You name what you love, and chances are that the many-splendoured “dorpie” (small town) of Swellendam will oblige. Swellendam undoubtedly adds immensely to the magic of the Western Cape’s Overberg region, with people as warm and welcoming as the day is long. It also holds rank as one of South Africa’s very oldest settlements, and so it is aburst with the curiosities of history. Swellendam is also well endowed with fine stayovers, great eateries and activities galore. What’s more, it makes a superb route-breaker between Cape Town and the Garden Route.

The Arum Lily Garden Suite at Augusta De Mist, Swellendam
The Arum Lily Garden Suite at Augusta De Mist, Swellendam

Staying Over in Swellendam
Our recommendation is a lifestyle retreat called Augusta De Mist. It’s vibrant, it’s swish-vintage and it’s asplash with all sorts of divinely quirky touches. The owners pride themselves – and quite rightly so – on offering a warm guesthouse experience akin to staying with good friends. The breathtaking gardens make a wonderful refuge for jaded city dwellers. Actually, it’s right out of this world! And it’s a place where the details matter. Fresh flowers, complementary port, a CD music collection and a selection of teas are among the many comforts in the suites. Hospitality is tops, and the food and wine is fabulous.  Mail us to book.

Check availability at Augusta De Mist.

The Faerie Sanctuary in Swellendam
The Faerie Sanctuary in Swellendam

Things To Do in Swellendam

  • Wildebraam Berry Estate is situated on a working berry farm in the Hermitage Valley, a short way from the town. The Langeberg Mountains, horse paddocks and beautiful gardens set the scene for seasonal berry picking, tastings, hiking and more.
  • Marloth Nature Reserve stretches from the periphery of town to the top of the Langeberg mountains. Walk through indigenous forest to stunning waterfalls, and possibly see klipspringer, duiker and rhebok.
  • Bontebok Nature Reserve lies sandwiched between the Langeberg Mountains and the Breede River, and is inhabited by bontebok, zebra, red hartebeest, grey rhebok and scores of birds including secretary birds and fish eagles.
  • Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve is an indigenous forest that can be explored on foot or on mountain bike.
  • De Hoop Marine Park and Nature Reserve makes a fantastic day trip from Swellendam, enchanting visitors with its immense sand dunes, pristine beaches and clear rock pools. In season the whale watching is supreme!
  • Cape Agulhas and Struis Bay are an hour’s drive away.
  • Railton Township Tour is a walking tour of the local township where many cultures live. Experience a local shebeen (local pub), taste traditional Xhosa beer made from maize and malt, and meet a local Sangoma (healer).
  • Kunste Huijs fine art gallery has an excellent collection of South African art.
  • Faerie Sanctuary
  • Canoeing on the Breede River.
  • Robertson Wine Route.
Augusta De Mist's Mutton Casserole
Augusta De Mist’s Mutton Casserole

Eating in Swellendam
From casual family eateries to quaint “stoep” (verandah) cafes and more highbrow culinary havens, Swellendam has plenty to tantalize the tastebuds.

Culture and History in Swellendam
The Drostdy Museum in Swellendam holds the 2014 title of Best Museum in the Western Cape – and not the first time the Drostdy has had this accolade.

Mail us to book accommodation in Swellendam or elsewhere in South Africa, or call 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 21 797-7122 (international).