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High up on the list of most attractive towns in the Cape Province, Swellendam lies in the shadows of the resplendent Langeberg Mountains and alongside the Cape’s largest water source, the Breede River.
The town is the third oldest in South Africa and at one brief stage in its history was an independent republic until the British colonised the country and dismantled the feeble structure.
Swellendam was established in 1740 and named in honour of the Dutch East India Governor Hendrik Swellengrebel and his wife, Helena ten Damme. The town was the administrative centre and magisterial district for the entire region, a thriving settlement until a fire and devastating drought led to its demise. However, Swellendam remains an important wool producing area and an enjoyable stopover for travellers on their way to the Garden Route.
There are over 50 buildings with national heritage classification, many of which are designed in Cape Dutch style. And the monolithic... Show more
For a more down to earth experience there are guest houses. Less expensive than hotels, they offer a more homey environment, as well as more privacy. Converted from a private house it’s a much gentler environment and for those with furry friends, there are also pet friendly options. They are usually well situated with shops and places of interest nearby. Being so small it offers a much more personal and intimate attention to it’s upkeep, leaving you with a more polished and homely experience.