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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.



On the 1st of July 2020 building on the Swellendam Trails has begun!

BIG thank you to Provincial Government, Anton Groenewald from the Swellendam Municipality, PETRICHOR ADVENTURES and the Swellendam Cycling Club for supporting this project.

There will be 5 exciting Mountain Bike Routes from which to choose:


  • Kids Bike Park

  • Cross Country Trail

  • Green Route (13 km)

  • Blue Route (22 km)

  • Red Route (39 km) 

The Routes will be suitable for kiddies, beginners and experienced riders in a safe and beautiful environment. The trails will be easily accessible from Town and will be well signposted. These routes will be just outside Marloth Nature Reserve. If all goes to plan these routes will be completed in December 2020. More info.....

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.




​Phone: + 27 (0) 28 514 8500

Fax: + 27 (0) 28 514 2694


Located: 49 Voortrek St, Swellendam

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