The way forward is
never a straight line.
If you have used this website in the past and do not understand why all links are redirecting back to this page - here is the answer:
Short Answer: Visit Swellendam (aka The Good Life in Swellendam) is my personal blog/website that I have designed, built and run for the past 6 years. Due to personal reasons, I have decided to close this website.
Long Answer: Why did I start this website? I love Swellendam and wanted to make it easy for others to love it too.
For 6 years I have been using my own experiences and inside-info as a Swellendam Local to make The Good Life in Swellendam more accessible to locals and visitors. I used my Facebook Page (The Good Life in Swellendam) to market Swellendam and my website.
Because I am a photographer, blogger, website-builder, mountain biker, hiker, local, wine lover and curious adventure-seeker with a love for all things wonderful in Swellendam, I do not have to rely on a third party to supply content or technical support. If there is an activity, I do it. If there is food, I eat it. If there is a problem on the website, I fix it. If there is wine, I talk to the wine maker, take a few photos and then drink it. Visit Swellendam did not only provide a pretty story and photos, but also the tips, contact info, website links, Google Maps, Garmin Files and other vital info needed by a Tourist to ensure that they truly experience The Good Life in Swellendam. If it was listed, it meant that I would recommend it to my friends. I provided the type of info only a local can provide. I saw the Tourist as my "client" - not the business being listed.
At the end of 2016 the Swellendam Municipality requested me to build a Tourism Website that would represent and promote the 7 towns in the Swellendam Municipal area and their Tourism Activities. At first I wanted to say "no". Accepting would require me to transform my "hobby" into a "job". I believed so strongly that a website like my own was a "must have" part of promoting Swellendam, that I accepted the challenge. And like any proud Swellendam local, my efforts and dedication went well beyond my duties.
In July 2019 I was told that my contract was ending and that I needed to reapply. If I was successful, my website would become the property of the Swellendam Municipality. This made the decision very hard. The website was like "my baby" and selling it felt wrong. But stopping what was considered by many as the "Swellendam Tourism" website, made me feel guilty. After some soul searching, I decided to put in a low-priced tender that would make it easy for the Swellendam Municipality to retain the website if they wanted it. My tender was not accepted. That felt a bit like a kick in the nuts.
I considered stopping the website. But again, I felt guilty. Or was I being vain? The biggest challenge was that the small website with which I started had grown quite big. The small website could be run on passion alone and be called a hobby. This grownup version was 20% passion and 80% hard work. And the extra time I had to spend on the website took time away from my actual job (Dairy Farmer) and my family. I knew I could deliver on the passion, but when it came to the 80% work I needed the support of the Swellendam Tourism community or/and the Swellendam Municipality.
After two years of soldiering on, with only passion in the tank, I realized that the support would never come and that my "charity" was not sustainable. On 1 October 2021 I put my website in the freezer. If a long term commitment of support does not present itself in the next few months, I will close the website permanently.
I do this, content in knowing that I have helped many people to experience the Good Life in Swellendam. The way I do every day.