SWARTLAND

Outdoor & Adventure

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.

The Swartland Birding Route begins some 50 kilometres north of Cape Town and consists of the regions between the towns of Malmesbury in the south, Darling and Yzerfontein in the west, Moorreesburg and Koringberg in the north and Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel in the east.

The area has a varied landscape from sea, coastal plains, wild flowers (including Fynbos), to wheat fields on the fertile plain, interrupted by vineyards, olive farms and mountains. It is said that you can find at least 250 bird species in this vast differentiated land scape. This will provide birders, beginners to serious twitchers, with a diverse range of birds to be ticked. The rare Black Harrier and the endangered South African National bird, the Blue Crane, which are both seen on the Swartland Birding Route, will generate significant interest for both local and international tourists.

The diversity of vegetation in the Darling area presents birders with a wide range of different birds from larks and pipits to lesser flamingoes and great white pelicans. The area stretches from the strandveld of the Darling Hills Rd and Groote Post to the renosterveld of Waylands and Oudepost wildflower reserves. The beauty of the flowering bulbs and the immense variety of wildflowers create a unique springtime experience. During summer months large numbers of blue cranes may be seen in the wheatfields along the Darling / Malmesbury and Moorreesburg roads.

Darling is known as the flower of the West Coast, and the abundance of flora and natural flowers is undoubtedly its biggest asset. Routes include the !Khwa ttu, Buffelsfontein Game & Nature Reserve & The Darling Wildfower Society.

Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve lies just outside Darling en route to Yzerfontein. The incredibly beautiful 20 hectare reserve was once part of the farm Slangkop and was donated to the South African National Biodiversity Institute by the then owner Mr. Marthinus Versfeld. The graves of Oom Tienie and his wife Beatrice (known as Baby) can be found in the reserve. Interestingly Marthinus’s sister, Muriel, was one of the founding members of the Darling Wildflower Society. Read More

!Khwa ttu’s MBT on the Cape West Coast offers variety, fun, relaxation and spectacular views, at a great family venue perfect for weekend getaways.The trail includes two well-marked routes suitable for all levels of experience, from casual leisure rider to experienced adrenaline junkie. We have mountain bikes for hire.

!Khwa ttu Educational Centre: +27 22 492 2998 www.khwattu.org
Buffelsfontein: +27 22 451 2824 www.buffelsfontein.co.za
The Darling Wildflower Society: +27 84 916 1111 www.darlingwildflowers.co.za

As a coastal fishing village with a small harbour, it’s friendly and welcoming. Ideal for water-sports, hiking on the Bokbaaivygie and Blombosch Trails and close to The West Coast National Park where you may see thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands.

 West Coast National Park: +27 (0)12 428 9111 www.sanparks.org.za/parks/west_coast/

Malmesbury’s Middle Swartland Eco-tourism Route is unique due to its highly diversified agricultural activities. Other interesting Agri-tourism destinations are Lowensvlei Flower Farm and the Fynbos Estate’s Nature Reserve.

Lowensvlei Flower Farm: +27 (0)22 485 7058 www.lowensvlei.com
Fynbos Estate Nature Reserve: +27 (0)83 379 4028  www.fynbosestate.co.za

Its friendly people, fresh air and tranquil country atmosphere is ideal for Hiking Trails. The more energetic should try their hand at clay pigeon shooting or water-sports on the Berg River or Misverstand Dam.

Swartland Mountain Bike Trail Koringberg is a singletrack MTB trail that rises up from the normally flat Swartland. This MTB trail follows steep jeep track climbs and tight technical downhill singletrack. It is guaranteed to get the heart rate pumping on the climbs and the adrenalin flowing on the descents. The 360-degree views from Koringberg and Swartberg are never-ending with Table Mountain, the Cederberg and Winterhoek mountains in the distance.

Koringberg is a tiny little village and the closest town is Moorreesburg. This MTB trail is for advanced to expert with loose and rocky climbs and the singletrack can be tricky. Distance is 20km of trail and over 50km of Swartland secondary and farm roads. The route is circular and unmarked, made up of 70 % Jeep track and 10 % singletrack. Trail head is at Hooggeleë Farm – Die Ark Camp site.

Incorporating the towns and areas of Riebeek West, the Valley nestles on the slopes of its own mountain, the dramatic Kasteelberg with large patches of renosterbos still intact. The surrounding wheatlands, vineyards and olive groves create a distinctive touch of the Mediterranean.

Kloovenburg offers various day trails ranging from easy, short walks to more strenuous, longer hikes. These trails lead into the shady green indigenous Kasteel mountain, were wild indigenous flowers and lush mountain fynbos waits to be discovered. Read More

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