Calvinia is situated in the Hantam Karoo region, at the foot of the Hantam Mountains in the Northern Cape, which is the largest province in South Africa. The original name of the town and the area was 'Hantam' which originated from the Khoi word '!Han=ami', which means 'the mountain where the red bulbs grow'.
Founded in 1851 on the Oorlogskloof River and named after religious reformer John Calvin, Calvinia is one of the South Africa's largest wool-producing areas.
Calvinia has a range of attractions, including spectacular wild flowers in spring, the annual Vleisfees (Meat Festival) in August, the Akkerendam Nature Reserve and a giant post box.
The Akkerendam Nature Reserve offers two trails across the Hantam Mountain. Calvinia's amazing starry night sky is also a great attraction for many city-dwellers.