Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Swartberg Pass
The 27km Swartberg Pass is considered one of the finest mountain passes in the world: an untarred road that winds to the summit 1583 metres above sea level in steep zigzags and sudden switchbacks with breathtaking views at every turn.
Where? Prince Albert, Western Cape
When? Best during daylight hours
How much? Free
The road is supported in places by hand-packed stone walls, a trademark of brilliant road engineer Thomas Charles Bain.
Along the way there are relics of an old prison, toll hut and other interesting historical sites. Often covered with snow in winter, the mountainís unique micro-climate supports fynbos and a rich bird life in contrast with the arid zone flora and fauna outside its cool shady kloofs. The Swartberg Pass was declared a National Monument in its Centenary year, 1988.
The Swartberg Mountains are a magnificent backdrop to the village of Prince Albert. Once considered almost impenetrable, there are now three major gateways Ė the Swartberg Pass, Meiringspoort and Seweweekspoort - linking the Great Karoo with the Little Karoo and the coast.
Meiringspoort and the Swartberg Pass are almost on Prince Albertís doorstep, and with their awesome beauty and many opportunities for recreation, should be on every visitorís itinerary.