Kredouw Pass

The Kredouw Pass lies on the R407 from Prince Albert, where it runs parallel to the Swartberg Mountains

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Kredouw Pass

The Kredouw Pass lies on the R407 from Prince Albert, where it runs parallel to the Swartberg Mountains. The pass proper starts roughly 25 km from the little Karoo town, after turning left off the R328 onto the R407.

Where? 15km from Prince Albert, Karoo, Western Cape

When? Best during daylight hours

How much? Free

Overnight? See Prince Albert accommodation, in the Western Cape

The initial climb is the best bit of the pass, which takes only about 10 minutes to navigate, so take it slow. At the other end of the journey is the hamlet of Klaarstroom.

The pass is tarred and though it has no safety shoulders, is a relatively smooth passage, despite the narrow neck at the crest of the summit. Whilst descending towards Klaarstroom you will notice a clear incision carved by the old pass that wrought a far more convoluted passage up the valley; original dry-pack stone walls still hug bits of the road, particularly where the road curves over the ravine.

The Kredouw Pass was involved in a Boer / British skirmish in February 1901 during the South African War when a group of Boers entered Klaarstroom, the little village at the entrance to Meiringspoort where they proceeded to cut the telephone wires, destroy the telegraph transmitter and help themselves to goods from the government store.

The British patrols approaching from Prince Albert, with two Boer scouts they had captured en route, had no idea of the danger they were in until they entered Klaarstroom. They had to leave in rather a hurry again when the Boer commando gave chase, catching up with them close to Remhoogte. A battle ensued in the valley between Klaarstroom and Prince Albert, known as 'Die Gang'.

The British retreated as far as the Kredouw Pass where their five howitzer canons kept the Boers back in the valley, although eight of the British soldiers were taken prisoner (released after the Boers had thoroughly interrogated them). The Boers camped on the side of a river on the farm Bloemendal, still in existence today.

There is a geocache hidden on the summit of Kredouw Pass where it overlooks the Prince Albert Valley. The hint is 'Rock'.

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