The Swartberg Pass

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The Swartberg Pass is a dirt road that rises over the Swartberg Mountains, linking Oudtshoorn with the town of Prince Albert. The drive is absolutely stunning, the views afforded down from the pass are vast and dramatic, whilst the rock formations you drive through are fascinating – layers of rock representing millions of years folded and crumpled on itself. On the far side, Prince Albert is as strange a place as you are likely to visit in South Africa. Almost every building is over a century old and it still feels like a settler outpost; it’s a small place and feels completely cut off from the 21st century, in a way that makes it wonderful visit, but still makes you glad you’re not staying too long! Instead of doubling back on yourself over the Swartberg Pass again, there is a loop road, tarmaced, which goes back towards Oudtshoorn through the spectacular Meiringspoort Pass.

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