Swellendam is a beautiful town filled with history, situated in the Overberg region of the Western Cape province of South Africa. Swellendam is the third oldest settlement in South Africa after Cape Town and Stellenbosch, and is the gateway to the Garden Route.
The Dutch East India Company founded the town of Swellendam in 1745 as the last outpost of civilisation on the eastern frontier. By the middle of the 19th century, British settlers had colonized the eastern districts and Swellendam became a thriving centre.
Swellendam is a bustling tourist town offering visitors a variety of accommodation options, including luxury guest houses, Bed and Breakfast establishments and self-catering units.
The Hermitage Valley is the largest youngberry producer in the country and visitors are invited to visit some of the farms and taste the liqueur and other berry products on offer. Swellendam is also famous for the picturesque Koornlands River, its many ancient oak trees which line the streets, the Cape Dutch architecture with their thatch roofs, stately whitewashed homesteads.
Outdoor adventures and activities include backpacking in the mountains, the Marloth Nature Reserve, the Bontebok National Park and the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Visitors can also tour the wine route of the Breede River Valley, Montague and the Klein Karoo.
A picturesque 9 hole golf course with magnificent views of the Langeberg Mountains can be found just outside the town.
Other activities in the Swellendam area include: canoeing, water-skiing and the “watersnake” on the Buffeljachts Dam, Pot Se Vlot’s double dekker river boat on the Breede River and Two Feathers horse trails. The area is a nature lover's dream with an abundance of wild flowers and fynbos to be seen.
Wildlife such as the endangered Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra can be seen as well as Bushbuck, Klipspringer, Grey Rhebuck, Cape Grysbok, Baboon, Mongoose, Genet and the occasional Leopard can be found here, although rarely seen. You can view over 200 species of birds like the Waterfowl, Crowned eagle, the black eagle, Narina Trogon, Paradise Flycatcher and the Knysna Woodpecker.
Swellendam is home to some truly magnificent restaurants. This quaint rural village has something for everyone, from fine dining establishments to fast food joints and everything in between. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or an exquisite three-course meal, Swellendam has it all.
Swellendam has a thriving little business community and provides a wide range of goods and services to its residents and holiday makers. See our business directory for a list of businesses in Swellendam, or add your own free business listing. Do not miss the Under the Oaks craft market held in Swellendam every last Saturday of the month.