Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Pakhuis Pass
The drive from Clanwilliam to Wuppertal in the Cederberg, the incredible wild and mountainous region that attracts hikers and lies roughly three hours' from Cape Town, takes one across three wonderful mountain passes, one of which is the Pakhuis Pass.
Where? Between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, Western Cape
When? Best during daylight hours
How much? Free
The other two are Hoek Se Berg and Kouberg Pass, possibly not as well known, but just as beautiful.
The Pakhuis Pass specifically lies roughly 20 kilometres outside of Clanwilliam with incredible views from the top of the pass onto the Karoo. If you take the R364 out of town, it becomes the gravel pass that was completed in 1877, another of Thomas Bain's masterpieces, built with the help of convict labour that opened up a direct route between Clanwilliam and the Karoo.
Reaching Wuppertal, the little mission town, entails taking a right off the R364 after the Englishman's Grave, onto a rather narrow and steep road. It doesn't need a high clearance vehicle to drive the route, but you will need your wits about you.
Roughly 20 families live in what was a Moravian mission station, most of them subsistence farmers, although there is also a shoe and boot factory you can visit to buy a pair of Veldskoens. From here you can take a donkey cart trip over the Pakhuis Pass to Heuningvlei – a rather novel way of travelling the pass.
A fair number of hikes begin on Pakhuis Pass that include the one that takes you to Heuningvlei, Pakhuis Pass to Kliphuis, and the Kliphuis circular walk that starts just before Pakhuis Pass outside the Kliphuis campsite. One of the main reasons hikers love these northern parts of the Cederberg is that one will often not see another hiker for the duration of a hike. For most of the hikes you will need a Cederberg Wilderness permit.