- Getaway Magazine - http://www.getaway.co.za -

The colours of Calvinia

Calvinia is small. It’s a dusty town ringed by copper mountains and creaky windmills. Once a year, its weathered face blossoms with colour as spring flowers and flurried visitors take over. But what’s it like during the rest of the year? We sent Online Editor Kati Auld [1] to go find out. Teagan Cunniffe [2] snapped the pics.

Also read: A guide to Calvinia [3]


For the last hundred kilometres, I’ve only seen straight lines and crows. The R27 cuts through the brown corduroy of a late summer Karoo with no meandering. So when the Hantam mountains rear up above my dashboard, it’s not surprising that they too are straight, a second horizon above the first. The town is surrounded on all sides, fitting into the mountains like a nail in a horseshoe. In Calvinia, you are very, very small. A local tells me that she stays here because in the mountains she can hear the voices of the gods. -Kati Auld [1]


Read her story about the real characters and colours of Calvinia in the July 2015 issue of Getaway Magazine [4].


Photo by Teagan Cunniffe [5]

Crisp blue skies mark the days. (Photographers, bring your polarising filter!).

Photo by Teagan Cunniffe [6]

After finding this windmill on one of the oldest farms around Calvinia, I decided to stay for sunset, watching the land turn from burnt orange to dusky pink.

Photo by Teagan Cunniffe [7]

The dry ground throws up dust at the slightest disturbance, so when this horse decided to roll, a plume of dirt haloed around it.

Photo by Teagan Cunniffe [8]

The restaurant at Hantam Huis, and the Calvinia Museum are both worth a visit.

Photo by Teagan Cunniffe [9]

Friendly dogs and their people are found throughout the town. On the outskirts, Owl’s Nest olive grove flourishes under the white sunlight.

Photo by Teagan Cunniffe [10]

Back at the windmill – but this time for sunrise.


This article first appeared in the July 2015 issue of Getaway magazine.

Get this issue → [11]

For the full story and guide to visiting Calvinia, pick up a copy of the July issue where you’ll also find other great travel ideas: canoe the Orange River, beach it up on the Seychelles for R400pppn and learn to ski in the Alps for under R20000, including lessons, gear hire, flights and accommodation.