The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Swellendam

Afrikaans name: Swellendam

Swellendam main street

Swellendam's main street

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Western Cape

In 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a station, on the site of modern day Cape Town, to replenish passing ships. Traders started travelling inland to trade with the indigenous Khoikhoi people and they explored the area as far as Swellendam. Swellendam was declared as a magisterial district in 1743.

Today Swellendam has around 18,000 inhabitants. A variety of farming takes place in the area including sheep and dairy farming. Crops raised include wheat, oats and canola.

There are many reasons to visit Swellendam but one of the main ones is to see the many Cape Dutch buildings some of which have been declared as provinvial heritage sites.

Nature lovers will find plenty to keep them occupied. One can visit Bontebok National Park, Marloth Nature Reserve and Sanbona Wildflower Reserve. Bontebok National Park was establish to house some of the remaining Bontebok which had become endangered. In 1931 there were 17 Bontebok and today the park houses around 160. There are a number of hiking trails around Swellendam where one can experience the wide variety of flowers, fynbos and other flora.

Swellendam suburb

Above - A suburb in Swellendam with a backdrop of the mountains

Photo © Johan van Zyl

s Dutch Reformed Church (1910)

Above - Dutch Reformed Church (1910)

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Surrounding countryside

Above - Stunning scenery a few kilometres outside Swellendam

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Road Tripping South Africa - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2014 - Page: 69

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 182

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 42

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 223

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 98

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 58

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 59

Getaway - Vol 27 No 04 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 85

go! - Issue 162 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 38

Farm Stall to Farm Stall - Author: Jennifer Stern - Published: 2014 - Page: 39

Farm Stall to Farm Stall - Author: Jennifer Stern - Published: 2014 - Page: 38

Country Life - Issue 192 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 70

Country Life - Issue 250 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 22

Essential Birding: Western South Africa - Author: Callan Cohen and Claire Spottiswoode - Published: 2000 - Page: 68

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 148

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 90


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