Marloth Nature Reserve


Marloth Nature Reserve is named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents, petitioned the Minister of Lands and Forestry in 1928 to set aside part of the mountain as a nature reserve. During 1981, the reserve was enlarged to include the rest of the State Forest and the Swellendam hiking trail was opened.


The reserve’s vegetation is predominantly mountain fynbos, with patches of forest. There are several species of Protea and more than 25 species of erica, most of which flower in November. Marloth, like the rest of the southern Cape, has hot summers and cold winters. The higher mountain peaks are occasionally dusted in snow during the cold winter months.


This Nature Reserve is entered from the Marloth Main Office, situated near the Swellendam Golf Course. Get your hiking permits at the Marloth Main Office.




07:30 - 16:00
Hot Summers and Cold Winters
Most rain: March, October and November
Occasional snow
Marloth Office Tel: +27 (0)28 514 1410
Emergency Tel: +27 (0)82 496 2450
Cabin bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190


> Do you need a 4x4 in Marloth? No. 

> Dogs are not allowed.

> This is Africa. Remember sunscreen, hats and water.



Adults = R50

Kids = R30

Wildcard = Free


The hiking trails offer a wide range of difficulty. From the first water pool at Duiwelsbos, which can be hiked with a toddler, to the strenuous and challenging 12uur kop, from where you can see the ocean. All routes are well marked. The hiking trails shown above start from either the Marloth main office or the Duiwelsbos/Koloniesbos parking.



Until further notice the trails shown above are only available to Friends of Marloth Members - not to tourists. A CapeNature Permit is not sufficient as these trails go onto bordering landowners' property. 

To mountain bike in Marloth Nature Reserve you can ride the non-technical gravel road that starts at the Marloth Nature Reserve Main Gate and leads to the Duiwelsbos Parking area. You can buy your CapeNature permit at the Marloth Nature Reserve Main Gate.

* Friends of Marloth brand & all Mountain Bike Trail Maps created by atelier

* All work done on these trails are being done by Friends of Marloth volunteers.

* Boshoff Visser helps with Friends of Marloth's financial questions.

* This whole initiative would not have been possible without CapeNature, Swellendam Municipality and surrounding land owners.




​Phone: + 27 (0) 28 514 8500

Fax: + 27 (0) 28 514 2694


Located: 49 Voortrek St, Swellendam

Website by The Locals

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Friends of Marloth

Top things to do in Swellendam - Photo by Cathy van Eeden