Swellendam is the Perfect Choice for a Halfway Stopover
Nestling at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, Swellendam has much to offer visitors who have an interest in history, nature and outdoor activities. Situated on the N2, approximately 240km from both Cape Town and George, Swellendam is the perfect choice for a halfway stopover or as a base from which to explore the area.
Swellendam offers a variety of accommodation to suit every taste. This range includes one hotel, luxury guest houses, Bed and Breakfast establishments, chalets, caravan and camping facilities as well as self-catering cottages on farms in the area.
Rainfall is spread over the year (55% winter and 45% summer). There is little wind and temperatures are moderate. There is no shortage of water and gardens are lush and luxuriant. The cost of living is reasonable and the town is clean and efficiently and well run.
The people are friendly and there is no political strife with a virtual absence of serious crime.
The town was founded by the Dutch east India Company in 1745 in order to exercise control over independent frontiersmen who migrated over the Hottentots Holland Mountains at the beginning of the 18th century. A landdrost was appointed and a Drostdy and other building were erected. The district and town were named after the reigning Governor of the Cape, Hendrik Swellengrebel, and his wife, Helena Ten Damme.
In time, a village was established opposite the Drostdy, across the Koornlands River, where artisans, including numerous wainwrights, and traders settled. To travellers and explorers, the services of these village folk were indispensable, as Swellendam was the last outpost of civilisation on the eastern frontier.
By the middle of the 19th century, the eastern districts had been colonized by the British settlers and Swellendam was a thriving metropolis. The town served as a useful refreshment station on the long, slow journey up the coast.
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