Stay & Do

Nature Reserves and Parks

* Camping Available at all but Marloth Nature Reserve 


Bontebok National Park is on the banks of the Breede River, just 5km rom Swellendam. 


When the Bontebok species was approaching extinction in the early 1800s (approximately 17 Bontebok left) some land owners set aside portions of their properties to form temporary reserves for the Bontebok. Mr. P. V. van der Byl, his son, Mr. A. van der Byl, and the van Breda and Albertyn families recognised the perilous situation of the species – without these families’ efforts the Bontebok might well have become extinct. 


Today your chances of seeing Bontebok, Blesbok or Zebra are very good.



7km from Swellendam

Contact: +27 (0)28 514 2735


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Marloth Nature Reserve is hidden away in the imposing Swellendam Mountains. The peaceful reserve, which is 14 123 hectares in size, is managed together with 16 532 hectares of privately owned land, and is a World Heritage Site.

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. 



2km from Swellendam

Contact: +27 (0)28 514 1410

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De Hoop Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area is one of CapeNature’s flagship nature reserves, probably most commonly known for its enormous Southern Right Whale migratory calving population.  

Few other reserves offer as complete an outdoor experience as De Hoop – sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains. Birders observe wading birds on the shores of the vlei while the Potberg Mountains are home to a colony of endangered Cape vultures.


Hikers and cyclists have close-up encounters with bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, baboons and ostrich. Activities are diverse and guests choose between various day walks through the rich fynbos plains or along the deserted coastline, or mountain biking along the many gravel roads or scenic game drives.



54km from Swellendam

Contact: +27 (0)28 542 1114

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Welcome to the malaria-free Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

At the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains, Sanbona boasts 58, 000 hectares of sculpted Cape Fold Mountains, wide-open Karoo plains, indigenous flora and fauna and rare examples of San rock art, some dating back more than 3,500 years, plus a unique boat safari.

Sanbona is a Big 5 wilderness reserve. Please note that Sanbona is a private reserve and booking in advance is essential.



-33.757299, 20.554818

Contact: +27 (0)21 010 0028


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Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve was named after landowner Roelof Oelofse (1723), who was then known as the 'Groot Vader' (Great Father) of the region. The wildlife includes lots of birds and small mammals. If you are lucky you might even get to see a ghost frog or one of the unique butterfly species.


This is the most significant stretch of indigenous Afromontane forest left in the south-western Cape, with nearly all of the 35 typical forest tree species, including red alder, ironwood, stinkwood and yellowwood.



45km from Swellendam

Contact: +27 (0)28 722 2412

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