Caledon is situated on the N2 national road in the Overberg region in the Western Cape province of South Africa, located about 113 kilometres (70 mi) east of Cape Town next to mineral-rich hot springs. As of 2011 it had a population of 13,020. It is located in, and the seat of, the Theewaterskloof Local Municipality.
The town has a Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Temperatures are modified by its close proximity to the South Atlantic Ocean, just over the Klein River Mountains to the south.
The place was originally known in Dutch as “Bad agter de Berg” (Bath Behind the Mountain). A bath house was built in 1797 and a village called Swartberg sprang up, which was later renamed Caledon in honor of the Irish peer Du Pre Alexander. Caledon is famous for its hot springs, discovered by the early Khoi-Khoi people before the Europeans attributed healing properties to the iron-rich waters and opened a sick house and later a sanatorium, which was destroyed by fire. The seven springs, one of which is cold and the other six thermal, are warmed by contact with rocks heated by pressure deep under the ground to a steady temperature of 49.5° Celsius. Interestingly, the waters of Caledon are also free of any organic matter and when submitted, in 1893, to the Chicago World Fair, they were awarded first prize as the world’s top quality mineral waters.
The Caledon district is primarily an agricultural region. Most agricultural activities involve grain production with a certain amount of stock farming. The town is locally well known for the Caledon Spa and Casino and for its rolling hills and yellow canola fields in spring.
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.
The Caledon garden has an annual show during September at the time of year that best displays the abundant array of indigenous wild flowers that bloom in this season.
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.