Swellendam, historically recognized as the administrative post of the early Cape colony, will be abuzz this long weekend when it hosts its first, Big Bee Festival.
The festival which runs from 9th to 11th August 2013, promises to show a much busier side of this somewhat overlooked Overberg town. Beyond the Langeberg Mountain vistas and youngberry country, the festival promises to be (here comes the last bee pun!) a hive of activity.
Swellendam and the broader municipal district will have a lot to offer for a long weekend escape. The festival offers local produce and craft bazaars, live entertainment, beer tents and plenty of family events, including The Big Braai. The braai will run night and day for the duration of the festival, attempting to set a world record and raise funds for local charities and causes.
For the outdoor enthusiast there’s the Breede Bee Paddle: A half-day canoe trip down the Bree River. For a more relaxed respite take the Bushwacked Outride through the Marloth Nature Reserve. Active mountain bikers can track through the Canola fields on the B-Well Dipka Trap with free camping available to festival participants. Golfers can tee off at the Umshanti lodge on the Buffeljags Dam in Ball Bashing 4 Brandy. If you can get your ball into the hole, you win a case of brandy.
Beyond the festival, the Republic of Swellendam is a district of colourful and creative contrasts. Barrydale is an unexpected bohemian collection of spiritual retreats, arts and crafts. Magpie Art Collective’s showroom is well worth the 20-minute drive out of Swellendam on Route 62. The gallery showcases a collection of chandeliers and décor constructed from recycled goods and found objects. This however, didn’t stop U.S. president Barack Obama from acquiring one of the chandeliers for his private White House quarters.
Other events and places to visit while in Swellendam for the festival:
- Beauty Health and Wellness Expo hosted by Rain.
- Berry Country – Wildebraam Berry Estate offers a unique range of berry liqueurs, relishes and jams, available for tasting and made locally in the estate’s cellars in the Hermitage Valley.
- Bontebok National Park’s Big Bee Flower Hike through SA’s smallest national park.