Attractions

Top Choice Observatory in Sutherland

South African Astronomical Observatory

During the day you can take a guided tour of the huge research telescopes, including the Southern African Large Telescope, but it's the two-hour night tours that are the real draw. After a short video, you head outs…
National Park in Namakwa & the Hantam Karoo

|Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

South Africa’s remotest national park presents a barren but undeniably striking landscape filled with weird rock formations and sandy moonscapes dotted with otherworldly trees. This transfrontier park, which straddl…
National Park in Namakwa & the Hantam Karoo

Namaqua National Park

Your experience at Namaqua National Park depends a lot on when you visit. From October to July it's an extremely quiet place to hike or spot birds against the barren landscape. But once spring arrives, the shrub lan…
Nature Reserve in Springbok

Goegap Nature Reserve

This 150-sq-km semidesert reserve, 8km east of Springbok past the airstrip, supports some 600 indigenous plant species, 45 mammal species and 94 types of bird. It is one of the best places in the region to take a wa…
Gallery in Calvinia

Republic of Rustica

Stop at this ‘rustic art’ emporium to marvel at owner Dirk’s collection of found objects, vintage gear and general junk. Road signs, sheep skulls, tin cups, watering cans, bed pans, old shoes, bicycles and farm impl…
Park in Namakwa & the Hantam Karoo

Tankwa Karoo National Park

With a car with good clearance, you can access this 1430-sq-km park, where Tankwa desert moonscapes meet sheer Roggeveld cliffs. There's great birdwatching, and accommodation is available in the form of campsites, c…
Museum in Port Nolloth

Port Nolloth Museum

A ramshackle and well-loved little museum covering the region's diamond industry. The hotchpotch of exhibits is interesting enough but it's a chat with curator George Moyses that really makes this place shine. A dia…
Museum in Calvinia

Calvinia Museum

Housed in a former synagogue, this museum is surprisingly large and interesting for a small town. It concentrates on the white settlement of the region, with a section devoted to sheep farming, and has exhibits rang…
Nature Reserve in Calvinia

Akkerendam Nature Reserve

North of town, this 275-sq-km reserve has one- and two-day hiking trails. The best time to visit is spring, when the wildflower bloom carpets the mountainous terrain. Head to the municipal office for hiking permits.
Park in Nieuwoudtville

Hantam National Botanical Garden

There are gentle walks through this park, 4km south of the town. From August to October, this is a good place to spot wildflowers. Opening times are shorter the rest of the year (7.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday) b…