the world's most spectacular roads

Prince Alfred's Pass

Prince Alfred's Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.038m above the sea level, located in the Western Cape, in South Africa. The road cuts through dense forest and climbs 700 metres in just 14 kilometres.

The road over the pass is gravel. It’s called R339 and links Knysna and Uniondale crossing the Langkloof Mountains. In the 1800's Thomas Bain was asked to build the pass which provided him with his biggest challenge to date. He began his work on the pass in 1860 and completed it in 1867.
This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Always drive at a safe speed, remember it is a gravel road so travel slowly. Descending traffic stops for upcoming. Look out for dust from approaching traffic. Hoot on sharp bends. No caravans or quad bikes allowed on the pass.

It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns with wheels sometimes hanging above the precipice. The pass 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.
There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy. A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. There is no mobile phone reception on the pass. There are no banks or petrol stations so fill up your tank and your wallet at Uniondale before you transit the pass.


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