The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Swartberg Pass

Afrikaans name:

The dirt road over the Swartberg Mountains

Photo © JeremyRichards - Fotolia.com

Western Cape

The Swartberg Pass takes you over the Swartberg Mountain Range between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert. The Swartberg are considered to be one of the best examples of fold mountains in the world.

The road itself is dirt and seems to cling to the sides of the mountains at some points. Caution should be exercised in bad weather.

It took seven years to construct the pass and it was completed in 1888. Some of the original retaining walls are still in place.

The pass offers spectacular views over the Little and Great Karoo. For those interested in plant life it offers a wealth of species to discover.

Looking south from Swartberg Pass

Above - View from the top of the pass looking back to the south and south-east

Photo © Johan van Zyl

On top of Swartberg Pass

Above - On top of the pass crossing the plateau towards the northern end of the pass on the Prince Albert side of the mountain.

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Swartberg Pass

Above - The road on the northern end leading towards Prince Albert.

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Northern end of Swartberg Pass

Above - Northern end of the pass

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Wild Issue 34 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 20

Road Tripping South Africa - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2014 - Page: 58

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 330

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 47

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 121

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 311

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 77

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 89

Of Hominins, Hunter-Gatherers and Heroes - Author: David Bristow - Published: 2019 - Page: 175

go! - Issue 136 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 64

Country Life - Issue 251 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 46

Country Life - Issue 285 - Author: - Published: 2020 - Page: 25

Essential Birding: Western South Africa - Author: Callan Cohen and Claire Spottiswoode - Published: 2000 - Page: 122

Country Life - Issue 176 - Author: - Published: 2011 - Page: 58

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 118

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