Wildlife, Hot Springs & Cultural Experiences

Calitzdorp & Oudtshoorn


Calitzdorp Spa is situated about 19.5km from the small town of Calitzdorp. The Spa is well known for its heeling powers and people come from over the world to come and relax in our warm and pleasant waters.

Link: Calitzdorp Spa


6 trails from 20 min – 2 days Gamka Mountain is an isolated mountain range in the Little Karoo, lying between the Swartberg and Reserve (9 428ha) comprises virtually the entire mountain range and is situated 33 km south-west of Oudtshoorn and 32 km south-east of Calitzdorp. The name Gamka is derived from the Khoekhoen (“Hottentot”) word gami, meaning lion. The Reserve was established in 1974 in order to conserve a local population of endangered Cape mountain zebra and their natural habitat. The terrain is rugged, with mountainous plateaux consist of table Mountain quartzites and shales, and Bokkeveld sandstone and shales.

Link: Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve


Die Hel in the Gamkakloof Valley was first inhabited by farmers in 1830. It was accessible only by foot until 1963 when a road was built winding from the Swartberg Pass down into this remote valley. Before the road, a ‘donkey trail’ over the Swartberg Mountain from Calitzdorp to Die Hel was the only commercial life line with the outside world. This historic ‘donkey trail’ start at Hans and Erika Calitz family farm ‘Living Waters near Calitzdorp. The Donkey Trail will be a three night, two day hike over the Swartberg Mountains to Die Hel. Supplies and equipment are to be carried by donkey. The trail package will include comfortable accommodation at Living Waters, Wyenek Camp and Die Hel. Wholesome meals, guides, donkeys and return transport will also be provided. The trail is +/- 11 km from Living Waters to Wyenek Camp and +/- 14 km from Wyenek Camp to Die Hel. The Wyenek Camp site is +/- 800m above Living Waters. 25 kilometers in total.

Link: The Donkey Trail


In the quaint village of Calitzdorp you will Gallery Route 62 which once had a life as a trading store beginning in the 1860s. It has now been restored and houses art works by established artists David Kantey, Thomas Jung, Penny Rudder and Helen Schaffer in oils, acrylic and batik. We also have bronzes by well known Plettenberg Bay sculptors Malcolm Soloman and Kevin Krog. The gallery is continuously obtaining more artworks and superior craft items so that every visit will be a new experience. Turn off the Route 62 at Van Riebeck street signposted for De Krans and Boplaas cellars and pass the sandstone Dutch reformed chuch. At the corner turn right into Koningin Street and follow the road passed Die Handelshuis and Karoo Life B & B. We are no 16 Koningin Street on the right hand side. Do come and visit. We are open weekdays and Saturdays 9.30to 5 ish. Closed on Wednesdays and by appointment on Sundays.

With over 330 sunshine days a year, Oudtshoorn is a great place for Outdoor activities. Surrounded by mountain ranges and blessed with a rich variety of bird and plant life the Klein Karoo reveals it’s beauty to those who get out and make the effort to explore.

WILGEWANDEL HOLIDAY FARM – Camel Rides, Walking trails, Animals to feed, Donkey cart rides, Restaurant.

Link: Wilgewandel Holiday Farm

MEERKATS – View Wild Meerkats! All of this knowledge, all of his years of experience, can now be witnessed first-hand in Oudtshoorn, where Grant has habituated a group of wild meerkats to the benefit of science, conservation and you. If you’re interested to learn more about Grant and the amazing world of meerkats please contact him using the link below.

Link: The Merkaat Man

SWARTBERG ADVENTURES – Take a quad bike on a quiet trail with beautiful mountain scenery until you reach a hidden waterfall. Learn to abseil under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Go on an exciting caving adventure. Take a hike. Enjoy a scenic drive.

THANDO’S TOWNSHIP TOURS – Thando will take you on an exciting tour through the Bongolethu Township where you will see the most interesting places and meet the warmest people. You will get an insight in the consequences of forced removal by the apartheid government and see how the people live these days.

Link: Thando’s Township Tours

BUFFELSDRIFT GAME LODGE – Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is a sprawling game farm in the Cango Valley at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. Pristine bushveld, lush vegetation and a 5 ha dam provides a haven for 20 game species and more than 217 bird species.

Link: Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

MINWATER ECO ADVENTURES – Get back to Nature. Learn more about biodiversity and the Succulent Karoo. Choose from a variety of 4×4 or hiking trails. Stay in a bushcamp and see unbelievable night skies.

Link: Minwater Eco Adventures

CANGO CAVES – 29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lies the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo – the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well known Swartberg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.

OSTRICH SHOW FARMS – During your visit experience the world’s largest flightless bird which lays the largest egg, has the most beautiful feathers and eyes that make you want to fall in love and hug them. You can enjoy riding the birds at your own risk, stand on their eggs, touch the birds and cuddle the chicks all in approximately 1½ hours.

CANGO WILDLIFE RANCH – The Cango Wildlife Ranch, oldest and largest cheetah contact center worldwide where you can see and feel a huge variety of animals including Africa’s spotted king, the cheetah. From the slithering snake to the majestic lion, you will find all you want here.

Link: Cango Wildlife Ranch

CULTURAL EXPERIENCES – Ma Betty Jantjies is a prominent resident of Oudtshoorn’s Bongolethu Township and a Xhosa purist. She runs her authentic Xhosa village with pride and diligence. Together with a women’s group she prepares food according to old Xhosa traditions.

Link: Ma Betty’s Xhosa Cultural Village

Our tip

What type of tourist are you? Are you traveling through? Chasing the popular spots and tourist magnets?

Wouldn’t you prefer authentic holidays? Experience things that others never come across, meet the cultures and local people, enjoy their cuisine, and share with them?

Kurt has lived in South Africa for over 20 years and still travels regularly to Southern Africa. He understands both worlds, he can show you the uniqueness of our country from a local’s point of view combined with your ideas.

There is just more than just to travel from point A to point B.

Find out more on his website:

Link: www.africainprivate.com