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Kind hearted and down to earth natured people.
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 Dutch Reformed church dominates the skyline.
Top 6 reasons to visit Swellendam
1. Your first stop should be the Drostdy Museum, a series of buildings showcasing a typical 18th century farm scene with old craftsmen tools on display and an old gaol, now used as a restaurant.
2. Hikers will enjoy the hiking trails laid out in the Marloth Game Reserve. The routes pass rock pools, a waterfall and an ancient forest. The two peaks called 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock are both over 1km in height, enough to see the ocean 80km away!
3. Youngberries are grown in Swellendam. Visit the tasting room at Wildebraam Berry Estate to try the various berry liqueurs and pick up a bag of fresh berries. Youngberry picking takes place at the end of the year and the public are invited to pick their own and pay by the kilogram.
4. The Breede River is a fishing hotspot, expect... Show more