The warm and welcoming Swartland area of the Western Cape encompasses a uniquely diverse geographic region, from the undulating hills of the Paardeberg in the south to the rolling waters of the Berg River in the north.
Here lie the charming historic towns of Malmesbury, Piketberg and Porterville, and the twin villages of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West, nestled on the slopes of the Kasteelberg.
Sweeping wheat fields – golden in summer, mint-green in winter – are punctuated by azure dams on working farms, and sheep and cattle dot the landscape. Huge swathes of natural vegetation burst with indigenous fynbos and the rich resident birdlife is complemented in spring by migrants, with buzzards and kites common along roadside fenceposts.
In this little Mediterranean corner of the world, fruit orchards abound, vineyards carpet the slopes and olive groves nestle around unexpected corners.
This quietly charming world of abundance and colour welcomes visitors – to be cosseted in guesthouses BnBs, to feast on fresh and deliciously prepared local produce and, above all, to sample a wide range of palate-pleasuring wines.