Swellendam

We have all visited Swellendam before, and have never enjoyed it as much: Augusta de Mist has made it a destination, which is saying something. Four nights were hardly enough.
Rob on TripAdvisor, February 9 2011

Swellendam is conveniently situated at the crossroads between the Karoo, Route 62, Overberg, and Garden Route. An outdoor enthusiast’s dream with its doorstep position by Marloth, Bontebok, Grootvadersbosch and De Hoop, the town is undergoing a renaissance with art galleries and restaurants opening, and Capetonians discovering the reward at the end of the 2 hour drive. If you can manage to pull yourself away from the creature comforts of Augusta de Mist simply stroll to Swellendam’s finest. The estate is centrally located in the historic quarter near good restaurants and retail therapy.

THE AREA OFFERS A VARIETY OF SCENIC ROUTES WHICH INCLUDES

• De Hoop Nature Reserve for whale watching and its pristine beaches.
• The Tradouw Pass to Barrydale, linking the Overberg to the Little Karoo.
• R62 wines and food
• Bontebok National Park, only 7 km from Swellendam
• Golf: Well-maintained 9-hole golf course.
• Hiking in the Marloth reserve

The Drostdy Museum

The Drostdy Museum reflects the official colonial history of the district, from a Dutch East India Company Outpost, to a prosperous town. The collection of buildings dates from the establishment of the Landrost by the Cape Dutch East India Company in 1743. The buildings feature fine period furniture, art and also examples of the equipment and work of the wagon builders, smiths and slaves throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Drostdy Museum Online

The Faerie Sanctuary

Not quite what you may expect, the Sulina Faerie Sanctuary is Swellendam’s ‘special faerie and angel healing sanctuary’ dedicated to the protection and preservation of all the positive energies of love, peace and light. The Sanctuary is open from 09:00 to 16:30, Wednesdays to Sundays and every day during school holidays. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, for 10 days after the end of school holidays and for the month of June. Weekday healing and meditational visits can be booked on request. Faerie Sanctuary Online

Wildebraam Berry Estate

Set in the beautiful Hermitage and venue to weddings, functions and concerts, Wildebraam produces liqueurs, syrups & vinegar, jams and brandied fruits, relishes, chutneys, atchars & pickles, and corporate and wedding gifts at a beautiful farm in the Hermitage on the edge of Swellendam. Stay at Augusta de Mist and get a discount coupon for any products you purchase.
Open from 08:00 to 1700 Monday to Friday and until 16:00 on Saturday. Wildebraam Online

Meisie Bokwana’s Township Tours

One of the most interesting short trips in Swellendam is going on a township tour. Meisie Bokwana also runs a great after school project for kids in Railton. Township tours are safe and an eye-opening experience. A must for any visitor.

Contact: +27 84 775 1269

Bukkenburg

David Schlapobersky and Felicity Potter have been making pots together since 1973 and are well known for their wide range of high-temperature, reduction-fired stoneware and porcelain. Using their own blends of clay and glazes prepared from local raw materials. They are happy to discuss and demonstrate their work and timeless tradition of handmade pottery. Their studio and showroom are open daily and visitors are welcome. Bukkenburg Online

Kunste Huijs

Kunste Huijs fine art gallery has an excellent collection of the best of South African art available – she stocks Claudia Gurwitz, Marie Vermeulen, Robin Mann – in fact the kind of stuff you see dotted around Augusta.  Kunste Huijs Online

 

 

 

Old Gaol on Church Square

Originally based at the Drostdy complex, Old Gaol is a Swellendam institution selling the best coffee, cakes, milk tart, ‘roosterkoek’, and lunch meals in town. With its picture perfect view on the famous church, this is the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday brunch or a late afternoon tea. Watch out for the monthly fresh market on the premises. Judi, Nelda, Michelle and the team serve light lunches as well as functions by request. Contact: +27 28 514 3847.

Golf

Swellendam’s 9 hole, par 72 golf course has a beautiful setting – nestled at the foot of the magnificent Langeberg Mountains. Well worth packing the golf bags for! The clubhouse is open from 08:00 to 19:00 daily, except on Sunday when the hours are shorter. Swellendam Golf Course Online

The Marloth Nature Reserve

A wilderness area of 14 123 hectares just outside Swellendam with opportunities for walks and serious hikes with overnight camping in the Langeberg mountains.
Wildflowers, majestic mountain views, many hiking trails, rock pools and waterfalls, rare birds and animals grace this sprawling national park. Marloth Online

Marloth Flower Route Trail distance: 5.5km (2.5 hours)

This easy hike begins and ends at the reserve office. The highlight is a section of about 2.5km that leads through rich protea and erica stands, that are very colourful in flower season. Along the way you will see small animals, Cape fynbos, patches of afromontane forest and birds.

Koloniesbos Trail distance: 6km (2.5 hours)

This fairly easy circular hike begins and ends at the reserve office. Along the way you can see small animals, Cape fynbos and birds. This circular route leads into Koloniesbos, an indigenous forest where you will find yellowwood, stinkwood and ironwood trees.

Tienuurkop Trail distance: 11.5km (6.5 hours)

This is a very difficult route. The linear circle route starts at the reserve office and leads to the peak of Tienuurkop and back. It leads through fynbos veld and patches of indigenous forest in the ravines. You are rewarded with views over Swellendam and the Ruensveld. Watch out for a diversity of birds and small animals.

Duiwelsbos Trail distance: 5km (2 hours)

This fairly easy hike begins and ends at the reserve office. The first 2km takes the hiker to the Duiwelsbos and then 1.5km leads into the indigenous forest and back. The trail turns at a small waterfall. Along the way you will see small animals, Cape fynbos and birds. Fires are only permitted at demarcated sites.

Twaalfuurkop Trail distance: 8.5km (4 hours)

This strenuous and very difficult linear route starts at the reserve office and leads to the peak of Twaalfuurkop and back. It leads through fynbos veld and patches of indigenous forest in the ravines. You are rewarded with views over Swellendam and the Ruensveld. Hikers are rewarded with a diversity of birds and small animals.

Die Plaat Trail distance: 8.5km (4 hours), but different route options are available.

This easy route follows through patches of indigenous forest and fynbos veld, where you will be able to spot various small animals and birds.

Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park is a place of simplistic beauty and peaceful charm. The majestic Langeberg Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for this park of colourful riches. A part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, now heralded as a world heritage site, Bontebok National Park always offers something in bloom.
The park is proud to promote its achievements in biodiversity conservation, from the endangered fynbos veld type, coastal Renosterveld to the namesake bontebok! Once these colourful antelope numbered a mere 17, and through effective management we are proud to affirm that the present world population amounts to around 3 000. The Park offers much for nature lovers. Bontebok Park Online

The Breede River

The Breede River provides an idyllic western border to the park and offers guests scenery, bird watching, fishing, and a refreshing swimming spot. Visitors can also get a profound familiarity of the Park’s endless sights and sounds while on one of the various hiking trails or on a winding bike trip. Furthermore, Bontebok provides its guests with an experience of South African culture.
Connect to the people of the past and learn about how the Khoisan lived and changed through local history.

De Hoop Nature Reserve

A unique reserve with 7 distinct ecosystems. The De Hoop vlei is a sanctuary for waterfowl and other birds. It is an excellent spot to view Southern Right whales from July to November. De Hoop Online