Western Cape DestinationsBainskloof, Breede River Valley
The pass was planned through the kloof where the Witte River sloughs its way between the Limietberge and the Slanghoekberge. It is only a 30 kilometre stretch of road but regarded as one of the best and most beautiful passes in the country.
Bainskloof Pass was built as far back as 1853 by the Scottsman Andrew Geddes Bain, hence the name, who amazingly had no engineering training. But the proof is in the pudding as Bain went on to build further passes in the Western Cape, although Bainskloof is considered his 'magnum opus'.
Part of the Bainskloof pass's charm is that it has been altered very little and much of the landscape is unspoilt, apart from the odd wine farm, guest house and hiking trail through the beautiful valley. Fynbos abounds and the wild flowers during spring are worth a trip from Cape Town to take in the beauty (during winter, Bainskloof is one of the Western Cape's better kept secrets when it comes to beauty, if you don't mind a bit of rain).
Dacre's pulpit is one of the most famous landmarks in the pass, if you overlook the mysterious grave on the mountain slopes near Dacre's pulpit, 800 metres after the sign at Pinkilton River, where Sheikh Suleiman is said to be buried. Dacre's pulpit is a rock overhang roughly 3.8 metres above the road that managed to survive the blasting that ensued in the process of constructing the pass.