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Trip Planner Africa  /  South Africa  /  Northern Cape  /  Calvinia


National Parks · History Museums · Landmarks
Calvinia is a regional town in the Northern Cape province of South Africa named after the French religious reformer Jean Calvin. The town falls under the Hantam Local Municipality which forms part of the Namakwa District Municipality. The Calvinia district is part of the Great Karoo region of South Africa. The town is just south of the Hantam mountains on the banks of the Oorlogskloof (meaning "War Ravine") River.Calvinia enjoys 80% starlight and is renowned for its kaleidoscope of spring wildflowers coinciding with the Namaqualand wildflower spectacle.An asteroid (1245 Calvinia) is named after the town.HistoryThe earliest known people living in the area were Khoisan people. The first Europeans in the area were farmers who took their livestock to the area in the 1750s. Farmers received tracts of land in 1813.On 19 January 1847, at a meeting on the farm Tygerhoek, a new Dutch Reformed Church congregation was founded for the Hantam region. In 1848 the congregation bought 1,200 hectares of the farm Hoogekraal (Ramskop) from Abraham van Wyk.The name Hantam is derived from the Khoisan word !Han=ami, which refers to a plant with edible roots (Pelargonium bifolium, in Afrikaans "uintjies"). !Han=ami means "where the red bulbs grow".
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