A short drive out of Swellendam leads you to Bontebok National Park. It's a rather small park, that is dedicated to saving the bontebok, a kind of antelope.
You need your own transport to get there and you drive your own car through the park. At the entrance you receive a simple map, that shows you around the park. Expect the full circle to take about 2 hours, that is without lots of stops for spotting and taking pics. Except for bontebok, we also spotted ostriches and some other antelope species. The landscape is mainly soft rolling hills covered with "fynbos".
What a delightful experience. I was told about this place by my sister after a recent visit there and decided to go and try it myself. I loved their liquors especially the nut one. The chocolate and chilli on is good for cooking, or over icecream. I found it a bit rough on the tastebuds just drinking it neat.
Swellendam is the largest Youngberry growing area in the country and a farm just 3km out of town may be visited for liqueur tasting. Other Youngberry products are also sold here.
They have a range of delicious liqueurs including Youngberry, Honey, Aniseed, Rooibos, Peppermint, Lemon and Hazelnut. In addition , the farm kitchen produces tempting liqueured fruits, jams, dessert syrups, chutneys, relishes, pickles and gifts which can all be sampled and purchased
Hiking trails on the Langeberg Mountains with their high peaks and fyn-bos covered slopes where cold mountain streams feed indigenous forests. There are beautiful views to enjoy, pools to swim in and waterfalls to admire. All trails are in the Marloth Nature Reserve and a permit, available at the office, is required. Booking is essential for the overnight hiking trails. Marloth Nature Reserve
Depending on the rider's level of experience (which may be none at all) and what sort of ride you have in mind, a suitable horse is chosen. Riders are guided through the local forestry roads at the foot of the mountains. The charge is per hour
This place is bizarre, yet strangely interesting. This is a house and garden area that has been decorated with hundreds... maybe thousands of fairies. The girls really enjoyed it. The men, found it odd, but interesting. It doesn't take too long to walk through and its a good place to pick up a fairy fairy figurine or doll for a niece/daughter in your life. If you don't like the smell of incense, you may want to stay outside in the garden. A lot of people in town told us that we had to check this place out. While its not really my cup of tea, I'm glad we stopped by. Like I said, it doesn't take a lot of time to walk through and definitely scores high on the "unique" meter.
Swellendam has many old building, some of which date from the 18th century, but many more were built during the town's boom years in the mid-19th century. There are also several interesting buildings dating from the beginning of the 20th century, the most noteworthy being the Dutch Reformed 'Moederkerk' with its eclectic architectural features, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and vernacular Cape elements.
Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch) and the Drostdy was built as the seat of the Landdrost (magistrate) in 1747. Known as one of the best in the country, the museum comprises a collection of buildings with characteristic Cape Dutch architecture, period furniture, beautiful gardens, an ambagswerf (trades yard) and a restaurant. A stroll around the complex will include indoor as well as outdoor areas and some of the most picturesque streets in the town.
Opening times: Monday - Friday 09h00 - 16h45
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 10h00 - 15h45
Closed on Christmas day, New Year's day, Good Friday
This is my favorite spot in our country. I saw it when they opened their doors approx 12 years ago, and it has just grown from strength to strength. It is a majical place that the Sulin's created for us to escape the "world"
This local attraction draws people from all over the country. Its not just a pottery - it's a Faerie Sanctuary! Faeries of various shapes, sizes, colours and styles are beautifully displayed in 4 rooms and then there are those that peep out from behind the foliage in the flourishing garden with its mini-jungle of indigenous trees, plants and herbs (many with healing properties). Love, peace and harmony needn't be a jaded cliché - here it is REAL! Re live your inner childhood - go and see it!
Open 09h00 - 17h00. Closed on Mondays, excluding holidays
The Drostdy building in Swellendam is the oldest surviving one in all of South Africa. A national monument, it is the only eighteenth century drostdy building that has been preserved in its original form. It stand on the eastern side of the town on the bank of the Koringlands River (cornfields river) close to the Groote Wagen Weg or Cape Wagon Road, the route of early expeditions to the interior.
In order to apply control over farmers who had moved away from the settled areas the Governor decided to place the territory across the Breede River under the jurisdiction of a local court and in 1747 the Drostdy was built as the seat of the Landdrost (magistrate).
The museum is actually a collection of historic buildings arranged around large grounds and a lovely nineteenth-century Cape garden. The Drostdy Building contains some interesting artifacts.
From the rear garden of the Drostdy you can stroll along the path and across Drostdy St to Mayville, a middle-class Victorian homestead from the mid-nineteenth century with an old rose garden. Also part of the complex are the Old Goal, the jailer's cottage, and an interesting display of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century farm implements and tools.
If you pass Swellendam on way to Garden Route make a visit to the fairy park , There are fairies everywhere and signs saying.. please dont pick flowers there may be fairies sleeping in them.. they also have a christmas show please ask them for details. there are big fairies, small fairies.. a real fairy land!!!!
Sept 2010 a lot of roadworks were happening on the N2 on either side of Swellendam, but fortunately the ostriches were there to keep you entertained whilst in stationery mode.
They were busy working on the N2 so you had some 10 - 20 minute stops along the way but what made it very nice was the ostriches next to the road that came to say helo to us.
I think that every visitor to Swellendam should visit this place and taste their liquor's. Some really nice stuff that they have here. We bought some nut liquor and the chock & chilli one.