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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!
DID YOU KNOW ?
\'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!
DID YOU KNOW?
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
DID YOU KNOW?
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
DID YOU KNOW?
The ostrich is the world\'s largest flightless bird, followed in size by Australia\'s Emu and Cassowary.
DID YOU KNOW?
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.
 

events in and around calitzdorp

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 October 2017

 

Friday 13 October 2017 – 5.30pm

BOOK LAUNCH
Die Handelshuis
Calitzdorp
GaryLSmith2BookLaunch2017.10

 

‘Rice, Beans and abandoned dreams’

A chilling account of 4 years spent in a South American prison near Sao Paolo, by Groenfontein resident Gary Lee Smith.

Cheese and wine with a dinner option for those wishing to stay after the launch closure.
RSVP by 9 October

Contact Gary on tel 044 2133 3764 or
cell 083 330 2831

 

 

 

 

Friday 13 – Sunday 15 October 2017

SCATTERED LINKS MCC 8th R62 
Bosvarkie
Calitzdorp

bosvarkie2017_2

 

Pre-entries only – max 200
closing date 01 October 2017
Contact Oudste 082 447 0165
e-mail  oudste.scatteredlinks@gmail.com
Chantal  082 074 8213
e-mail  technoprojects01@gmail.com
scatteredlinks.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

14 – 15 October 2017   10am – 4pm

BARRYDALE IN BLOOM
Barrydale, Klein Karoo
barrydaleInBloom2017

Barrydale’s gardens will be on show over the weekend
of 14th and 15th October 10am – 4pm

email   barrydaleinbloom@gmail.com

http://barrydaleinbloom.blogspot.co.za

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 14 October 2017

MEIRINGSPOORT 12.5 & 21.1 Km trail  run

meiringspoort21-2017

 

clickHere

Starts at De Rust

Loyalty Entries open 06 May 2017
– remainder will be sold from 13 May 2017 onwards.

Please note the 10 km run has been extended to 12.5 km

 

 

 

Wednesdy 18 October 2017 – 19h00

OOM SCHALK – from the Heart
H C Bosman Tales –  told by David Muller
Die Dorpshuis
Calitzdorp

2017.10 Dorpshuis4

 

Cape Town based actor, David Muller has taken over from Patrick Mynhardt as the uncle from Groot Marico.  Oom Schalk, from the Heart, a compilation of some of Bosman’s best stories. Directed by theatre doyen, Celia Musikanth

Dinner (scrumptious two course meal) and Show R230 per person

Booking is essential     Book Now!

Contact Daniel Boegli
e-mail  events@diedorpshuis.co.za
tel 044 2133 453

 

 

 

 

Saturday 21 October 2017 – 12h00

LONG TABLE LUNCH – Challenge Accepted!
De Krans Bistro
Calitzdorp

deKransLongTable2017_6

 

It’s Blossom Time

Every second Saturday, Shannon our Chef in training presents a delicious 3 course long table meal. Our winemaker will introduce guests to a selection of De Krans wines.  R150 per person all inclusive

Booking essential !  tel 044 2133 314|
e-mail bistro@dekrans.co.za

 

 

Saturday 28 October 2017

ARTS@DE KRANS
A full day of Art Lessons with Sandy Chaitowitz
De Krans
Calitzdorp

artClasses5SandyChaitowitz

Join Sandy Chaitowitz, well-known South African artist, for a day of learning – canvas and acrylic paint provided, good food and wine included.  R650 per person

Booking essential !
tel 044 2133 315
e-mail  tasting@dekrans.co.za

 

 

 

 

November 2017

 

Friday 3 – Saturday 4 November 2017 – both at 9h00

‘FLIGHT FOR BIRDERS’
IDENTIFICATION & CONSERVATION COURSE
NG Church Hall
Calitzdorp

FlighForBirders

 

R550 per head – this includes :

Full illustrated detailed course,
practical outing and basic notes.

Registration and full details available from Elaine
cell  082 455 8402
e-mail  mwjasser@mweb.co.za

 

 

 

November / December – date to be announced (following Natures harvest)

APRICOT JAMBOREE
Calitzdorp Railway Station

jam pricot

 

2nd Annual Jam Making Marathon

There is nothing as delicious as home made fresh apricot jam!
Come and join in and help us reach our target

Zelma Kriek 082 576 5855
e-mail strooikooi@gmail.com

 

 

 

Thursday 02 – Sunday 05 November 2017

DRYLAND TRAVERSE
4 day Stage Trail Adventure
de Hoek Mountain Resort
Oudtshoorn

drylandTraverse2017_2

 

 

Race from under the Swartberg mountains to the very top!
Cango Caves to Swartberg Pass summit!

clickHere

 

 

 

Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 November 2017

TO HELL AND BACK –
MTB stage racethe legend! 

to hell & back 2

Want to know what it is like to go to Hell (and back)?
View the organiser’s video half way down their home page

clickHere

Limited accommodation and facilities
in The Hell, therefore only
500 participants accepted.
First come, first served!

Entries open 1 June 2017

 

 

 

Sunday 19 – Wednesday 22 November 2017

KARUSA DELUXE HORSE TRAIL
Calitzdorp

karusa-5-day-trail-2017-4

 

clickHere

4 day 5 night all inclusive luxury trail
through some of the most spectacular
Little Karoo mountain scenery.

 

 

 

Thursday 16 November – Friday 08 December 2017

APRICOT PICKING
Boplaas
Calitzdorp

apricots

Contact Annarie Cornelius
tel 044 2133 326
e-mail  boplaas@mweb.co.za

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 22 November – Wednesday 06 December 2017

APRICOT FESTIVAL
De Krans Winery
Calitzdorp

apricot harvest2 - logo

Bring the whole family – Come and pick your own Bulida apricots from our orchards

tel 044 213 3314
e-mail diekrans@mweb.co.za

www.dekrans.co.za

 

 

 

 

December 2017

December 2017 date to be announced (by Nature Herself )

PEACH PICKING
De Krans Winery
Calitzdorp

peachesLogo

 

 

Come and pick your own Oom Sarel peaches from our orchards

tel 044 213 3314
e-mail diekrans@mweb.co.za

www.dekrans.co.za

 

 

 

 

Saturday 02 December 2017

BLACK & WHITE DINNER & DANCE  –  18h00
Calitzdorp High School
Andries Pretorius Street
Calitzdorp

black&white

 

R150.00 per person

RSVP Linda Rhode
cell 084 858 4397
by 31 October 2017

 

 

 

 

 

09 – 16 December 2017

KAROO DONKEY TREK SUMMER CAMP
Calitzdorp
Engaging adventure for secondary school learners
to experience and learn about nature.

2017.12_Donkey_Trek3

clickHere

7 Nights / 8 Days
​Group size: 20 learners
Total cost: R6750.00 (pp)
Included: Accommodation (Camping)
Meals – Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Trekking equipment, tents, camp  kitchen,  compasses, maps etc.

 

 

 

 

Thursday 14 December 2017 – 7pm-10pn

DOC MACLEAN  “CROSS BONE BLUES TOUR”
Die Dorpshuis
4 Van Riebeeck Street
Calitzdorp

2017.10 Dorpshuis2b

 

 

An evening of authentic,  rocking, country blues by Doc MacLean on his South African tour.

Contact Daniel Boegli

e-mail  events@diedorpshuis.co.za

tel 044 2133 453