Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa dating back to 1743. It had its 15 minutes of fame way back in 1795. The corruption and inadequacies of the Dutch East India Company caused the town burgers to declare that Swellendam was an independent republic! However their freedom was curtailed by the British occupation of the Cape. Nowadays it is an attractive and prosperous country town. Its main street is lined with old Cape Dutch houses and over 100 of which are National Monuments.
There’s a good choice of hotels in Swellendam. From the charming Schoone Oordt Country House and The Hideaway to the more modern Bloomestate. We also love Rothman Manor, De Kloof and Jan Harmsgat. These combine original Cape Dutch homestead exteriors with stylish contemporary interiors.
• Country town full of interesting architecture, art galleries and studios
• Marloth Nature reserve for walking trails, mountain biking, even horse trails
• Visit the Drostdy Museum
• Explore the Bontebok National Park
• Head over the Tradouw Pass to Barrydale for quad biking, tapas & wine-tasting
• Enjoy languorous boat cruises down the Breede river
• Spend a day wine-tasting & enjoying delicious country lunches on the Robertson wine route
• Release your inner child with a visit to the quirky Sulina Faerie Sanctuary
The world’s longest Wine Route – Route 62 promises not only fine wines, but also breathtaking views.
Route 62 offers the perfect self drive route from Cape Town to the Little Karoo. Route 62 is the collective name for this scenic country road which meanders through the country towns or ‘dorpe’ of Robertson, Montagu and Barrydale. The route passes picturesque wine estates. It then heads through rugged mountain country with dramatic mountain passes before ending in the picturesque rolling countryside of the Little Karoo (inland from the Garden Route).
Accommodation on Route 62 takes the form of pleasant country lodges such as The Robertson Small Hotel or Mimosa Lodge in Montagu, so it’s well worth spending a night or two.
Game Reserves on Route 62
Route 62 also offers the closest ‘proper’ safari near Cape Town. Our favourite is the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. A luxury game reserve in the heart of the Karoo, home to the rare White Lion as well as plenty of other game, large and small. There are other alternatives available as well. Such as Inverdoorn or the day-trip focused Aquila game reserve, but we believe that Sanbona is the only one which offers a true wildlife safari near Cape Town.