Caledon is famous for its 49.5° Celsius hot springs, discovered by the early Khoi-Khoi people before the Europeans attributed healing properties to the iron-rich waters .
The Caledon wild flower garden is world-renowned and forms part of a reserve at the entrance to Venster Kloof, so called because of an interesting rock, which looks like a window.
You can hike through the Nature Reserve to experience the indigenous fynbos vegetation, indigenous trees, prolific bird life and flowers, as well as the gorgeous mountain views of the Swartberg.
Caledon Wildflower Garden, also known as the Venster Kloof Nature Garden is a wonderful space in which to spend quality time with your family or friends.
It is called Venster Kloof not only because it lies just on the edge of the kloof of that name, but also after a particularly noticeable rock formation that forms a window or ‘venster’ as it is known in Afrikaans.
The wildflower garden has a 10km hike through natural mountain fynbos all the way to the Swartberg summit.
There is a little dam quite near the entrance, fields of daisies (depending on the time of year you are there), a rocky kloof filled with aloes that leads up into the mountains around Caledon, and a fairly extensive network of paths that take a while to walk. The central parts of the garden, in particular, are beautiful, and during spring (around September) rather inspiring through which to stroll.
The gardens have views out over Caledon and a number of places to rest and drink in the surrounding flowers and plants. The garden is apparently landscaped on land bequeathed to the municipality by Queen Victoria in 1899. The garden was established in 1927 and forms part of the greater nature reserve up on the Swartberg Mountain north of Caledon.
The Caledon Museum is split into two buildings depicting very different parts of local history.
The Victorian House houses an abundance of artifacts that reflect the true spirit and legacy of the community. Artworks by renowned Cape artist and poet Peter E Clarke, representing Teslaarsdal, are also exhibited here.
The house has artefacts from 1840 to 1900 so take a step back in time and find out how things worked then.
At the Masonic Lodge you’ll be given a visual historic recollection of the coloured community of the area before the Group Areas Act was put into place in the 1950’s.
There are also facilities for research with access to the museum’s reference works as well as local newspapers from 1925 to date.
|Tuesday-Sundays||10:00 am – 7:00 pm|
The mineral rich hot springs produces over a million litres of water daily and has an average temperature at source of 65 degrees Celsius.
The distinctive brown colour of the water is due to the rich iron content, known as chalybeate. The oily layers found on the surface of the pools is due to the high mineral content of the spring waters and varies in density from time to time depending on weather conditions.
The mineral pools are completely drained and filled every week giving our guests the very best of the hot spring waters in the pools.
Mineral water contents: Iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulphate, sodium,silica, bicarbonate and chloride with a ph of 7.2
|Tuesday – Sunday||09:00 am – 7:00 pm|
The central character on the Caledon blue crane route in the Overberg area of the Western Cape is South Africa’s national bird. You’ll find plenty of blue cranes in this incredibly fertile wheat- and barley farming area as you drive along the N2 highway from Cape Town. The farmers themselves, proud of the cranes, initiated the route.
The blue crane is one of Africa’s stateliest birds. Its feathers have been worn by royalty, its face has adorned the South African 5c piece and the sight of flocks settling across the fields of the Overberg is a majestic one.
The best way to enjoy a Caledon blue crane route is to pull over, cut the engine, stay in your car and take out the long camera lens or binoculars. These birds are easily startled and you may expose some freshly laid crane eggs to the elements and various predators by chasing the adults away.
Caledon is but one town in the Overberg region. A drive through the area is balm for the soul. There are charming roadside shops, picnic spots, small towns and landscapes to enjoy, and in no time you’re on the rocks at Walker Bay in Hermanus, watching the evening parade of Southern Right whales and their calves showing off in the waters below – a non-avian perk of this South African bird tour.
From Hermanus, move on to Stanford and then Gansbaai, where the adventurous go out to sea and dive with great white sharks. From there, one crosses the Agulhas Plain to beautiful Arniston and then to Bredasdorp via the Moravian village of Elim. All along the way, there are possible sightings of blue cranes.