Welcome to the Swellendam District
The principal town and location of the municipal headquarters is Swellendam. Suurbraak is situated east of Swellendam at the southern end of Tradouws Pass which cuts through the Langeberg, while Barrydale is at the other end of the pass on the edge of the Little Karoo. Buffeljagsrivier is situated southeast of Swellendam on the river of the same name. Malgas is located at a pontoon ferry on the Breede River, the last crossing of the river before it reaches the ocean. Infanta is situated at the mouth of the river on its southern bank.
Bringing together the seven towns of the Greater Swellendam Area: Swellendam, Suurbraak, Barrydale, Buffeljagsrivier, Stormsvlei, Malgas and Cape Infanta, the Cape Trade Route has a long history, colourful history steeped in trade. Each of our ‘dorpies’ has their own unique character and history, with a strong community, local crafters with fascinating tales to tell
There is something for everyone, no matter if you’re a history buff, sports fanatic, wildlife fan, adrenaline junkie, birder, photographer, cyclist, wine and liqueur lover, foodie or just looking for a family break!
Before Swellendam had a name it had a history: proof of which can be seen by the grave of Lang Else in Bontebok Park. Lang Else was the tall female chieftain of one of the fourteen original Khoi-khoi tribes who inhabited the area. Then came the colonialists who founded Swellendam in 1745 – the third settlement after Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Many of the buildings from that time remain and can be visited, admired and photographed.
Malgas is host to the only remaining hand drawn Pont in South Africa, which has been in operation since 1860. The Tradouw Pass: follow the Woman’s Way; one of the most beautiful passes: collect fresh mountain water, discover the secret San rock art. Suurbraak: Spend some time in the historic mission village of Suurbraak