Calitzdorp is the fruit-bowl of the Little Karoo and source of
the country's finest port wines. Nowhere is the authentic character
of a Little Karoo community and the unique architecture of the region
better preserved than here.
Calitzdorp, is surrounded by three mountain ranges - the Swartberg
to the north, the leopard-haunted Rooiberge to the south and the
mountains of the Huisrivierpass to the west. Although less arid
than the Great Karoo, the land is no less challenging - with flash
floods, droughts and winters that can clad the mountain slopes with
In the nearby Gamkaberg Nature Reserve there are Cape Mountain
Zebra (an endangered species with fewer than 800 zebra in existence),
baboons and various species of antelope and raptor.
The largest concentration in the southern hemisphere of the Pale
Chanting Gosh Hawk is found here as well as more than 160 other
The architecture of Calitzdorp is a cultural treasure, and includes
English-influenced Karoo styles with a mix of Regency, Edwardian
and Victorian features, many constructed around the neo-Byzantine
Dutch Reformed Church.
The variety of architecture in Calitzdorp is well-known to architects
and social historians and includes many historic old farm buildings
in the district.
For the exploration minded visitor Calitzdorp is an ideal base
- situated on the popular Route 62.
Just over the Swartberg Mountains - via the Swartbergpass, stretches
the vastness of the Great Karoo only an hour and 20 minutes drive
to the South lies Indian Ocean and one of the worlds fascinating
coast lines. And it is also within easy motoring distance of the
sub tropical forest of Knysna.
Besides the Swartberg and the Rooibergpass, at least five other
passes link the Little Karoo to other areas. The Little Karoo itself
is a valley some hundred and sixty km long with Calitzdorp at its
Calitzdorp has a typically Karoo-type climate. It falls within
the winter rainfall area, but locals will tell you " It rains
when it wants to". It doesn't want to very often. Average rainfall
about 120mm per year.
The winters are bracing and cool but no enough so prevent some
tourists from walking round in open-necked shirts. Summer temperatures
can reach over 40degrees but are relieved by a daily breeze of ocean
air drawn up the river valleys.
Calitzdorp hosts the oldest estates and cellars build in the Klein
Karoo Region. It is also the home of World known Quality Ports.
The port-wines produced in Calitzdorp are excellent because port-grape
varieties prefer a hot, dry, climate such as that of Calitzdorp.
A number of similarities between the climate of Calitzdorp and the
world-renowned Douro Valley in Portugal exist.
Calitzdorp has a special charm that will ensure your first visit
isn't your last.
How to get there
Calitzdorp is situated in the middle between Cape Town and Port
Elizabeth. The only tar road to get to Calitzdorp is the R62.
Back roads exist over Gamka Mountain from Vanwyksdorp and Via Swartberg
Mountains Prince Albert's Side. The Seweweeks Poort will provide
you with a route from Laingsburg Side.
Ladysmith 50 km
Cape Town 400 km
Oudtshoorn 50 km
George 105 km
Mossel Bay 130 km