The backdrop of the Langeberg Mountains and surrounding farmlands, along with the beautiful Marloth Nature Reserve, provide visitors with epic views, crystal waters and copious trails to explore. Swellendam is a nature lover’s paradise and offers tons of outdoor activities – with everything from horse riding to mountain biking available. Here are five things you need to do while visiting this epic town in the Cape Overberg.
Marloth Mountain Nature Reserve
What to expect: The Marloth Mountain Nature Reserve is one of the most unspoilt reserves in the country. It is also arguably one of the most unheralded. Hidden away in the imposing Swellendam Mountains, Marloth is a gem of a reserve with some of the best hikes in the country, including the six-day Swellendam Trail, which is a must for serious hikers.
Railton Township Tour
What to expect: A relatively new experience offered in Swellendam, Meisie Bokwana’s tour of the Railton Township shows you a different side to this fascinating town. Born in Swellendam to a Xhosa father and Pondo mother from the Eastern Cape, Meisie is a treasure trove of information and her standing in the community is second-to-none. The tour is around two-and-a-half hours long, incorporating the oldest building in Railton (Bloemfontein Huisie), traditional Xhosa beer, song and dance from local children and a township tour by foot or car. A must for anybody visiting the town of Swellendam.
Bontebok National Park
What to expect: With the backdrop of the Langeberg Mountains and the Breede River running alongside it, the Bontebok National Park is the perfect day-trip and stayover. Rich in both flora and fauna, and a perfect place for birdwatching, the park has UA accommodation for those looking to stay overnight.
What to expect: Swellendam is a town steeped in history and the Drosdy Museum provides a fascinating window into its past. The main building and open Trades Yard highlights the Dutch East India period of the town – and country – while the Mayville House provides an example of the Victorian Era that came after.
Umshanti River Cruise
What to expect: Based around 12km outside of Swellendam is the Umshanti resort on the beautiful Buffelsjag dam. River cruises are available to visitors not staying at the resort and it is well worth the short drive if you’re staying in town or making a day trip. But for the full experience of Umshanti, we suggest you stay over at the resort – the kids will certainly thank you for it! Fuffi-slide rides, swimming, canoeing, hiking/cycling and stunning pools are just some of the things you will enjoy at this fantastic family-friendly resort.
For more to do in Swellendam: https://www.visitswellendam.co.za/the-cape-trade-route