Swellendam was one of the first small towns I visited when I moved to South Africa. I absolutely loved it then and loved every single visit afterwards.
I have been lucky enough to explore this gorgeous town many more times and am always excited to return.
Prior to the lockdown, we visited again; this time exploring and learning about our home for two nights – Gaikou Lodge and its neighbourhood.
ABOUT & LOCATION
Lovingly renovated by the Verder family in 2002, Gaikou Lodge is located just outside Swellendam Village centre in a peaceful and very tranquil area.
Leaving the buzz of the village main streets behind, this magnificent location immediately set the tone for our stay. Think relaxation for the soul.
Gaikou Lodge is a bed & breakfast (B&B) accommodation on a 16-hectare private property at the foothills of Langeberg Mountain.
On offer for their guests are – two-family villas perfect for families, each with a private veranda and breath-taking mountain views and eight double luxury rooms that cater for holidaying couples as well as business people or conference delegates.
Our home for two nights was one of the spacious luxury open plan suites which we truly enjoyed. The suite was generously and comfortably appointed. Small kitchenette with mini bar fridge, coffee and tea facility, cutlery, crockery and sufficient cupboard space. Bathroom with a bath and shower including towels, bathrobes and fine toiletries for guest use. The bedroom included a bed (super comfortable) dressed in finest linens, flat-screen TV, DSTV, Wifi, and a desk for the business travellers.
After a long day of exploring it felt like coming home to our cozy suite.
BREAKFAST at GAIKOU
Breakfast time at the lodge is a delicious affair of fresh, homemade and locally sourced produce. Starting from fresh fruits, preserves, bread, cheeses to a selection of cooked warm meals including omelettes, pancakes and an array of deliciousness! All that served with a smile and in the serenity of the breakfast area and its view of the lodge’s soothing surroundings. Absolute bliss!
Lunches and Dinners are served on request.
THINGS TO DO
There is so much to do at Gaikou, from relaxed leisure time by the pool to bird watching, fishing at their dam, walking the child-friendly river trail and enjoying a game at their jeu de boules court. All this surrounded by Swellendam, the dam and stunning mountain views.
One can also revel in the many fantastic options on offer in Swellendam itself; from a rejuvenating treatment at the Rain Spa (highly recommended) to a stroll through the streets of this small town. Simply savoring the galleries, pottery studios, the famous Swellendam Museum, cafes and restaurants.
Love a bit of a road-tripping? Then a drive to the nearby lavender farm is a must. As well as berry picking at The Berry Farm. Don’t forget to visit the Bontebok Reserve and surrounding towns like Witsand and Barrydale. You are in for a treat!
MARLOTH NATURE RESERVE
Ready for an adventure, venture off into the mountains at the Marloth Nature Reserve adjoining Gaikou. We spent two days hiking through the reserve and absolutely adored it.
We took a relatively easy hiking trail to the Duiwelsbos waterfall. A scenic and fairly easy walk alongside the river that flows down as you climb up the mountain to reach the perfect little waterfall as a reward. The small pool at the base of the waterfall is perfect to take a well-deserved break and for those adventurous souls even a dip. That is if you are brave enough to face fairly cold water temperatures.
You will encounter lush surroundings and a dense forest still unaffected by visitors. The views are spectacular and abundant bird life greets you every step of the way.
For more details on hiking trails and permits – CLICK HERE.
Gaikou Lodge is well known for its unique conference venue facilities with modern conference equipment. Add to that their professional service, perfect for business travellers, meetings, end-of-the-year functions and more.
THE COUNTRY HOUSE AT MARDOUW OLIVE FARM
Their sister venue, Mardouw Olive Farm just outside Swellendam, deserves a mention too. Ideal for exclusive, private group accommodation, intimate celebrations or corporate meetings. To find out more CLICK HERE.
No matter if you are a leisure or business traveller, or if you are travelling in a group or solo – Gaikou Lodge Swellendam is where you will find everyday magic.
Gaikou Lodge is TRAVEL READY to welcome business and essential services travellers. For bookings and accommodation enquiries please contact them by calling +27(0) 28 514 1133 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text and Images by travel opulent box.
If you want to find out more about what to do in Swellendam – CLICK HERE.
And if you fancy a nice meal – Augusta de Mist African Kitchen should be on your list to visit. An amazing foodie experience.
If you do decide to take a hike to the waterfall make it a day adventure. Pack a small picnic and take drinking water with. Wear sensible walking shoes as it does get a bit slippery and rocky.
Please note, Mardouw is not located at Gaikou Lodge, but about 40min from Gaikou Lodge outside Swellendam / directions: R60 between Swellendam and Ashton
We have been hosted by Gaikou Lodge as a part of #TravelChatSA Off-the-grid Review Series. Opinions are ours and based on personal experience. Extras have been settled directly.