The Swartberg Pass & Meiringspoort Scenic Self Drive
Herewith a suggested scenic drive (approx. 300km round trip) from Eight Bells Mountain Inn taking you through a range of different landscapes and experiences.
Leaving Eight Bells Mountain Inn take the beautiful Robinson Pass through to Oudtshoorn and then onwards towards the Cango Caves. Carry on with the R328 until before the Caves Road entrance and continue on to the 27 km long Swartberg Pass, considered to be one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world: an untarred road that winds to the summit 1 583 metres above sea level in steep zig-zags and sudden switchbacks, with breath-taking views at every turn.
As you drive on you gain your first sight of the valleys and peaks of the Swartberg Pass. The natural characteristics of the Pass are magnificent – as are the man-made features. This was Thomas Bain's last engineering masterpiece. Along the way there are relics of an old stone prison used to house the convicts that built the pass, as well as other historical points of interest.
The Swartberg Pass brings you to the quaint town of Prince Albert. A perfect place to stop for a light lunch as it has a range of restaurants and interesting shops, known for selling Olive, Mohair and a range of homemade products.
After lunch take the R407 road pass Bergwater Wine Cellars where you can stop for a wine tasting.
Heading for Klaarstroom enroute to De Rust via the beautiful Meiringspoort with its soaring cliff walls with spectacular rock formations line the 25 km tarred road which winds along the floor of the gorge, crossing the Groot River 25 times. Each crossing, or drift, has its own name and story - stop at the Waterfall information site to learn more.
Stopping in De Rust for afternoon tea at one of the many little cafés before heading home to Eight Bells Mountain Inn via Oudtshoorn and the Robinson Pass.
Detailed map available from reception.