Swellendam normally receives about 462mm of rain per year, with rainfall occuring throughout the year. It receives the lowest rainfall (23mm) in December and the highest (48mm) in August. The monthly distribution of average daily maximum temperatures shows that the average midday temperatures for Swellendam range from 17.1°C in July to 27.5°C in January. The region is the coldest during July when the mercury drops to 5°C on average during the night. Consult the chart below for an indication of the monthly variation of average minimum daily temperatures.
After Cape Town and Stellenbosch, Swellendam is the third oldest settlement in South Africa. Laying at the foot of the beautiful Langeberg mountains this place is not only famous for its youngberries, but as well as for its architecture and its history. The town is situated halfway between Cape Town and George on the N2. Swellendam was founded by the Dutch East India Company in the year 1745.
The town and its district was named after the governor of the Cape and his wife, Hendrik Swellengrebel and Helena Ten Damme. In time, a village was established opposite the Drostdy, across the Koornlands River, where artisans, including numerous wainwrights, and traders settled. To travellers and explorers, the services of these 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 has been colonized by British settlers and Swellendam was a thriving metropolis. The town served as a useful refreshment station on the long slow journey up the coast. Nowadays, in addition to serving its local and surrounding community, Swellendam glories in its past by continuing to offer travellers the services they require for rest and relaxation on their travels. Swellendam offers a variety of accommodation to suit every taste. This range includes one hotel, luxury guest houses, Bed and Breakfast establishments, chalets, caravan and camping facilities as well as self-catering cottages on farms in the area. Details can be obtained from the Swellendam Tourism Bureau.
Restaurants – Swellendam still lives up to its reputation as a foremost ‘refreshment station’ and there are many restaurants and coffee shops in the town catering to travellers.