Garden Route Tourist AttractionsHomtini Pass
Where? The Homtini Pass is one of several passes on the famous 7 Passes route in the Garden Route.
The Homtini Pass is one of several passes on the famous 7 Passes route. Back when it was constructed in the 1880s this route involving seven passes was the only route between George and Knysna. It was to remain so for almost 70 years before the N2 through the Wilderness replaced it with a faster option.
Homtini is the second of the passes, if driving from Knysna. But if coming from the George side it is seventh of the eight passes (calling it the 7 Passes Route is a bit of a misnomer). It lies just above Sedgefield and is arguably one of the more beautiful of the passes because of its passage through thick forest.
5 km long, Homtini Pass is a gravel pass built by Thomas Bain. Other than the bridge, which has been altered, the road remains exactly as it was when Bain built it.
The hairpin bend marks the entrance into thick forest, where the canopy virtually meets overhead as the pass descends towards the river of the same name. A few kilometres downstream the Homtini River joins the Goukamma River.
If you want to take time to enjoy the pass take the turnoff, roughly 1 km outside of Rheenendal, to the Jubilee Creek picnic area and old Millwood goldmines. The pass ends close to Rheenendal, after which the road is tarred all the way to Knysna. To take the Phantom Pass, the last gravel pass, you take a turn off this road.
Homtini means 'difficult passage' after the cattle route the Khoi-San used to bring their cattle to the coast from the mountains, but today the route is an easy one, provided you keep within the speed limits and watch out for small animals and cyclists. Also be aware that sections of the road are corrugated and pot-holed.
The Homtini MTB Trail is a 19 km circular route that leaves Krisjan-se-Nek and heads through the Homtini forest near the pass. Also in the area is the Rheenendal Ramble that links various artists and crafters in the area, and includes farm stalls, art galleries, delis and crafters.
Garden Route Passes
• Attakwaskloof Pass • Bloukrans Pass • Cradock Pass • Homtini Pass • Hoogekraal Pass
• Kaaimans River Pass • Robinson Pass • Swartrivier Pass