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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

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References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 118

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 121

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

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

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

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

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