Swellendam to Mossel Bay
Located just off the N2 highway and the beginning of the Garden Route, is the pretty town of Swellendam. Having celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1995, it is one of the oldest established towns in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch), and is surrounded by sheer beauty.
Sitting at the base of the Langeberg mountains near to the Tradouw Pass which leads to the famous Route 62, Swellendam provides the perfect location from where to view the surrounding areas. Whether it is a short break from city life, a quick stop-over on route, or a longer holiday; Swellendam will cater to all your needs.
Steeped in history with buildings such as the Drostdy dating back to the 1700’s, the quaint Koornlands River and the oak-lined streets, Swellendam is really beautiful any time of the year. These days the town is popular as not only an excellent holidaying town, but also a place to retire and is used as a place to retreat for artists who need a break from the city’s rat race.
Some may not know this, but Swellendam is a burgeoning agricultural town with it being the largest youngberry growing area in the World. Visitors can do tours of farms, tastings of chutneys, pickles and liqueurs – a delicious treat. Wheat, canola, sheep and dairy farming is also practised in the area.
The town has a peaceful charm to it even in the busy seasons, giving those visitors who seek calm and relaxation a chance to experience that as well. If you would like to connect with your inner-child, there is even a fairy sanctuary which is a garden maze complete with fairy sculptures, mermaids, pixies and gnomes; all peeping out from rocks behind corners and in trees. Something magical for all ages.
Mossel Bay is situated on the coast of the Western Cape, just off the N2 highway approximately half way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Located right at the point of the coast, this amazing and vibrant town, voted “the best place to do business in South Africa” by Finweek Magazine in 2012, is the perfect holiday destination.
It has more things to do (activities, attractions, adventures, beaches, culture, shopping, sport) and more entertainment than almost any small holiday town. If you put that all together with its superb selection of accommodation establishments, dramatic natural beauty, and great, mild weather – it has everything you would need to make your holiday experience complete.
Although people have been living in Mossel Bay for more than 162,000 years, the recorded history of the area goes back only about half a millennium – to the 3rd of February 1488, to be precise: the day that saw the arrival of Bartolomeu Dias, the first Portuguese explorer who landed on South African soil.
The town itself was born – and grew up – as a trading, fishing, and whaling post, but in the 1980s the development of its fuel-from-gas refinery (which, by the way, has won numerous awards as the cleanest refinery in the world) put it front-and-centre in the world of industry and commerce. Combine this with a well-managed municipality (which consistently achieves unqualified audits) and the presence of important lifestyle infrastructure like desirable housing, good schooling, and one of the leading hospitals in the Western Cape – and you have a recipe for excellence.
Being in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the country, Mossel Bay is also the economic hub of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, which is on track to becoming one of more than 620 biosphere reserves in UNESCO’s ‘Man and the Biosphere Programme.’
Mossel Bay is situated within a short drive of most of the attractions of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo – and the views along the way are all spectacular.