About The Red Hills

The valley in which the little Karoo town of Calitzdorp rests, beneath its prominent red hills stretching, virtually, all the way to De Rust (you can’t help but notice them whilst driving Route 62, particularly at sunrise or sunset when their vividness is accentuated), was once a lake.

Did you know? To experience the hills take the 50 km round-trip along the Groenfontein road into the Red Hills via the Calitzdorp Dam (great to cool off en route).

It is small wonder then that the vines and other agriculture grown on either side of the Nels and Gamka Rivers is as productive as it is.

The locals call this Kannaland. But the explanation of these red hills dates way back to before the dawn of man when the continent of Gondwana split up setting Africa free from its attachment to South America and Australia, India and Antarctica. Over countless years the crust of the earth transformed itself, stretching and cracking with accompanying earthquakes and storms that left the earth irrevocably changed.

Africa slowly morphed into the continent we know today. The Oudtshoorn Basin emerged out of the crust extending west to Calitzdorp along the base of the Swartberg Mountains.

Rivers carried with them huge amounts of rock and scree to deposit them on the shores of lakes. Today these strange rocks that seem to have emerged out of nowhere are known as the Buffelskloof Formation.

Some of these rock sediments are rich in Hermatite, an iron mineral which oxidises in a humid climate into a reddish colour. These red, gravel sediments came to rest on the north side of the Oudtshoorn basin, but over 100 million years most of it has eroded, leaving only isolated koppies in a band that stretches between Calitzdorp and De Rust.

These are the Red Hills of Calitzdorp. Weathering over the years (although just how many years is difficult to gauge because there are virtually no fossil remains in the rocks) has broken through many of these leaving little overhangs, caves and some incredible features like Hole-in-the-Wall.

Need to Know

WhereThe Red Hills, Calitzdorp, Little / Klein Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenAlways open.

OvernightStay in Calitzdorp Accommodation, Western Cape

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Stay at The Red Hills

Bed & Breakfast

The Retreat At Groenfontein

Sleeps 15 people in 6 units

This Victorian farmhouse is set in the secluded Groenfontein Valley and offers Klein-Karoo ... more

Excellent [2 verified reviews]

  • tonight from
  • R
  • 2020
  • per room per night
    based on 2 persons
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instant booking possible

  • Rooms are not airconditioned
  • Free WiFi is available
  • No airport transfers
  • Free parking is available
  • Pets are allowed by prior arrangement
  • Swimming pool on site
  • Family friendly, children of all ages are welcome

Self Catering

Red Stone Hills

Sleeps 34 people in 8 units

Red Stone Hills farm is situated between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp, 6km on the Kruisrivier turn off, ... more

  • tonight from
  • R
  • 800
  • per room per night
    based on 2 persons
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instant booking possible

  • Airconditioned rooms are offered
  • Free WiFi is not offered
  • No airport transfers
  • No free parking
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Red Stone Hills does not have a swimming pool
  • Family friendly, children of all ages are welcome

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Calitzdorp

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FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / Karoo Accommodation / Calitzdorp Accommodation

Calitzdorp as a destination

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