The area around Swellendam has always been a famous trading hub for both the Europeans and indigenous Khoi Khoi people of the area. The city was formally given the status of Migestrate district in 1743 by the Dutch East India Company, and since then it is the largest city in the Darkensburg Mountain area. You can still find the Dutch architecture of the 18th century in the city and most of the buildings are still in their prime form. The most notable is the Drostdy of Swellendam which was built as the central governing building in the city in 1747.
Although Swellendam has its own airport but there is not much international air traffic to the area. Direct flights to Cape Town will be the most preferable way of entering the country for visiting Swellendam as it is only on two hours drive from the Cape Town. Swellendam has something for every one; you can start your journey by visiting the Drostdy and other historical monuments in the city that will provide you a deep insight into the life of the early European settlers in the area.
If you are one of the adventurous kinds, then you can hike the most beautiful trail in the whole of the Cape area in and around the Marlothe Reserve Park.
The complete hike is of six days that will take you to some of the most stunning areas of the park and provide some breath taking views, but will require a lot of effort and for that you need to be in a very good physical condition. There are many camping opportunities in the park and a night spent in its marvelous settings will be a memorable one.
Another adventurous attraction is the rafting in the Breede River close to the Swellendam city; there are a number of clubs that provide rafts and other supporting equipment. If you are staying in Cape Town during your vacations in South Africa then you may take a one day tour of the Swellendam but it is recommended that to do the justice with this hidden beauty of South Africa you spend at least a couple of days here, and as the hotels in the area are cheap and provide good quality service it is not that hard a thing to do.