Heritage & Culture

The Swartland region is a treasure trove of culture and heritage, and one couldn’t be more excited to explore it! This area is rich in culture, with a fascinating history that dates back to the Khoi San people. It’s amazing to think about the stories and traditions that have been passed down through generations. And what better way to learn about the Swartland’s heritage than by visiting its incredible museums? From interactive exhibits to ancient artifacts, these museums offer a glimpse into the past. But the adventure doesn’t stop there! The region is also home to heritage routes that take you on a journey through time. Imagine walking in the footsteps of those who came before us, uncovering the secrets of the past. And as if that wasn’t enough, there are also art galleries and breathtaking old buildings to explore.

!Khwa ttu San Culture & Educational Centre
!Khwa ttu will be profoundly affecting. The San’s story is a story of human origins, of beginnings. As such, it is your story too. The tour is a fascinating insight into the culture, heritage, knowledge, skills and contemporary life of the San. Guided tours are offered daily on foot or by open vehicle in nature or in the Heritage Centre. There is a wonderful tea ceremony, and click-punctuated story-telling; you can also discover The Way of the San, including how to track animals. Read More

Darling Museum
A visit to Darling is not complete without a trip to the Darling Museum. Founded in 1978 by the Darling Women’s Agricultural Association as a Butter Museum, one section contains a unique collection of artifacts depicting the beginnings of the buttermaking industry in Darling which was famous for its creamery. Read More

Evita Perron
Evita se Perron, founded by Pieter-Dirk Uys in 1996 as a theatre complex in Darling’s original station building – has grown to a huge tourist destination where people can come and have a painful-laugh at South Africa’s politics (past and present), and also can we see what Pieter-Dirk has done for South Africa and tribute can be paid for such an amazing (and still on-going) career. Read More

Hildebrand Monument
The Memorial to Field Cornet C.P. Hildebrand of the Boer Forces’ Martiz Commando – Darling was the most southerly village to which a Boer commando penetrated during the Anglo-Boer war (1899 – 1902).  Read More


!Khwa ttu San Culture & Educational Centre
Situated within close proximity of Darling, !Khwa ttu San Culture & Educational Centre, West Coast National Park and the West Coast Fossil Park, makes Yzerfontein the perfect choice for a quick getaway. Whether it’s a relaxing break from busy city life, a passion for fauna and flora, or walking.

Lime Furnaces
With the establishment of the refreshment station at de Caap de Goede Hoop by The IOC there was no cement available for building purposes. The Dutch built lime kilns to burn mussels to form a binding material to be used as cement. The lime kiln was built above ground level, with lime stones which did not crack when it becomes very hot. In the oven you would find a fine grid iron and on it they placed layers of mussel shells and wood. Read More

Dassen Island
Dassen Island was the first of South Africa’s inshore islands to have a publicly released conservation plan, and remains an important breeding sanctuary for a variety of endangered seabirds. Dassen Island’s lighthouse, reputedly the most isolated manned lighthouse on the South African coast, was built in 1893. Read More

Jan van Riebeeck, the first to use the Dutch name “Het Zwarte Land” for this region, was referring to the black colour of the original vegetation found in this region, and not the soil.  Originally inhabited by Khoi San people, the town sprang from a few settlements erected around a sulphur spring in the 1700s.

Malmesbury Historic Route
A trip through the historic hub of Malmesbury reveals the town through the eyes of a 19th-century visitor. Interspersed among early Cape buildings dating from about 1830 are structures from later periods, reflecting the rich and varied architectural development of the town over time. An interesting aspect of Malmesbury is the retained streetscapes – a number of them have been featured. 

Dutch Reformed Congregation
Malmesbury was named after Sir Lowry Cole’s father-in-law, the Earl of Malmesbury. Settlers were encouraged to make their homes here because of a tepid sulphur chloride mineral spring that was renowned for curing rheumatism. The first farms were allocated in 1703. When the fifth Dutch Reformed congregation in the Cape was established here, it became known as Zwartlands-kerk (Swartland Church) but was renamed Malmesbury in 1829.

Malmesbury Museum: +27 (0)22 482 2332
Situated in the heart of Malmesbury, the Malmesbury Museum occupies a historic building with a compelling tale of its own. Once a vibrant Jewish synagogue built in 1911 by Max Goldman, the synagogue eventually transformed into a remarkable museum. Today, the museum stands as a testament to Malmesbury’s captivating history and offers visitors a captivating glimpse into the town’s past. Visit Facebook page

Ant Sienie se Huisie
There are several beautiful old historic buildings, including Ant Sienie se Huisie on the banks of the Dieprivier. For bookings phone +27 (0)82 727 7433.

Tweekuil, old vines and ancient legacy
Tweekuil on the Hopefield Road claims the title as first farm to be demarcated in the region. Read More

Oldest farm in the Paardeberg
Lammershoek dates back more than three centuries, linked to survival, or preservation of life in a previously harsh, untamed environment.  Read More

Moorreesburg, 30 km north of Malmesbury was laid out on the farm Hooikraal in 1879 and administered by a village management board from 1882, until it attained municipal status in 1909. The town was named in honour of J. C. le Fébre Moorrees (1807-1885) minister of the Swartland (Malmesbury) congregation from 1833 to his death in 1881.

Moorreesburg Carnegie Library
This attractive Edwardian Carnegie Library was designed by architects N. T. (Norris) Cowin and E. M. (Ernest) Powers and erected in 1913 in Church Street on land donated by the Moorreesburg Dutch Reformed Church. According to Deirdré Richardson, this library was established due to the diligence and perseverance of Ms M. D. Koch from the farm Biesjesfontein, who initiated the project. Read More

Wheat Industry Museum: +27 (0)22 433 1093
As one of only three such museums in the world, the Wheat Industry Museum in Moorreesburg is a truly special feature of the Western Cape, adding to the charm of the South African experience. This museum is dedicated to the history of wheat farming, the many uses for wheat, and how this industry has grown and shaped the local economy. Read More

Riebeek Valley Museum
As we evolve – from 2018 onwards – the Riebeek Valley Museum, in loving service to all members of the community, intends to hold dear, the past, present, and future history of the Riebeek Valley. Preserving the Past to Promote the Future – Oppas van ‘n stukkie verlede vir die toekoms. Read More

Smuts Museum – Riebeek West
The farm, Ongegund, is well known in South Africa as the location of the house known as Smut Cottage. The cottage is situated on Bovenplaas, the high-lying part of the original farm Ongegund and was the birthplace of General Jan Christiaan Smuts on the 24th of May 1870. General Jan Smuts left his mark on South African and international politics as a political leader and thinker for almost half a century. He served as a Boer General during the Boer War, a British General during the First World War and was appointed Field Marshal by King George VI during the Second World War. He served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948 and made significant contributions towards the creation of the League of Nations and the United Nations and also helped redefine the relationships that lead to the formation of the British Commonwealth. In 1955 the Board for National Monuments put up a bronze plaque at the birthplace, but it was only in 1975 that it was proclaimed a national monument. Read More

Oldest wine estate: Allesverloren
Allesverloren dates back to the the 17th century and is one of the oldest estates in the Swartland. Read More

Kloovenburg: pioneer of local olive farming.
Kloovenburg Wine & Olive Estate in the Riebeek Valley is one of those historic South African farms that takes your breath away. It’s at once vibrant and innovative, and also inextricably woven into the very fabric of the Swartland. The estate as it stands at the foot of Kasteelberg today has been farmed in some capacity since the 1704, when governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel gave it to Jan Bothma, who was already settled in Stellenbosch, and used his Swartland holdings mainly for livestock. Read More

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