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Swellendam was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1745 to exercise control over independent frontiersmen, who had migrated over the Hottentots Holland Mountains at the beginning of the
18th century. The district and town were named after the reigning Governor of the Cape,
Hendrik Swellengrebel, and his wife, Helena Ten Damme.

After a landdrost was appointed and a Drostdy erected, numerous artisans – including wainwrights and traders – soon settled here, and a village was established opposite the Drostdy, across the Koornlands River. To travellers and explorers, the services of the 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, serving as a useful refreshment station on the long, slow journey up the coast. Today, Swellendam still continues its legacy of friendly welcome, by offering travellers rest and relaxation on their journey.

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 a base from which to explore the area. The town of Swellendam has much to offer: lovely historical buildings, hiking & horse trails, golf, cycling, river rafting, fishing, excellent restaurants and arts & crafts projects.

Visit this picturesque town any time of the year, and come stay in our self-catering cottages or friendly guest house.

Wishing you a wonderful stay!


swellendam