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Die Hel

Driving Die Hel, the South Africa's Road To Hell

Die Hel (otherwise known as Gamka's Kloof) is a valley locayed in the Swartberg Mountains in the Western Cape (South Africa). Nobody is sure where the 'Die Hel' name came from. One popular story is that a Piet Botha (an animal inspector) visited the valley in the 1940s and used a particularly difficult route known as the 'die leer' into the valley. He described the experience as "hell". The residents have never liked the name and prefer to referrer to themselves as 'Kloovers'.

Located in the Swartberg Mountains, the road is 37km long. The expected driving time is around 2 hours. Die Hel is an isolated valley in the Swartberg Mountains between Oudtshoorn and Prince Alber in South Africa, accessible via only one (rather dangerous) 4x4-only road, and is cut-off during the rainy season when the Gamka River comes down in flood.

A 4x4 is esential to hit this road. This beautiful, secluded valley, roughly 20km long and less than 1 km wide, lies hidden in the heart of the Swartberg Mountains. It was inaccessible by road until 1963. Its many streams and fertile soil once supported a community who lived there for more than 100 years in isolation. It is shrouded in romantic notions of mythical communities lost in hidden mountain valleys. Relic farms and several restored cottages remain to stimulate the romance.
Pic: jc3Dcx

 

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