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Swellendam

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The republic of Swellendam

The town was established in 1746 and is the third oldest white settlement in South Africa, after that of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. For a memorable three months in 1795, Swellendam was one of the capitals of the world. Its citizens - enraged at misrule by the Dutch East India Company - dismissed their magistrate, declared an independent republic and appointed a president. Soon afterwards however, the British occupied the Cape and the rebel republic - all twenty houses scattered along the valley of the Korenslands River - faded back into obscurity.

Swelllendam is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. There is always something for everyone, from the history buff to the adrenaline junkie to the wine and liqueur loving foodie.

Backpackers can pop in for a taste of the homemade liqueurs, jams & Ice cream or purchase Young-, Black- & Blueberries from the Berry Farm Guest Farm, pack a picnic and join the fairies at the Sulina Faerie Sanctuary or get close to nature at the Bontebok National Park.

Every year, Swellendam is painted yellow with an abundance of Canola Carnival festivities: various music acts, productions, outdoor activities in Swellendam’s scenic surroundings and local produce are featured so as to celebrate Swellendam’s history and to promote local business.