Swellendam is about two and a half hours drive inland from Cape Town and George and it’s one of the larger towns along the N2. It’s located in a beautifully scenic area of the Garden Route and lies at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. It lies adjacent to the Marloth Nature Reserve and the Bontebok National Park, which creates a spectacular back drop to this centre of agriculture in the Overberg.
Originally founded in the mid 1700’s as part of the colonial expansion of the Dutch East India Company in the Cape, it is officially the third oldest town in the whole of South Africa. Swellendam is also known for its Cape Dutch style historic buildings and other heritage-listed structures. Many of these structures now house museums, restaurants, guest houses and administrative offices.
The town is well established with first class amenities, but is still alludes to bygone days with its historic buildings and pastoral scenes. It attracts visitors of all kinds, but especially those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking in the mountains, horse riding and watersports. It also draws many foodies and wine enthusiasts who visit the many wine and olive estates that dot the surrounding area. The town is also known for its quality fresh produce and is home to some of South Africa’s most highly rated restaurants.
The greater Swellendam area hosts many festivals and exciting events throughout the year, but even in quieter periods visitors can enjoy the historic quaintness of the town and it’s sense of history.