Calitzdorp – things to do
The town of Calitzdorp offers visitors a host of attractions, outdoor activities, wines and port wines to make your visit truly memorable. Here are a few of our personal recommendations for you to enjoy.
Situated on the outskirts of the centre of town, with tastings by appointment. (2.3km). 30º30’53.94″ S 21º41’22.35″
Restaurant nearby: Under the Peppertree
Situated in Andries Pretorius Street overlooking the Calitzdorp Railway Station in town (0.98km from center of town) 33º32’16.91″ S 21º41’10.30
Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:00 : Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00 : Public Holidays: 09:00 – 17:00 (Closed Christmas and Good Friday) : Sunday: Closed
Situated on the Groenfontein Road on the slopes of Besemkop (1,8km from center of town). 33º30’57.79″ S 21º41’41.39
Tasting Room :
Situated just off the historic Queens street in town (0.8km from center of town) 33º32’07.85″ S 21º41’02.82
Tasting Room Calitzdorp:
Monday – Friday: 08:00 – 17:00 : Saturday: 09:00 – 15:00 : Public Holidays: 09:00 – 17:00 : Sunday: 10:00 – 14:00
Situated in Station Road (next to the station) just off the historic Queens street in town (1.3km from center of town) 33º32’24.80″ S 21º41’02.04
Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:00 : Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00 : Public Holidays : 09:00 – 17:00 (Closed Christmas day and Good Friday) : Sunday: 09:00 – 17:00
Own Restaurant (Deli and Bistro)
Peter Bayley Winery
Situated on the stunning Groenfontein Road at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains (14.5km from center of town) 33º27’16.78″ S 21º45’35.04
Generally open from Monday to Sunday, but it is best to phone for confirmation
Coffee Shop nearby: Oude Postkantoor
Guided Canoeing and Hiking – Karooicus
Dam and River Canoeing with Kevin from Karooicus. Incorporate with a hike, a picnic and an informative narrative of the indigenous fauna and flora. These hikes can be tailored to your specific requirements. Group tours also available.
Contact Kevin on:
Mobile: +27 (0)716000109
Guided Horse and Donkey Trails – Gamka River Safari Co
Gamka River Safari Co. is a small, exclusive owner run operation that caters for the discerning Safari Traveler and equine enthusiast. Enjoy day trips, or trips that last for days, experiencing the outdoors that is the Klein Karoo.
Contact Hans :
Mobile: +27 (0)789879852
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.gamkariversafarico.com
Situated between Calitzdorp and Zoar/Ladismith. From Calitzdorp to Ladismith it is but a 50km scenic drive, taking around 30 – 40minutes (one way). On route pass Zoar and Amilienstein. Breathtaking and well worth the drive.
Situated 20km from Ladismith, this is a 17km stretch of gravel road running through the Swartberg Mountains, linking the Little and the Great Karoo, with easy gradients, river crossings and incredible geology. It falls entirely under the control of Cape Nature Conservation and more specifically the Swartberg Nature Reserve and is also a certified Unesco World Heritage Site. Time required with a turn around and return to Calitzdorp is around is around 3.5 Hours.
The Swartberg Pass is regarded by many as the icon of gravel road passes. Once again a link between the Little and Great Karoo (Prince Albert), and the gateway to Gamkaskloof, this “Thomas Baine” pass is a must see and do, with dramatically changing scenery and rock formation. You don’t have to go all the way to Prince Albert, and can still get the magnificance of the pass by turning around at the summit.
Your time frame may vary, but allow 60 minutes from Calitzdorp, along the Groenfontein Road to the foot of the pass, and then around 40 minutes to the summit. Your descent into Prince Albert is another 40 minutes, so all in all with a return trip to Calitzdorp you are looking at around 2H30 Minutes driving time.
Situated between Calitzdorp and van Wyksdorp. From Calitzdorp to van Wyksdorp is a around a 50km drive, but taking around 70-90 minutes one way. En-route marvel at the flora and fauna, as you pass through this bio-diversity hotspot. This a more rugged route, with gravel roads as you start your climb. Worth the drive, and stop in van Wyksdorp. (Please note there is no fuel in van Wyksdorp, so fill up before you go).
Another glorius gravel and relatively rugged pass, dating back to 1862. The road is named after the many fossilised ticks found in the rocks when the road was built. The main road between Laingsburg and Prince Albert up till the late 1960’s when the Gamkakloof Dam was constructed in its path. making this road a dead end (so you have to turn around and return). Reached from Calitzdorp via Ladismith and Seweweekspoort, the route will take some time (plan around 5 hours there and back to Calitzdorp).
From Calitzdorp, take the day out and enjoy the mild waters of the Indian Ocean in Mosselbay. A stunning modern tarred pass with gorgeous views of the Outeniqua mountains. Travel via Volmoed and join in with the Oudtshoorn – Mossel;bay road (R328). Time from Calitzdorp to Mosselbay is 1H30 minutes.
Art and Culture
The Calitzdorp Museum occupies what was once the Standard Bank building. This museum, situated in Van Riebeeck Street, is about showcasing the cultural history of the region and its immediate surrounds. It explores the life, implements, people and natural treasures of Calitzdorp and the Klein Karoo, extending back generations. The exhibit is varied and comprehensive, and ranges from old photographs to local artefacts. The Calitzdorp Museum is run by volunteers who share a love for the local heritage and natural abundance, and want others to enjoy this passion.
Monday to Friday : 0930 – 1230 and 1400 – 1700, Saturday : 0930 – 1230
Telephone : +27 (0) 44 2133414
email : email@example.com
Kraaldoorn Studio and Gallery
The Kraaldoring Gallery owned by Albie and Clementina van der Walt, is situated on the scenic Groenfontein Road just outsideCalitzdorp (11km). Although the gallery does not have regular business hours, there are regular exhibitions.
Clementina and Albie can be contacted: via “whatsapp” on 0829250871 as there is no cell reception in the area.
View artwork by Clementina
Situated on the scenic Groenfontein Road, 14.5km from Calitzdorp, in what was once a district post office, the Oude Postkantoor houses a wide variety of local and other South African art. Also a coffee shop serving light meals and refreshments. Only open on weekends.
Bloemin-Meerkat (Johan & Liezel, 4 Geyser str – Next to the Handelshuis) frames, textiles, art, silk screen, custom made furniture & lamps, functional décor.
Johann +27 (0)611221737
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The gallery is situated in on old shop dating back to the 2nd half of the 19th century. The splayed corner indicates that there once must have been a road running down in the direction of the river. The verandah supported by boiler tubing uprights, is of the type that became fashionable in 1860. During the Calitzdorp District Races of 1880 and 1885 the shop was also used as tote office and meeting place of enthusiasts of horse-racing. The last shopkeepers were members of the well-known Katz family. The gallery focuses on a selection of established local artists whose work expresses their passion for the Karoo in photography, acrylics, oils or ceramics.
Penny Rudder :0828714611
Gallery Hours : Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00
Marinda Combrinck Studio and Gallery
Marinda is a well established artist and her gallery houses her art work. Situated at 33 Andries Pretorius Street (Opposite the NG Church), the gallery has an awesome display of her work.
Mobile: 079 968 1588
Gallery Hours : Monday – Saturday: 8:00 – 17:30, Sunday: 9:00 – 15:00
View art on Facebook
Derek McKenzie Photo Studio and Gallery
Situated in Calitzdorp in Geyser Str, oppsite the museum in the old town post office. Derek is not always at hand as he is out taking photos for his next amazing work.
Roger Young – Kruisrivier
The gallery and Roger’s workshop are in a renovated old school building. He exhibits photography of great sensitivity, depth and artistry. His images mostly portray the Klein Karoo and the local people. Roger has a wide range of magnificent photographs in Black & White and Colour on sale and has produced his own range of postcards reflecting the Klein Karoo. Chat to Roger and share his photographic insight and tremendous sensitivity to people, situations and the environment.
In his studio on the premises, he makes commissioned handcrafted pieces of furniture, using old techniques and solid hardwood. A few of these heirloom type pieces are displayed in the Gallery.
Tel: +27 (0)44 213 3296
Mobile: +27 (0)83 318 9901
e-mail : email@example.com
Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
The brooding Gamkaberg, together with the equally mysterious Rooiberg, appear to have been laid down as one over the lowlands of the Little Karoo. The Gamka is therefore a range in isolation and its name is derived from the Khoisan, gami, meaning lion, where the Cape Lion – now extinct – once so successfully wondered here. With a number of activities including rock climbing, picnics, hiking swimming and 4X4, this reserve is a delight for the entire family.
Reserve office hours: 07h30 – 16h00
Reserve office phone number: +27 (0)44 213 3367
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190
Anysberg Nature Reserve
Anysberg Nature Reserve is located in the semi-arid Klein Karoo, between the towns of Ladismith, Laingsburg, Touwsrivier and Montagu. The reserve, established in 1998, encompasses 64 565 hectares of plains and the majestic Cape Fold Mountains, with deep valleys and steep gorges. Fed by three rivers, a diversity of life is supported here amid mountain fynbos and the characteristic veld of the Klein Karoo. It is also a World Heritage Site.
Visitors will enjoy regular sightings of the Cape mountain zebra, numerous antelope species, the black-backed jackal, caracal, riverine rabbit and brown hyena. Leopards still roam the mountains, although these notoriously shy creatures are seldom seen. About 180 bird species are regularly spotted on the reserve, making it a popular choice for birders. Besides the mesmerising landscape and rich plant and animal life, the reserve is also home to San rock art, painted thousands of years ago. Activities include hiking, horse riding, mountain bike and cycling, swimming and 4X4.
Office hours: 07:30–16:00
Tel: +27 (0)23 551 1922
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190
Swartberg Nature Reserve
Declared a World Heritage Site in 2004, Swartberg Nature Reserve stretches 121 000 hectares between the Klein and Groot Karoo, bordering the Gamkapoort Nature Reserve to the north and the Towerkop Nature Reserve to the west. The town of Oudtshoorn is 40km away. Visitors staying overnight sleep in restored cottages in the Gamkaskloof (otherwise known as Die Hel) and delight in the reserve’s rich heritage. San rock art and artefacts are found in caves throughout the reserve. European contributions to the region’s heritage include three mountain passes built in the 1700s, the Toorwaterpoort railway, Meiringspoort Road and the Swartberg Pass, to link the Klein and Groot Karoo.
This reserve conserves a diversity of vegetation from renosterveld to mountain fynbos and spekboom veld. It also supports a variety of wildlife, including antelope, baboons, dassies and leopard. Plants begin to flower on the lower levels of the mountain in spring and those fit enough to brave the higher peaks of the Swartberg Mountain could be lucky enough to spot the rare protea venusta. For fans of the beautiful protea, autumn is the best time to spot them in full bloom. Activities include, adventure, hiking, picnics, mountain biking and cycling, recreational fishing and 4X4.
Office hours: 07:30–16:00
Tel: +27 (0)44 203 6300
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190
Permits for day hikes only are also available from the Oudtshoorn Tourism office at 80 Voortrekker Road, Oudtshoorn, Office hours: 08:30 – 17:00 (Monday to Friday)
09:30 – 12:30 (Saturdays and public holidays)
Tel: +27 (0)44 279 2532
Bar and Lounges
Calitzdorp Station Bar
Situated at the old Calitzdorp Railway Station, the station bar is the perfect meeting place for locals and visitors alike. With a pool table, TV and roaring fire for winter this is the perfect place to interact. Cheryl and Mike will always make you feel welcome.
Open on Tuesdays from 18:00 – late and on Saturdays from 12:00 to late.
Special events can be organised in advance.
Cheryl on +27 (0)81 473 3232
Route 62za Troubadour – Music Jam Lounge
Come and join Hynie at Route 62za Troubadour for jamming and/or a show featuring rock and roll, and all things musical. Open on Friday and Saturday evenings from 17:00 – 21:00. Limited space available so booking is essential.
Street address: 39-1 Voortrekker Road, Calitzdorp
Cell: +27 (0)62 994 7166
Drive, Cycle and Motorcyle
Groenfontein / Kruis Rivier Circular Route
This is a 52km drive on dirt roads (the roads are maintained – so a standard vehicle is adequate). On leaving Calitzdorp, the drive will take you past the Calitzdorp dam, Kraaldoorn Gallery, Marcia’s Studio, Oude Postkantoor, Peter Bayley Winery, Groenfontein Guest Farm, The Retreat and on to Kruisrivier where Roger Young has a gallery and coffee shop. From Kruis Rivier, you can either head off toward Oudshoorn and the start of the Swartberg Pass, or back toward Calitzdorp. This a scenic route with spectacular scenery, if just looking and driving with no stops, this should take around 90min until back on the R62. From here its 20minutes back to Calitzdorp and 20 minutes to Oudshoorn.
Red Stone Hills
Visible from the R62, as well as from the Kruisrivier Road, the Redstone hills are awesome, especially at sunrise and sunset, when they appear to glow. Include this outing as part of your Groenfontein/ Kruis Rivier outing, or as a seperate outing. 20km from Calitzdorp on the Swartberg side of the R62, take the Kruisrivier turn, and there they are, called Enon-conglomerate, these red/orange sandstones and mudstones were laid down 60 million years ago as sediments beneath water and then tilted by powerful pressures. In the are you will find Red Stone Hill Guest Farm. Be sure not to miss the annual Redstone Hills Mountain Bike and Trail Running challenge
4 X 4 Routes in Area
SWARTBERG NATURE RESERVE 4X4 TRAIL
Tel: +27 (0) 44 874 2184 / 044 203 6300, Website: www.4x4ineden.co.za / www.capenature.co.za, Rating: 3, Contact Person: Cape Nature Conservation – Tony Marshall, Description: Calitzdorp / Oudtshoorn / Prins Albert
SOUTHERN COMFORTS 4X4 OBSTACLE ILLUSION
Tel: +27 (0) 44 532 7885, Rating: 3, Contact Person: Michelle, Martin or Magriet, Description: Oudtshoorn, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ROOIBERG 4X4 ECO ROUTE
Tel: +27 (0) 82 377 4762, Contact Person: Anida de Swardt, Email: email@example.com, Distance: 50km, Description: Calitzdorp / Vanwyksdorp
MINWATER ECO ADVENTURES
Tel: +27 (0) 44 279 1285 or +27 (0) 82 481 3625 Contact Person: Louis Jordaan, Description: Oudtshoorn,
TOYOTA 4X4 RESERVE
Tel: +27 (0) 44 272 4576 Contact Person: Jannie du Toit, Description: Oudtshoorn
ROOIRIVIER 4X4 TRAIL
Tel: +27 (0) 44 241 2265 or +27 (0) 82 771 8627 Contact Person: Henry en Martie van der Westhuizen, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Difficulty of trail: 3 – 4, Description: De Rust
BAKENSKRAAL 4X4 ROUTE
Tel: +27 (0) 82 443 3226, Contact Person: Richard Mollentze, Website: www.4x4ineden.co.za, Description: Oudtshoorn
Tel: +27 (0) 28 551 2177, Situated approximately 33km north-west of Ladismith. At present there are 3 marked 4×4 routes and 1 route that is guided. Description: Ladismith
Enquiries: +27 (0) 44 874 2184 Situated near the Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve south-east of Calitzdorp and South-west of Oudtshoorn, Duration: 2 days, Website:www.capenature.co.za, Description: Oudtshoorn / Mossel Bay
GAMKA MOUNTAIN ZEBRA CROSSING 4X4 TRAIL
Tel: +27 (0) 44 2133 367 or +27 (0) 44 802 5310, Description: Situated 33km south-west of Oudtshoorn and 32km south-east of Calitzdorp, Distance: 75km Duration: 6 hours, website:www.capenature.org.za, Rating: 2
BURCHELL OX-WAGON ECO TRAIL
Tel: 044 272 5114 or 072 199 1919, Website: www.drive-out.co.za, Rating: 4, Description: Uniondale, Contact Person: Katot Meyer
ASSEGAAIBOSCH PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
Tel: +27 (0) 28 581 2440, Contact Person: Johan Boshoff, Email: email@example.com, Description: Vanwyksdorp
KAMMANASSIE NATURE RESERVE
Tel: +27 (0) 44 752 1110, Between De Rust/Dysselsdorp and Uniondale, Duration: 1 day
Tel: +27 (0) 44 2133 756 or +27 (0) 73 174 1028, Contact Person: Selma & Bennie Nel, Description: 13km from Calitzdorp, \
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Distance: 22km, Difficulty of trail: 2 – 4
BUFFELSPOORT ADVENTURE TRAILS
Tel: +27 (0) 84 351 2120, Contact Person: Hannes la Grange, Email: email@example.com, Difficulty of trail: 3 – 4, Description: Ladismith – Laingsburg
Tel: +27 (0) 44 2133 783, Description: Between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, 20km from Calitzdor, Duration: 30 – 45 minutes
Tel : +27 (0) 44 2133 786, Description: Between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn 20km from Calitzdorp, Duration: 1hr and 30 minutes
CHANDELIER GAME RESERVE
Tel: +27 (0) 44 874 3612 or +27 (0) 72 742 4405 or 082 450 2110, Contact Person: Gerrie Ferreira, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.chandelier.co.za, Description: Oudtshoorn
GOURITZ RIVER 4X4
Tel: +27 (0) 28 581 2439, Contact Person: Andre & Sandra Britz, Description: Calitzdorp/Vanwyksdorp