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  In the town of: Calitzdorp:

The Old School House - Self Catering - Matjiesvlei

   By Colin on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 09:51 pm: Edit Post

The Old School House is situated in Matjies Valley. The valley lies at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountain Range on the banks of the Gamka River outside Calitzdorp.

On 21 November 1911 G.C. le Grange sold a piece of his farm Matjiesvlei to the Dutch Reformed Church for ten pounds sterling. A school was erected for the thriving Matjiesvlei community. The school building was converted into a church each Sundays for services.

The school was the centre of activity in the valley until the early 1960’s, when due to a lack of funds and reduced population in the valley, it was sold. It remained unoccupied until August 2001 when the building was transformed into a guesthouse.

Visitors to The Old School House can choose from a variety of activities. You can try a challenging hike up the Gamka River through the ‘Poort’, the gap between the Klein and Groot Swartberg Mountains, into Gamkaskloof (known by weary travellers as ‘Die Hel’). Or take a relaxing walk through the different kloofs and koppies of the valley.

You can swim in the Gamka River or fish from its banks – the Geelvis are said to provide the opportunity for particularly good fly-fishing. Amongst other birding opportunities (the Calitzdorp area has the highest concentration of the Pale Chanting Goshawk in the Southern Hemisphere), the proximity of the river means that you can often see Fish Eagle, Kingfisher, Cormorant and Grey Heron.

You can take an outing to the nearby town of Calitzdorp (12km), famous for its award-winning Port wines.

You can enjoy the environment of the mixed farming activities of the valley. Or simply do nothing.

For more photographs, please go to:
Contact Colin Lumb at lumb@absamail.co.za

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