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Swellendam (pop. 35.000) is in the Western Cape region of South Africa. It's one of the oldest European settlements in South Africa and offers some fine examples of Dutch-Cape architecture. The tourist office is in the old mission at Voortrek Street (M-F 9AM to 5PM). - Local area code: 028; Postcode 6740


Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

It will take about 2-3 hours on the N2 to reach Swellendam by car from Cape Town (240km).

By bus[edit]

The major companies serve Swellendam on their run from Cape Town to the Garden route but the service isn`t very extensive. Swellendam is also served by the Baz Bus on its way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.

By air or train[edit]

There is no airport or train at Swellendam.

Get around[edit]

Map of Swellendam

The town is so small that it's best viewed while walking through the streets. There is no public transport in the town except for the minibuses. The minibus stand is on Voortrek street behind the SPAR supermarket.


  • The Drostdy: the former magistrate's seat was built in 1747 and now houses a museum. It is a fine example of Cape-Dutch architecture.
  • Bontebok National Park: A few kilometres out of town, this park offers nice scenery. Worth a day of hiking and a viewing of the flora and fauna.
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve: Beautiful little reserve, perfect for spotting whales!
  • Marloth Nature Reserve: On the southern slopes of the Langeberg Mountains offers an abundance of wild flowers and fynbos, as well as some hiking trails.


  • Visit the museum and then go for Bontebok National Park. For those with more time hiking in the Marloth nature reserve is worth a thought.
  • Fynbus Tours, 23 Swellengrebel St (Bontebok Tourist Centre, opposite Drostdy Museum Shop), +27 83 621-8503. Guided Tours from Swellendam: game viewing, birding and bush walks at Bontebok National Park, whale-watching (June to November) at the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Wine tasting and exclusive winemaker tours at wine estates. Adventure sports, arts and culture, tailored personal tours & airport transfers available on request. Professional field guide & luxury air-conditioned vehicle.


Several restaurants line the main street.

  • Mattsen's Steakhouse, 44 Voortrek St. Popular for its steaks, pasta and pizzas.
  • Powell House Restaurant, 113A Voortrek St. Located in an old building, this restaurant features traditional South African dishes, such as curries and boboties, prepared with attention to detail, and a friendly host who will help make the evening enjoyable. It's a quiet place, and in the low season you might be the only patrons, but the food is good, the ambiance is nice, and the host is guaranteed to make the visit worthwhile.


  • The Old Mill, 241 Voortrek Str, +27 28 514-2790. Traditional South African cooking served in warm, rustic surroundings. Lovely, large patio area under vines for warm, balmy summer evenings. Great food, great atmosphere and friendly staff.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under R500
Mid-range R500 to R1000
Splurge Over R1000




  • Bloomestate Luxury Retreat Guesthouse, 276 Voortrek St, +27 28 514-2984, . For lovers of style, modern design, beautiful surroundings and the finer things in life, Bloomestate will be your retreat of choice. On an estate of 2.5 ha, this guesthouse has seven stylish modern gardenrooms with large bathrooms. French doors open onto landscaped gardens with a tranguil dam, heated saltwater pool and mountain views. With a maximum of 14 guests, privacy, attentive service and supreme comfort are assured. The perfect hideaway to relax and unwind. Lounge area with open air Jacuzzi, conference facilities in the lounge. Stroll to restaurants, small platters on request. Wine estates and nature reserves nearby. From R575pps.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Swellendam is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.