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Hantam Huis

Hantam Huis

As the oldest authentic house in the town of Calvinia, South Africa, Hantam Huis is the tourist center of this quaint town. Proving themselves leaders in conservation and restoration, the owners of Hantam House carefully restored this mid-1800s treasure, eventually earning it national monument status. Hantam Huis currently serves locals and tourists alike through its licensed restaurant, museum, and curio shop featuring handcrafted merchandise.

Meals at the restaurant feature traditional fare, from bread and cake served alongside “moerkoffie” to rooibos tea and ginger beer prepared from an old family recipe. Hantam Huis is the restaurant of choice for the occupants of local guesthouses, including Dorphius, Hantam Herberg, Calvinia Lodge, Tuishuis, Lighthart Huis, Stigling Street 38, and Skitterland.

Breakfasts feature everything from fruit and porridge to bacon, eggs, and “tortoise” (lambsliver wrapped in cauls). Lunch consists of lighter fare, with a variety of homemade pies, fresh vegetables, and French salads. At dinner (often served by romantic candlelight), seasonal fare presides. Particularly for large groups touring the area during flower season, a favorite is mutton on a spit served with a variety of traditional sides and homemade desserts.

August and September are Calvinia’s busy season due to the arrival of spring and its incredible wildflowers. Known as the Namaqualand wildflower spectacle, this magnificent floral display is one of nature’s most incredible miracles with 250 flowers per square meter. Thousands of visitors flock to the Northern Cape to view this spectacle, but Calvinia remains a hidden, almost undiscovered gem.

Besides the wildflower displays, the region offers several other interesting attractions. Calvinia Museum, the SA Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland, the Akkeerendam Nature Reserve and Hiking Trail, as well as a variety of glacier tracts, dinosaur footprints, and unique local architecture make Calvinia and its surrounding landscapes a destination worth a trip off of the normal tourist path.

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