Bainskloof Pass

Bainskloof Pass is a drive worth taking

Bainskloof Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 597m (1,958ft) above the sea level, located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It’s said to be one of South Africa’s finest scenic passes.

Who built Bainskloof Pass?

The road to the summit, also known as Bainskloofpas, is totally paved. It’s called Regional road R310. Completed in 1854, this engineering masterpiece was designed and built by temporary Wellington resident Andrew Geddes Bain with the use of convict labour and raw, rough materials and methods. Originally built for carriages and carts, the pass was later tarred. Bain achieved this remarkable feat without any formal engineering training, and then continued to build several more passes in the Western Cape. He and his son Thomas collectively built over 30 passes in the country.

How long is Bainskloof Pass?

Tucked away in the Limiet Mountains, the pass is 31.2km (19.38 miles) long, running from Wellington, a town in the Western Cape Winelands to the bridge over the Breede River, on the way to Ceres. The pass, one of the most picturesque and magnificently constructed passes in South Africa, is a National Monument which blends in perfectly with its natural surroundings. At the top of the pass you will find a plantation and a picnic spot.

Is the road to Bainskloof Pass difficult?

The road is pretty challenging and features countless turns. Ideal time to travel is daylight. Not advised night drive. The road is very steep, hitting a 9% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. On one side of the pass is the mountain, on the other side, only a very very steep cliff, with the Bainskloof river at the bottom. The road is at certain parts very narrow and some parts of the road are not in a very good condition. Many accidents happened there over the years. It looks like there is a spell on this pass, because the cars will just run over the cliff, with no reason whatsoever. If you stop and look over the cliffs, you will see many cars that found their final resting place there. Some of these cars dates from the early 1900's. Many people claim to have seen spirits along the road.

 

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