According to legend, Vioolsdrift is named after “Jan Viool”, who is said to have played the violin in this area in the nineteenth century. Some say that he was a Nama man, who usually accompanied the ox wagons that traversed the drift.
The valley is very hot, but watering allows the cultivation of crops. The area around Vioolsdrift is almost uninhabited. Plans in the 1990s to relocate the village to a more suitable location were never implemented. There are two seasons. The short winter lasts from around May to July. There is almost no rain and the weather is hot. The summer lasts from August to April. It is then very hot and there is no significant rain. Vioolsdrift is officially one of the hottest places in South Africa. The average annual temperature is 24 ° C and temperatures above 30 ° C are measured on average 220 days (60%) of the year. Daytime temperatures in excess of 43 ° C and nighttime temperatures of 27 ° C occur regularly in the summer.