Travel Guide: Swellendam


We visited Swellendam for a weekend in April 2013.  The weather was great and we had a lovely time exploring this historic town in the shadow of the Langeberg Mountain.

How to get there and getting around

Swellendam is next to the N2 National Road. 
It is about 220km from Cape Town and about 214km from George.
Most of the sights are within walking distance of the museum 
and there is also enough parking
but you’ll need a car to explore a bit further.

Places to stay

Swellendam has a lot of places to stay.  We enjoyed our stay at the Flametree guesthouse. 
It is close to the museum and other sights and the room was a nice size.
A delicious breakfast was included and the owners are very friendly

Places to eat

We were very surprised with the restaurants in Swellendam.  They were great.

Friday night we ate burgers for dinner at Mattsens Steakhouse. 
We sat outside under the trees.  The service and the food were great.

Saturday afternoon we had a lovely lunch at Oppi Stoep.  Once again we sat outside under some trees.  We only wanted a drink but could not resist eating something. 
I enjoyed my toasted sandwich and H loved the bobotie tramazzini.

And the highlight was Saturday’s dinner at Woodpecker Restaurant.  It was the best pizza we had in ages. The restaurant has a great atmosphere and once again service was great.

Things to do and Places to see

Drosdy Museum, Old Goal and Mayville
The museum consists of three buildings: Drosdy, Old Goal and Mayville. 
The entrance fee of R 20 gives you access to all three buildings. 
The three buildings are very different but we enjoyed all of them.
They are open 7 days a week. 

Swellendam Treasures
The information center has a pamphlet and map with 80 interesting places to see. 
Most of the buildings are privately owned and can only be viewed form the street.
Some are a bit far and you will need a car to visit them.
We loved all the houses with their pretty gables.

Dutch Reformed Church
This church is beautiful. The inside is also pretty and is open to visitors on weekdays.
On the church grounds there are some interesting old graves.

Wildebraam Berry Estate
We visited the farm for the free liqueur and jam tasting. 
It was very good and we bought a box full of goodies.
There are beautiful views of the mountain and the farm also has cottages to rent.

Marloth Nature Reserve & Bontebok National Park
We did not visit these parks on this trip and I will update the guide when we do.

Rain Forest Day Spa
We got a voucher for the spa from out guesthouse but did not go. Maybe next time.

Day trips

We were only in town for two days and did not do any trips out of town. 
Here are some places that are close enough for a day trip:

Barrydale (47 km)
Robertson (67 km from Ashton)
Montagu (55 km)
Bonnievale (60 km)

Where to shop

There is a small shopping mall in town with stores selling clothing, groceries etc.We did visit the museum shop and bought a few books about the history of the area.We also spend some money on liqueurs and jams at Wildebraam Berry Estate.

My posts about Swellendam

Dutch Reformed Church (1 & 2)
Walking in Swellendam (1 & 2 & 3)

Websites & Other information

This is not a complete guide for the town because we could not visit every site
or stay/eat at every guesthouse/restaurant. 
This is only guide to help you plan your own trip.


  1. This third oldest town in South Africa characterised by a stately oak-lined street and beautifully preserved buildings.


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