Photos: Atelier Design Studio, Swellendam
Swellendam, in the heart of the Overberg, lying on the foot of the beautiful Langeberg mountains. It is the third oldest settlement in South Africa with many charming historical buildings and vast surroundings to explore. Swellendam has a historic and vibrant agricultural community. Situated in a picturesque region near the southernmost tip of Africa, where time-old traditions and good food meet modern flair.
WHAT TO DO
This beautiful enchanting garden of 3.5 hectares house all you require for a totally relaxing, luxurious escape. From the secluded garden echoing with beautiful bird sounds to a full lush African scenery. On a hot Summer’s Day slip into the cool salt water pool, or relax in the heated Jacuzzi, overlooking our Eco-Reserve with Zebra and Springbok, or chill-out in shaded loungers in many of the hidden places on the grounds.
An ideal setting for a relaxing holiday with an unforgettable stay.
Bontebok National Park is a species-specific national park in South Africa, located on the banks of the Breede River, just 1km from Swellendam. When the Bontebok species were fast approaching extinction in the early 1800s some land owners set aside portions of their properties to form a temporary reserves for the Bontebok. It was then established in 1931 and made into a National Park to ensure the preservation of the Bontebok. It is the smallest of South Africa's National Parks, covering only an area of 27.86 km. The park is also part of the Cape Floristic Region, which is a World Heritage Site.
The Drostdy Museum, is one of the key buildings of Swellendam, and worth the virtual visit to educate yourself about the South African heritage. Located in the oldest part of Swellendam, it was built by the Dutch East India Trading Company in 1747 to serve as residence and official headquarters for the Landdrost. Soon after that a Gaol, a house for the secretary, and a mill and various other buildings were erected. It was in the hands of the Steyn family until 1939 when it was bought by the government of the Union of South Africa for the purpose of establishing a museum. Voted number three of the best Museum is the Country by its visitors, it is definitely a place to explore.
De Hoop is one of the largest natural areas managed by Cape Nature. This beautiful reserve is a favourite for hikers, cyclists, bird and whale watchers. The reserve, which is 34 000 hectares, is just one hour from Swellendam. Very few other reserves offer such a complete outdoor experience as De Hoop – sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse animals and the Potberg Mountains. The activities offered are endless you can choose between various day walks through the rich fynbos plains or along the deserted coastline, or mountain biking along the many gravel roads or scenic game drives. Lazing on the beach and snorkeling in the many turquoise rock pools is simply another way to pass a rewarding day.
Marloth Nature Reserve offers many diverse hiking trails. Named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents, petitioned the Minister of Lands and Forestry in 1928 to set aside part of the mountain as a nature reserve. During 1981, the reserve was enlarged to include the rest of the State Forest and the Swellendam hiking trail was opened. Hidden away in the imposing Mountains, most trails lead into the cool green depths of the indigenous forest remnants where rock pools, waterfalls and ancient trees wait to be explored. The walks are generally short (between 2km and 5km) and reasonably easy.
Only 30 minutes drive from Swellendam on the popular R60, lies the Robertson Wine Valley. Nestled between the Langeberg and Riviersonderend Mountain ranges, this wine route offers a landscape of flower fringed roads, majestic mountains, a river running through the valley and above all, world class wines. Family wineries from Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson, work closely together to bring you the most memorable wine experiences.
The Swellendam Golf course was designed and built by Ken Elkin just after World War Two and is rated as one of the top nine hole golf courses in the country. It is nestled at the foot of the magnificent Langeberg mountains, with views overlooking the town, surrounding farms and the Hermitage Valley. There is a good variety of difficulty, which offers a true test for all levels of golfers. Open to the public 7 days a week, welcoming visitors local and abroad.
The rocky headland of Cape Agulhas is the place where two great oceans ( Indian and Atlantic ) meet. It's also the spot at which to have one's photo taken as it is the official Southernmost tip of Africa. The old lighthouse museum a couple of hundred meters away is also wonderful to visit as it is a National Monument.