Prince Alfred Pass

Prince Alfred Pass, on the R339, is considered a wonderful alternative drive between the coast and the Klein Karoo

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Prince Alfred Pass

The Prince Alfred Pass is another built by the indefatigable Thomas Bain, between 1860 and 1867. It was to be one of his biggest challenges, as the road cut through dense forest and climbs 700 metres in just 14 kilometres. The pass links Knysna with the little town of Avontuur on the R62.

Where? Uniondale (Between Knysna and Avontuur), Western Cape

When? Best during daylight hours

How much? Free

Overnight? See Uniondale accommodation, in Western Cape

Prince Alfred Pass is also fairly difficult to drive. For one, it is gravel and full of hairpin bends, for rather hair raising moments, it narrows to a single lane in places, and it is off the beaten track. It is also, for rather obvious reasons, not a road you travel just after heavy rains. And you might want to think rather seriously about attempting it with a trailer or caravan. That said, it is incredibly beautiful.

The Prince Alfred Pass, on the R339, is considered a wonderful alternative drive between the coast and the Klein Karoo. It takes one over some of the most beautiful and unspoilt mountain scenery South Africa has to offer.

The history of the pass is rather interesting too. Knysna in the middle of the 19th century had a thriving timber industry that was desperate for an alternative to the track that existed from Plettenberg Bay over Paardekop to De Vlugt, and then on over the Zondagh's Mountain to Avontuur (and Graaff-Reinet).

Bain dismissed the route because of its ruggedness, choosing instead to follow a bridle path directly from Knysna to Avontuur, used in the past by forest elephants and early inhabitants. He spent some years of his life, together with his team of convicts, building the pass whilst living in a home he had built at De Vlugt, which is now a little hamlet.

There are wonderful picnic spots all along the route, mountain pools and forest. Spitskop in particular gives one incredible views over the Garden Route. Stop at De Vlugt Tea Garden en route.

Popular Attractions in and near Prince Alfred Pass

Uniondale Poort

The little town of Uniondale on the N9 south west of Willowmore, has rather a few passes in the vicinity. The town lies in the Kammanasie River valley with mountains on all sides. Just south west of the town is the Potjiesberg pass, the Prince...

More info and contact details: Uniondale Poort

Gamkapoort Nature Reserve

Gamkapoort Nature Reserve lies to the north of the Swartberg Nature Reserve, whilst Towerkop Nature Reserve lies to the west. Together, they form part of the Greater Swartberg Protected Area, a World Heritage Site that lies between the Great...

More info and contact details: Gamkapoort Nature Reserve

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South African holiday plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap