The Swartland region is located just north of Cape Town and includes the towns of Malmesbury, Darling, Riebeek Kasteel, Riebeek West, Moorreesburg and Koringberg. Depending on who you talk to it may also include Porterville, Piketberg and Yzerfontein on the West Coast.
The region is best known for its vast wheat farms, but is also an important wine production area. In addition there are olive and fruit farms as well. The name “Swartland” or 'black land' is derived from the black colour of the indigenous Renosterveld vegetation during the hot and dry summer months.
Arguably the most popular destination in the Swartland for Capetonians is Darling, about an hour’s drive north of Cape Town. It is home to Evita’s Perron, a small independent theatre linked to Evita Bezuidenhout - the actor Pieter Dirk Uys’ alter ego. The theatre and a little restaurant is located in the town’s old train station.
The Riebeek Valley, at the foot of the Kasteelberg, includes the twin towns of Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel. About an hour north-east from Cape Town it is a popular getaway for artists and city folk looking to get out into the country.
The Swartland combines well with the West Coast, especially the West Coast Peninsula (Langebaan, Saldanha, Paternoster, etc.) and the Cederberg region (Citrusdal and Clanwilliam). It may be included as part of a circular tour from Cape Town or as part of a longer tour, for instance between Cape Town and Namibia.
This tour gives you the opportunity to visit the Cape Winelands, taste some of our best estate wines and experience the special kind of West Coast hospitality and cuisine. Visit two factories at Clanwilliam producing two quintessential South African products: velskoene and rooibos tea. Overnight at the quaint Paternoster. Visit Saldanha Bay harbour and the West Coast National Park. In season you might enjoy vast expanses of indigenous flowers.
Highlights: Cape Winelands , Riebeek Valley , Paternoster , The West Coast , Cederberg Mountains & Wilderness Area , Bird Island Nature Reserve .
The town Riebeek-Kasteel is situated in the picturesque Riebeek Valley, approximately 80 km northwest of Cape Town. In 2009 it was voted one of the three most beautiful towns in the Western Cape. The attraction for tourists lies in the beauty and tranquility of the town and its surroundings.
Riebeek West, situated in the beautiful scenic Riebeek Valley, is only an hours drive from Cape Town. It is the twin of Riebeek Kasteel, situated in the same valley. The charm of this village lies in the beauty of the valley, the impressive Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, the rolling hills and the play of vineyards and olive orchards.
The small village of Darling is situated on the Cape West Coast, 75 km north of Cape Town. Darling’s claim to fame is that it is the hometown of South African satirist, Pieter Dirk Uys, better know as his alter ego, Evita Bezuidenhoudt. The village has a real small town feel and is a popular getaway for Capetonians.
Porterville is a picturesque town approximately 140 km from Cape Town, situated on the banks of the Olifants River and at the foot of the Voorberg Mountains.The town was established in 1863 and named after the popular Attorney General Sir William Porter.
Malmesbury lies in the centre of the Swartland and is its biggest town. Most of the hills around town are covered in a blanket of golden wheat fields. Elsewhere there are vineyards and fields of canola. The town and surrounds offer various outdoor activities, as well as a wine-and-olive route.