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Friday 16 – Sunday 18 June 2017  










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For all the very latest on the Winter Festival and a complete detailed programme

   –    much, much more than  we present on this page and something for everyone – 

Click to our latest Calitzdorp Tourism  newsletter –
Button marked on column to the left of this page.

As well as everything listed below, the programme also includes the opening procession through town, food and wine pairing, a variety of dinners and light meals, night market, day market, Riel dancers. draadkarretjie competition,  a variety of live music, bistros at the cellars, wine tasting, craft distillery cocktails, popular 60’s and 70’s music recital on the magnificent DR church  organ, Kevin Floyd project – and more, more, more –   See which events to book for.

Don’t miss out on the fun – Welcome to Calitzdorp!!

This year’s theme : KAROO KRISMIS !






Friday 16  & Saturday 17 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

at Boplaas Family Vineyards
Boplaas Stoepsit Bistro
10:00 – 16:00

Boplaas Stoepsit Bistro



Fresh & local food
Live music (Liezl van Eeden from 11:00 – 16:00)
& craft distillery cocktails





Friday 16 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

Oos Gamka

Bosvarkie June 2017



Party with Jay Jay

Die Bosvarkie bush pub
cell   072 611 6437







Friday 16 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

Garden Lounge, Rose of the Karoo
R62 main road, centre of town
This exhibition will remain on view until the end of June



Charcoal portraits of 30 of the world’s most treasured classical composers,
including a short biography and list of each composers most popular works

Come and meet the artist / author Bert du Plooy.
over a glass of Gluhwein and snacks

Bert cell 078 235 5342






Friday 16 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

STAN SLOGROVE ORGAN RECITAL – 60’s and 70’s classic rock pieces
Dutch Reformed Church

DR church spire edited



DR Church, Stan Slogrove –
a recital of popular music from the 60’s and 70’s (classic rock pieces)
on the lovely organ in the Calitzdorp Dutch Reformed Church.
The entrance fee is R30.00
performance will last approximately an hour






Friday 16 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

Calitzdorp Railway Station




Cabaret with Emile Minnie & Hanmari Pretorius
Booking with Calitzdorp Tourism on 0442133775






Friday 16 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

Brenda’s Traditional Kitchen
19:00 – 23:00

Brenda’s Traditional Kitchen


Cape Malay fused with traditional South African fare.
Set menu including a welcome drink.
Booking essential
R375pp includes welcoming drink
Contact Brenda at 071 678 4292





Friday 16 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

At Boplaas. Calitzdorp
18:30 for 19:00


Welcome drink, two course meal, bottle of wine
Only 40 tickets available – booking essential!

News!  Extra 20 seats available – by popular demand!!

R150pp two course meal
includes weloming drink and bottle of wine per couple
Bookings : Jeanette

Profits to dog food in Calitzdorp




Saturday 17 June 2017

DONKIEKAR ORKES – live music     winterFestivalMountainLogo
Calitzdorp Railway Station

donkiekar orkes





Live music at Calitzdorp Railway Station







Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Axe Hill farmhouse
10:30 – 15:00



Enjoy a light meal; assador chouriço, cheese, bread, soup, a glass of wine or port, live music and tasting of all wines on offer. R90pp – limited – bookings essential.

Contact Pam 082 574 4192





Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

De Krans Winery
Two events at 11:00 and 15:00

de Krans Bistro



Live music and two Biscotti & Wine Tastings
Presented by Francois Ferreira at 11:00 and 15:00.
Only 30 tickets per presentation available at R80pp.
Bookings : BessieSwanepoel 044 213 3314/64





Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

11:00 at the Railway Station
15:00 at the DR Church




World renowned, award winning childrens’ choir

Admission Free – donations welcome






Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Calitzdorp Railway Station





Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Calitzdorp Railway Station

riel dancersto right









Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

There will be a VARIETY OF STALLS   at Calitzdorp Railway Station.

festival stall



Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Calitzdorp Railway Station
two sessions –
18:00 – 19:00 and
20:00 – 21:00




Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

The Queen of Calitzdorp
Queen street

TheQueenFour courses paired with wine or port
Hosts winmakers Peter Bayley & the Fledge Company
Margaux Nel and Leon Coetzee

Limited seats
R300pp including wine
Bookings 044 2133 057 or Juanita Beech on 084 397 8287




Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Klokkie’s barn
5km from town on the concrete road (sementpad)



klokkiesbarn dance

All welcome!

Family fun dance
food and drinks available
Big screen rugby





Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Calitzdorp Cellar

Calitzdorp Cellar



6 Course food-and-wine pairing in our cellar.
R300 pp including wine.

Bookings Willem Olivier at 044-213-3301





Saturday 17 June 2017          winterFestivalMountainLogo

Brenda’s Traditional Kitchen
19:00 – 23:00

Brenda’s Traditional Kitchen


Cape Malay fused with traditional South African fare.
Set menu including a welcome drink.
Booking essential
R375pp includes welcoming drink
Contact Brenda at 071 678 4292





Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

KLIPPES 1 000 001
Calitzdorp Station – home of the Klippies Darts Club
From 09:00  on 17th – 09:00 on the 18th June


Let’s set a record and score 1 000 001 in 24 hours!

Anyone can play
Join in the fun
and help us pay back to the community!





Sunday 18 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

+- 60km via Groenfontein
Start and end at Calitzdorp Railway Station

C'dorp MTB classicJune2017logo



60km &,38km rides

Enter on line –
Contact Jamesley  082 850 8170





Sunday 18 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo

Calitzdorp Cellars


On the veranda overlooking the beautiful Gamka Valley

Only 80 places available

Booking essential
R150pp (wine included)
Contact Briette at 084 583 3642





Sunday 18 June 2017     winterFestivalMountainLogo


at Boplaas Family Vineyards
Boplaas Stoepsit Bistro
Boplaas Stoepsit Bistro


Fresh & local food

Craft distillery cocktails





Festival ends – Back to the real world

– until next year  
when we look  forward to seeing you again!