Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swartberg Pass Part 2

Yesterday we drove up the Swartberg Pass and took a break at the top. Today we decent into the Karoo. The northern part of the pass is famous for its switchbacks and you won't find a travel book on South Africa that doesn't have at least one photo of the pass.

Just before we started our decent I was curious to see where we were going and saw how the road snaked down the mountain side at a gradual decline. There was a couple of vehicles coming up the pass from the Prince Albert side and I waited to get some pass pics with vehicles in it.

After a short distance there was a spot to pull over and everybody stood on the edge looking down. We stopped and hopped out to see what they were looking for. What was waiting below was probably the most spectacular part of the Swartberg Pass. The road was turning back on itself a couple of times and it was incredibly steep down to the bottom. I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel and make my way down it.

As soon as we hit the bottom of the steep section I stopped and got out to get a shot of the view back to the top. You couldn't see the actual road, but you could see the retaining stone walls that were built in the 1800's. AWESOME!

Rights at the bottom of the pass just before you join up with the tar road going to Prince Albert there is a valley with a welcoming cool stream and shady trees. We stopped next to the river and couldn't get our shoes off quickly enough to get our feet into the soothing water. A perfect end to a perfect drive.
GPS: 33°18'44.97"S, 22° 2'41.09"E


  1. What a scary road! It's a very pretty part of our country though and quite underestimated by us locals. I was talking to a friend just yesterday - she has been to the States, Brazil, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and yet she's never been to the Kruger National Park, or the done the Garden Route! Sad really!

  2. Oh such greaet pics!!! I am so glad to make contact with you - I'm always on the lookout for other South African bloggers...
    will def. visit again!
    Gena @ thinking aloud

  3. Wow!!! I love this road. I'm just going to have to make that drive. Sure hope there's camping somewhere. The view down on the switchbacks is awesome. If there wasn't a car on the road I'd have compared that to the canyon trail. Your photos are excellent Jonker. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  4. This pool is called "Eerste Water" by the locals. My niece farms in "Die Gang" or Prince Albert Valley as it is called nowadays. This is such and amazing part of our country! Have you ever been through Meiringspoort? Awesome place!

  5. Some great overlooks there. If I were crazy it would make a great motorcycle road. Better if paved. As is 4 wheels are best I think. Drive safely! :-)