South Africa :: Northern Cape (Great Karoo)
Category: Places :: Town Medium
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Calvinia, on the stunning Oorlogskloof River, lies at the foot of the dolerite-topped Hantam Mountains in the Northern Cape province of South Africa about halfway between Cape Town and Upington. The town was founded in 1851 and named Hantam', a Khoi-Khoi word meaning Mountain where the red edible flowers bloom. The town is located in the Bushmanland region, also known as the Dorsland. After the first Dutch-Reformed church was built, the minister insisted in changing the name to Calvinia after the Swiss reformer Johannes Calvin. Calvinia is the trading and service centre of the merino and dorper sheep breeders in the region. The Hantam Karoo is one of the country's largest wool-producing areas. The 2500 hectares Akkerendam Nature Reserve lies in the Hantam mountains, 2 km north of Calvinia. There is primary and high school in town. Calvinia is a quiet, small town, with not much going on.
|Address :||Tourism Office, Karoo, South Africa|
|Contact :||Calvinia Tourism Information|
|Tel :||+27(0)27 341 8100|
|Tel2 :||+27(0)27 341 8130|
|Fax :||+27(0)27 341 8128|
|Cellphone Reception :||Good||Main Cellular Network :||CellC. MTN. Vodacom.|
Calvinia lies approx. 420 kms north of Cape Town. One can drive via Clanwilliam and then take the R364 (gravel road) via the Pakhuis Pass. If you prefer tarred roads, stay on the N7 until Vanrhynsdorp and then turn right onto the R27 via Nieuwoudtville. Only suitable is The road through the Cedarberg and via Wuppertal is only suitable for 4WD vehicles.
|Police Station :||Yes||Police Telephone :||+27(0)27 341 1481|
|Hospital :||Yes||Hospital Telephone :||+27(0)27 341 8020|
|Doctor :||Yes||Doctor Telephone :||+27(0)27 341 1708|
|Tourist Information :||Yes||Tourist Information Telephone :||+27(0)27 341 8131|
|Petrol :||Yes||Petrol Type :||Leaded & Unleaded.|
|Towing Service :||Yes||Towing Service Telephone :||+27(0)83 373 6707|
|Facilities :||Shops, General Dealer, Bank, ATM, Lodging, Camping, Butchery, Bakery, Liquor, Restaurant, Pharmacy, Airstrip, Tyre Repair, Tyre Sales, Mechanical Repair|
|Other Facilities :||Auto Dealer. Showgrounds. Power Station/Substation.|
|Hiking Trails, Golf, Swimming, Bird Watching|
|More Activities :||4x4.|
|Notes on Activities :||(Some activities may be offered nearby).|
There are 24 hour garages in town. (Sep-12).
Hospital no. given for Abraham Esau Public Hospital. Doctor no. given for Dr. Van Niekerk.
If tourism info no. is offline - contract Avril Pieterse at +27(0)78 138 3361, or Namakwa Municipality at +27(0)27 341.
The R355 from Calvinia, past the Tankwa Karoo NP, to Ceres, is generally in good condition. It has been reported that due to the small hard stones on the surface, it could cause tyre punctures. But the road is well graded, not many potholes, and can be comfortably driven with a sedan. (January 2015).
A good time to visit is the end of August, when Calvinia hosts their 'Meat Festival' (Vleis fees).
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