Calvinia is a town which is located in the Northern Cape, approximately 3-5 hours from Cape Town. Calvinia falls within the Karoo region of South Africa with temperatures which can reach as high as and above 40° C and as low as – 8° C.

This is ideal sheep farming territory with the weather conditions which prevail.

A Dutch Reformed church was founded in Calvinia on the 19th of January 1847 to service the Hantam community.

Abraham van Wyk owned a farm Hoogekraal, of which 1200 hectares was sold to the Dutch Reformed Church. The first reverend of the church decided to honour John Calvin and named the town. In 1851 the town was officially named Calvinia.

Afrikaans is till the predominant language spoken in the region.

Being a working, thriving farming community, Calvinia has schools to cater for the needs of the learners. Travel, due to the size of the farms, may be a slight burden and for this reason some of the schools offer boarding houses.

Schools in the region are:

  • Hantam Secondary School
  • Calvinia High School
  • Calvinia Primary School

The source of income or rather the main source of income is thus Merino and Dorper Sheep which is supplied to South Africa for consumption.

The main attraction in the town is the Hantam Meat Festival held annually with braais and family feasts.

Calvinia has some rare flora like the “Star Tree” or the Cliffortia Arboreais which is rare and indigenous to the Karoo.

The Karoo is the ideal place to do some serious star gazing with 80% clarity. The other attraction is the wild flowers which are in bloom the same time as the Namaqualand flowers and just as spectacular.

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