Boskloof Swemgat Guest FarmCheck Availability
10km from Clanwilliam
Boskloof Swemgat, named after a favourite river pool or 'swemgat', offers self-catering accommodation in eight delightful whitewashed cottages situated on the banks of the Jan Dissels River with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The five thatched-roof cottages each include an indoor fireplace and a bathroom with bath and shower.
SWIELHUIS and LANGHUIS each sleep 4 in a Double bedroom and sleeper couch in the lounge. Swielhuis is situated right next to the river pool and 50m from its nearest neighbour, while Langhuis offers complete privacy and your own rock pool.
KLIPHUIS is a very private cottage with direct access to its own river pool, offering a very romantic option with the fireplace in the main Double bedroom, while the bunk bed in the living area allows for up to 4 guests. HANGNES and FIVAZ HUIS each sleep 6 in a Double bedroom, a Bunk bedroom, and a sleeper couch in the lounge with fireplace. Hangnes is situated about 200m from the river, against the mountainside, offering beautiful views over the valley and river, and has it’s own Jacuzzi on the stoep, while Fivaz is newly built and is situated on the river, about 50m from the river pool. The two prefab cottages each have an open plan living room with fireplace, and each sleeps 4 in a double bedroom and a twin bedroom.
OWEN SE HUIS is a cosy cottage with a covered verandah looking out on the river, while NENNA'S SE HUIS has its own private entrance with a lovely paved outside braai area under poplar and jacarande trees overlooking the 'swemgat'. GUSTAV SE HUIS is a spacious cottage with modern finishes which sleeps 8 in 2 Double bedrooms and 2 bunk bedrooms. It has a full bathroom with shower and bath and an extra toilet and there is a lounge with a fireplace and a lovely outside braai area overlooking the 'swemgat'. Firewood is available for purchase.
Guests can enjoy swimming and fishing in the clear, unpolluted river, or mountain biking and hiking on farm roads or longer hikes, with the start of the Krakadouw Trail nearby and a rewarding hike to 'Die Toring', a nearby peak, about 4 hours there and back.
Birds and wildlife abound in the mostly organically farmed valley. The plaintive call of the Fish Eagle is often heard and small game is spotted, like Klipspringers, Steenbokkies and Dassies. There are horses on the farm and sometimes cattle. In Spring, the wild flowers carpet the landscape as far as the eye can see.
Bring your loved ones and spend quality time in this tranquil spot. If you are feeling more active or adventurous, you can explore the Cederberg, the Lambert's Bay coast, Wupperthal, Namaqualand and Clanwilliam from here. But chances are very good that you may never feel like leaving the quiet haven of your cottage for anything more than a swim in the river or a leisurely walk!
Rates & Summary
8 Whitewashed Riverside Cottages
Each sleeps 4, 6, or 8 guests
Most bathrooms have bath and shower
One has a jacuzzi on the verandah
Many have a fireplace in the lounge
Each has a fully equipped kitchen
All have outside braai facilities
Beautiful mountain and river views
- R 250 - R 300 pp sharing
- R 150 pp for additional guests
- R 100 pp for additional guests on sleeper couch in 6 pax units
Children of all ages are welcome.
Babies using their own camp cots and linen stay for free.
Why Stay Here?
Boskloof Swemgat's eight riverside cottages are set in tranquil farm landscape, and offer the ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Explore the farm roads on foot or mountain bike, fish and swim in the unpolluted river and be awed by the stars in the clear skies at night.
Boskloof Swemgat, a beautiful small farm in the unspoiled Boskloof Valley bordering on the Cederberg Wilderness Area, is the ideal place for a family getaway, or a romantic weekend. Explore the surrounding area or simply relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature around you.
Cottages are spaced well apart
Things to consider Bringing
Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming towel, mountain bike, fishing gear, binoculars for birdwatching.
The last 7 or 8 kilometres is on gravel road, which is suitable for any vehicle.
Activities & Attractions
- Mountain trails
- Mountain biking
- Bird watching
- Cederberg rock formations
- Spring flowers in season
Accommodation & Hospitality
- Dining table
- Verandah / patio
- Fan included
- Bed linen supplied
- Bathroom towels supplied
- Periodic housekeeping
- Laundry service available
- Ironing service available
- No smoking indoors
Catering & Kitchen
- No Catering
- Full Kitchen
- Braai area available
- Microwave oven
- Fridge and freezer
- Basic cleaning materials
- Own water supply, good for drinking
- Electric geysers
- Eskom electricity
Business & Connectivity
- Limited cell phone reception
Access & Convenience
- Child friendly
- No pets allowed
- Off street parking
- Nearest shops within 10km
- Nearest fuel within 10km
- Credit cards not accepted
- EFT accepted
- Cash accepted
- Large safe
This exquisite, isolated stretch of land along the west coast of South Africa is one of its richest and most prized natural areas. Breathtaking mountain ranges are constant travelling companions along the Winelands and West Coast routes. The magnificent, brooding peaks, crags and unusual rock formations and caverns were canvases for the San and Khoi people, who left lyrical rock paintings documenting their lives and spiritual experiences of the land. The mountains now attract rock-climbers and hikers. The west coast’s cold, nutrient-rich Benguela current ensures that its Atlantic waters are teeming with marine life and its shores, although seemingly dry and grey out of flower season, nurture an incredible diversity of plant and animal life. Unesco has deemed the Cape Floristic Region an area of such incredible biodiversity that the Cape Biosphere Reserve has been formed to protect the land from Milnerton to Velddrif.
The West Coast route encompasses both inland and seaside villages. Travelling north from Cape Town through inland towns such as Darling, Riebeeck Kasteel, Porterville, Piketberg, Citrusdal, Clanwilliam and Wupperthal leads past a series of mountain ranges and wilderness areas, including the Grootwinterhoek, Koue Bokkeveld, and the well-loved Cederberg. The route winds through vineyards, wheat fields, olive, citrus and dairy farms, and friendly towns that have a pastoral serenity. After good winter rains, flower-lovers make pilgrimages to the west coast in spring (August to September) to enjoy the Cape floral region’s colourful splendour, which reaches its full brilliance in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape. Darling, Porterville, Clanwilliam and Hopefield are especially well known for their flowers and flower festivals.
Once sated with the marvels of the Cederberg, tourists can meander down the coast through fishing villages such as Strandfontein, Lamberts Bay, Eland’s Bay, Velddrif, Paternoster, Langebaan and Yzerfontein. In the 1600s, Jan Van Riebeeck rejected the west coast as unsuitable for settlement because of the lack of fresh water and the area remained relatively undeveloped. However, in the past 15 years, fresh water supply has been ensured and tourism has boomed. Paternoster has maintained the aesthetic appearance and atmosphere of a fishing village, with whitewashed cottages and fishing boats strewn across its beaches, and is particularly popular with tourists as a result.
The west coast paints olfactory pictures as compelling as its beautiful scenery. Inland areas can be startlingly fragrant, with orange blossom, rooibos, fynbos and buchu, whereas the fecund, fishy, kelpy marine smells of the coastline are quintessential to the Cape. Then there is the mouth-watering aroma of west coast rock lobster (crayfish or kreef) on the braai (barbeque) … and the stench of Cape gannet guano at Lambert’s Bay’s Bird Island. All the senses seem heightened in response to this area, perhaps because of its ancient wilderness.
The coastal towns have a much-vaunted Mediterranean feel and moderate temperatures that attract holiday makers and retirees. With blazing blue skies above, white sandy beaches underfoot and azure seas, you can feel as if you have been catapulted onto a brilliant Greek isle. However, the west coast is different from the warm, easy going east coast, and can whip up a howling, biting wind, or set in with miserable rain and austere, desolate greyness.
Shell middens and Stone Age artefacts dotted along the coastline suggest that the west coast’s sea and mountains sustained early human life as long as 700 000 years ago and later supported the San and Khoi people. The Khoi began herding sheep two millennia ago and were well-established herdsman by the time the Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, leading to disputes over territory. The Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, is said to be the first recorded European to arrive on South African shores, near the Berg River mouth, in a bay he named Bahai da Santa Elena after the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great. The west coast is well-known for its shipwrecks, with Paternoster (“Our Father”) said to reference the prayers of Portuguese sailors.
The west coast has drawn waves of fortune-seekers over the years, with fishing, farming, whaling, guano, forestry and diamonds being among the major drawcards, but some of the area’s greatest assets have been nearly exhausted by human demand, leaving a number of conservation concerns, such as the scarcity of the renosterbos (Swartveld) and the near eradication of endemic Clanwilliam cedars.
After years of exploitation, the Cederberg Wilderness Area now protects these rare and endemic species as well as the Cape leopard, snow protea and the red and yellow Disa uniflora. Dainty antelope species roam the reserves, as well as baboon, tortoise, caracal, mongoose and bat-eared fox. Sunbirds and sugarbirds thrive on the fynbos.
Southern right whales enter the west coast’s sheltered bays from July to October in order to calve and can often be seen quite close to the shore. Endemic Haviside’s dolphins also roam the waters, as do dusky dolphins, great white sharks, penguins and Cape fur seals. The wetlands and estuaries in the region are a bird-watcher’s paradise, with tens of thousands of birds, including (in summer) northern hemisphere waders.
When to go
Cape Flower Route – geologically, the region has remained relatively unchanged for five-million years, resulting in its unique fynbos and astonishing plant variety.
The 71 000-hectare Cederberg Wilderness Area encompasses famous rock formations (Maltese Cross; Wolfberg Arch and Wolfberg Cracks), caverns with fine rock art sites (Town Hall/Stadsaal Caves) and peaks (the tallest of which is the Sneeuberg at 2 028 metres). Streams, waterfalls and ravines and the amazing plants and animal diversity attract bird-watchers, nature-lovers and hikers who revel in the 254 kilometres of trails.
Langebaan Lagoon is the centre of West Coast National Park, known for abundant birdlife, beaches, the Postberg Flower Reserve (open from August to September) and Buffelsfontein Game Reserve, with resident black and blue wildebeest, bontebok and eland. Near Kraal Bay are the “footprints of Eve” - early hominid footprints preserved in the sandstone.
Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, known to Paternoster locals as “Tietiesbaai”, has the last manual lighthouse in South Africa.
The West Coast Fossil Park between Langebaan and Velddrif yielded a fossilised skull dating back to the Stone Age and showcases the ancient prehistory of area, including extinct animal fossils of toothy bears and tigers. Tours, mountain-bike trails, flower walks and coffee are available, +27 22 766 1606.
San Rock Art sites are a testament to the rich spiritual and community relationships of the San and Khoi and quirkily detail the creatures they encountered (even white settlers and ships). The Cederberg region has more than 2 500 sites.
Quaint villages - neat, charming Clanwilliam is famed for bouldering, flowers and Rooibos tea. Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout (South African satirist Pieter Dirk Uys) has made a cabaret theatre out of the old Darling station, called Evita se Perron (Evita’s Platform). Riebeeck Kasteel is known for olives, wine, eateries, pastoral friendliness and vibey food, arts and culture festivals. Citrusdal’s hot springs are an amazing natural phenomenon (www.thebaths.co.za).
Birdwatching - Langebaan Lagoon; Verlorenvlei (Elands Bay); Berg River Estuary and Rocherpan Nature Reserve (near Velddrif). Bird Island Nature Reserve (Lambert’s Bay), a 19 000-strong Cape gannet colony.
Activities - angling, diving, sailing; windsurfing at Saldanha and Langebaan Lagoon; surfing at Eland’s Bay; canoeing on the Berg River; paragliding and hang-gliding at Porterville; Langebaan Country Estate’s scenic 18-hole links-type golf course, designed by Gary Player.
Hikes and walks – numerous trails available, with attractions specific to every area, whether crayfish, rock art or flowers. Enquiries: Cape Nature, +27 86 122 7362 8873, or local Tourism Information offices.
Seafood - West Coast villages offer delectable culinary experiences in unique settings, traditional South African dishes and unsurpassed seafood, such as seasonal crayfish, snoek and bokkoms (dried salted fish).