Add Swellendam Winter School To Your Travel Bucket List!


Last month ended off on a high note for me as I got to enjoy a few days in the town of Swellendam, getting a first peak at Swellendam Winter School.

School is perhaps a very strong word. You’re probably thinking I was hitting the books, but it was nothing like that.

It was literally a leisurely learning holiday in Swellendam where I gained new skills, knowledge and made some new friends.

Swellendam Winter School is a new initiative whereby over 50 different 3-day and 5-day midweek courses are offered by Swellendam’s own local talented experts and apasionados in a variety of beautiful venues!

I got a taste of some of these courses and also got to stay in one of the beautiful establishments recommended by Swellendam Winter School, Cypress Cottage.

SwellendamCypress Cottage is a unique, small family run bed and breakfast in the heart of Swellendam. I felt extremely welcome from the minute I stepped inside and I just loved the beautiful setting of the Guest House.

The garden is absolutely magnificent and it’s absolute bliss having breakfast overlooking the beautiful view.

Swellendam Winter School

The very first course that we got to experience was A Walk On The Wildside  by Jonathan Booysen which took place at Kwetu Guest Farm.


As we walked about, Johnathan shared some interesting facts about the  Birds, Mammals & Flora which the farm is home to.

I found it quite interesting to learn more about these forms of life.


The highlight for me was getting up close and personal with Sophie and Melvin, the resident Giraffes.

Following the walk on the wildside, we ended off the day with a sunset picnic, prepared and presented by Morne Oerson in a beautiful tranquil setting.


As part of Swellendam Winter School, Morne will be presenting a workshop on decor and table settings for picnic style, casual events, as well as for evening, more formal parties or events.

The picnic was such a fabulous way to end off the day and I look forward to putting some of Morne’s tips to practice!

Reboot Yourself At Swellendam Winter School

On the second day of the pilot week I opted for the courses with the theme “Reboot Yourself”.

The first course on how to feel healthier and younger for longer probably peeked my interest the most and it certainly lived up to my expectations. I think it’s because I’m at that age where I’m where I’m noticing that first fine line -ha! So, I’m very open to hearing about ways to stay healthy and youthful for longer.

I honestly left the course with information that I could immediately implement into my lifestyle. I’m sure you are going to hear a lot more of this on the blog! The information shared was really interesting and the course was really interactive with my fellow group members.

Top Row: Cynthia Butler, Margie Walker, Dr Krystyna Pharoah

Bottom Row: Abby Buchanan from One Stiletto At A Time ; Fiona from Inspired Living; Me

A unique form of Pilates

Part two of this day, was a sneak peak at the Pilates Posture Rite course. We learnt a technique to align your body in a fun and easy way with no cardio, weights or machines. It’s basically a way to train your body with resistance training, simple breathing and core activation to hold the lower back strong.

I don’t have great posture so practicing this technique has really proved helpful to my body. In fact, we could even see a difference immediately after the class!

The best way to end off this day of rebooting was  a boat trip followed by a Harvest Table and Potjies at Umshanti.



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Umshanti has the most gorgeous views at sunset – literally breathtaking. I even got the chance to get up close to a magnificent waterfall.

I definitely have to come here again.

Our last day in Swellendam started off with something very unique…

Love Horses?


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If you’ve always been interested in horses but have not had the opportunity to ride or interact with them, then the  Horse Human Harmony  course at Appelsbosch Farm is for you.

You will get to experience the beauty and power of horse human harmony on this 3-day experiential course, aimed at making you feel safe and confident to handle horses, and possibly ride.

Just outside of Swellendam…

We paid a visit to the Zinc Gallery in Suurback, just a few km’s from Swellendam. There where we met talented artist, Donovan Julius. Spending time with Donovan and some of the people of Suurback was a memorable experience for me to say the least.

Donovan will soon be hosting his own Cultural & Heritage course as part of the Swellendam Winter School. Donavon is a very talented artist and when you see his art, you can immediately feel the emotion that is put into his work. It was an absolute honour to meet him.

The Food In Swellendam…

Throughout the week, we had visited some amazing restaurants in Swellendam!


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A pizza and Pasta buffet from Woodpecker Pizza Deli, the best G&T’s from Lily’s , an AMAZING Breakfast at Tredici and a spectacular lunch from the newly relaunched The Republic.  So if you’re in Town, pop by these spots.

I know this is probably a lot of information, but there’s honestly still so much I can share about my time in Swellendam and what I’ve learned at the Swellendam Winter School. So, I may just share some more pictures on social media to further state my case as to why you have to add this to your travel bucket list and visit Swellendam soon!

I hope I’ve done the Swellendam Winter School justice with this post. The team who runs the Swellendam Winter School is just amazing, their hospitality was absolutely tremendous. Thank you for having me!




  1. Amanda shackley April 11, 2019

    We are so glad you enjoyed your brief visit. hopefully you will be back in winter to explore some of the courses in more depth!

    • Hayley April 11, 2019

      Hi Amanda. Thank you so much! Yes, for sure. I am hope to arrange with some of my girlfriends to do one of the courses together! See you soon x

  2. SirNoid April 11, 2019

    My dear wife also had a great time

    • Hayley April 11, 2019

      Ah…..we all had an absolute blast together! We all left with very special memories x

  3. Wenchy April 11, 2019


    • Hayley April 15, 2019

      Thank you so much Wenchy! It was so lovely to meet and get to know you 🙂


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