One of the oldest towns in South Africa, Swellendam
boasts a rich heritage that draws together strands of
the cultures of the country’s earliest European
settlers. Swellendam is also well known for its
flourishing youngberry plantations, with acres of
brambles set against the towering peaks of the
Langeberg Mountain Range.
Swellendam is the perfect place to go if you wish to explore South Africa’s early colonial
history. The town is the third oldest European settlement in South Africa, and is home to a
number of historic buildings and fascinating museums.
The Drosdty Museum is Swellendam’s most famous heritage site. This collection of several
historic buildings dates back to the 18th century, and was once the residence of the town’s
governor. Today, the Drosdty Museum serves as both a beautiful example of early Cape Dutch
architecture as well as being one of South Africa’s premier museums.
Swellendam nature reserves
Visitors to Swellendam are spoilt for choice when it
comes to the large selection of nature reserves
bordering the town. The Bontebok National Park is
the area’s main game reserve and contains over 400
species of Cape fynbos, in addition to providing a
refuge for the rare Bontebok antelope.
Other natural attractions worth visiting near
Swellendam include the indigenous forests of the
Grootvaderbosch Nature Reserve, and the mountain
hiking trails of the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area. A number of exhilarating day-long hikes are
also available in the Marloth Nature Reserve, which is located in close proximity to
Berry picking and tasting
Whilst the Western Cape is best known for its vineyards, Swellendam has developed a
reputation as one of South Africa’s premier berry cultivation areas. Youngberries, blueberries
and blackberries flourish in the fertile foothills of the Langeberg, and numerous berry farms
are open to visitors.
A visit to the Berry Farm is a great family excursion, offering an opportunity to pick fresh
berries by t