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Swartberg Pass

Swartberg Mountain Circle Route
(200 km – 4-8 hours, depending on stops)

Depart Oudtshoorn and travel along the R328 towards the Cango Caves. Choose to visit the Caves or stop at an Ostrich Show Farm on the way, or make your way directly up the majestic Swartberg Pass towards Prince Albert. Stop as many times as you like along the way and drink from the clear mountain streams. Enjoy lunch in the historical Victorian village of Prince Albert, before returning along the R407 via Klaarstroom. Take a short hike to the Meiringspoort waterfall and enjoy the awesome formations of the rocks in the ‘poort’. Browse the interesting stores in De Rust and return to Oudtshoorn via the N12.

 

To Hell & Back

'Die Hel' is an isolated valley in the Swartberg Mountains between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert. Although the valley officially falls in the Fynbos vegetation biome, one could be forgiven for thinking one was in moist savannah when in the valley. This is due to the fact that, although the valley itself receives a rather arid 200mm of rain a year, the surrounding mountains collect more than 1600mm of rain annually - all of which flows down into the valley. Accessible via only one (rather dangerous) 4x4-only road, the valley is very isolated, and is cut-off during the rainy season when Gamka River comes down in flood. Once a remote farming community, the valley is now mostly owned by CapeNature and is a nature reserve.