Bainskloof, Breede River Valley

Just west of Wellington - the town along the longest wine route in the Western Cape - lies Route 303 along which Bainskloof pass runs from Paarl to Ceres, passing over the Limiet Mountain en route.

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.

Additional Reading

For more info about Bainskloof see our articles on the SA Travel News Blog: • Rock-hopping in BainskloofBainskloof Escape

Travellers' Reviews

1 Review from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewvery good

I MOVED TO WELLINGTON FROM THE NORTHERN SUBURBS OF CAPE TOWN AND THOROUGHLY ENJOY THE MOUNTAIN. THERE ARE VARIOUS WALKS STARTING FROM THE PARKING AREA AT THE TOP OF THE PASS ON THE WELLINGTON SIDE THAT TAKE YOU ALONG A JEEP TRACK TO THE WITTERIVER WITH PRISTINE POOLS FOR A SWIM OR A PICNIC.

ERNST BOUWER (WELLINGTON)

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