The Swartland Region, Western Cape

The Swartland, otherwise known as the wheat and rooibos-producing part of the Western Cape Province, lies between Malmesbury in the south, across the Riebeek Valley to Piketberg in the north, Darling in the west, to the Oliphants Mountain at Porterville in the east.

The Swartland Region begins only 50 kilometres outside of Cape Town making it fairly accessible to visitors, and its undulating wheat fields, vineyards and deep river valleys have been the topic of many a photographer’s lens.

Did you know? Travelling upwards from Cape Town along the N7 you find the Sandveld that separates the coastal towns of the West Coast from the Swartland towns of the West Coast. This area is sparsely populated but an important part of the eco-system.

This incredibly beautiful, yet often overlooked, area is named for its wide fertile plains that, after the rains in winter, turn black (swart land means black land in Afrikaans). The wide, fertile plains are filled with golden wheat fields that have contributed to its status as the bread basket of the Cape. There are as many landscapes as there are seasons and the blazing wheat is interspersed with wine, fruit and olive plantations that give rise to a patchwork quilt of colour.

Darling, close to Cape Town and the highlight of many visits to this region, is home to Evita se Perron, the popular theatre and signature landmark of long time resident Pieter Dirk Uys that combines a restaurant with a little cabaret theatre.

Many of the vines on the Swartland Wine Route, which are visibly sign-posted and stretch throughout the region, grow under dryland conditions in bush form, which means they are not watered, resulting in a particularly excellent quality and flavour of wine, much sought after for blending with wine from irrigated vineyards. Included within the parameters of the Swartland, Riebeek Kasteel and the Riebeek Valley have fast become a draw card for artists and those seeking alternative country-style living.

Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel, twin towns that lie virtually on top of one another at the foot of the Kasteelberg, are extremely popular and worth a visit.

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Destinations in the Swartland Region

Eendkuil

Eendekuil lies in a valley not even half an hour's drive north west of Piketberg, in the northerly reaches of the Swartland (translated directly to mean 'black land' for the rhenosterveld found in the area). Scenically, the valley is beautiful. Stands...

Hermon

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Lying on the route between Wellington and Gouda, Hermon might be but a blip on the map but it is actually a little village that has been here since forever - families have lived here for generations. It is one of four towns that make up the Riebeek Valley...

Koringberg

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Just 15 kilometres from Moorreesburg along the N7 to Piketberg, and an easy hour’s drive from Cape Town, lies the charming little village of Koringberg, amidst wintergreen and summergold wheatfields. Koringberg, one of many in the area to have its roo...

Malmesbury

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In the heart of the Swartland Wine Route, not even three kilometres from the closest wine farm, the historic town of Malmesbury rests in a simply gorgeous setting surrounded by mountains, wheat fields, and in winter, yellow blazes of canola and indigenous...

Moorreesburg

Moorreesburg is a tranquil and friendly little town, about 100 kilometres from Cape Town, and, if you believe the property agents, fast on its way to becoming a commuter town, although you would have to love peace and quiet for it to be an option. The...

Piketberg

Overnight? Piketberg accommodation
The small, farming town of Piketberg lies at the foot of the Piketberg Mountain range, surrounded by fields of wheat that change colour with the seasons - from reddish brown to golden yellow in summer, and green in winter; vineyards, fruit farms and beaut...

Porterville

Overnight? Porterville accommodation
Porterville is a quaint town nestled on the slopes of the Olifant's River Mountains. Situated 140 kilometres from Cape Town, Porterville is a friendly, welcoming town which is well known amongst locals as the paragliding and hang gliding capital of the We...

Riebeek Kasteel

Overnight? Riebeek Kasteel accommodation
Lying in the heart of the Riebeek Valley on the slopes of the Kasteelberg (castle mountain), Riebeek Kasteel is an easy 75 kilometre drive along the N7 from Cape Town in the heart of the Swartland Region. It is believed to be one of the oldest village...

Riebeek West

Overnight? Riebeek West accommodation
One of two comparable towns lying in the stunning Riebeek Valley - Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel - with views that have had many a day tripper making rash decisions to relocate, Riebeek West might be regarded as the Cinderella of the two, but has its o...

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