Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Bosluiskloof Pass
Where? Between Laingsburg and the Gamkapoort Dam, Western Cape
When? Best during daylight hours
How much? Free
There are views from some of the higher parts of the Bosluiskloof Pass out over a series of mountain ranges that are absolutely incredible.
Bosluiskloof Pass can be reached from the northern end of Seweweekspoort, where the road runs up the northern foot of the Swartberg up to the pass. Bosluiskloof winds for some 22 kilometres between the Swartberg and the Elandberg mountain ranges, defining the border between the Great and Klein Karoo. At its end is the Gamkapoort Dam, and on its periphery are the occasional, littered remains of buildings – ruins of lives long since forgotten. It's an incredible pass to drive and well worth the journey.
Bosluiskloof was built by Adam de Smidt, who also built Seweweekspoort, the two combining to form the link from Prince Albert to the west. Take a moment at the pinacle of the pass before descending, as the view placed before one of blue grey mountain peaks, cones and jagged hills is inspiring.
Bosluiskloof descends from its heights into what appears to be a desolate valley, a landscape better attributed to another unworldly planet, and Gamkapoort Dam. Other than an occasional thatched house, there is nothing else.
The dam is deserted. This is not like other dams in South Africa where people hang out on the banks and enter into any number of water sports. Out here one is either struck dumb with a sense of awe at the stillness and rugged beauty of the place, or one beats a hasty retreat, frightened at the silence and the space, intent on finding civilisation.