Biking in Eden Exploring the Soutern Cape Passes

Biking in Eden Exploring the Soutern Cape Passes

Over the last decade the biking scene has seen a massive shift towards Adventure biking. The rise of the Dual Sport bike has opened up a whole new world for the biker with a sense of adventure. South Africa, and specifically the Southern Cape Region with it’s wealth of historic passes, represent something close to heaven if you own a Dual Sport motorcycle.

If you are holidaying in our beautiful Garden Route and you happened to bring your bike with, be sure not to miss out on these lovely rides:

 

 

Montagu Pass (S33.927444 E22.414104)

 

This short pass (about 8km) between George and Herold will elevate you from the Southern Cape plains onto the Outeniqua mountain range and take you into the Klein Karoo. This narrow gravel pass was built in 1847 and, depending on the road condition and traffic, is suitable for beginner to intermediate riders. Take your time, take in the views. Historic spots are signposted and the Old Toll House has been restored. And if the explorer in you wants to keep going, head towards Paardepoort (S33.787422 E22.423852) and explore the gravel roads of the Klein Karoo!

 

 

Swartberg Pass (S33.391758 E22.109058)

 

The 27km Swartberg Pass is considered one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world: an untarred road winds to the summit 1 583 metres above sea level in steep zig-zags and sudden switchbacks, with breath-taking views at every turn.

The natural characteristics of the Pass are magnificent – as are the man-made features. This was Thomas Bain’s last engineering masterpiece. His construction philosophy, which has stood the test of time was: “Good hat and good boots”. The pass runs between Oudtshoorn and Prins Albert and also gives access to Gamkaskloof (“Die Hel”). Suitable for intermediate riders who don’t suffer from vertigo.

 

 

7 Passes! (S33.971869 E22.534497)

 

One not enough? Why not take 7! The 7 passes road runs between George and Knysna. A mixture of tar and gravel the route will take you through forests, farmlands and over several historic bridges. Be sure to stop in at Jubilee Creek if you have the time.

Still want more? Explorers aren’t spoon-fed, but we’ll point you in the right direction. Have a look at the “Gravel Travel Adventures” Facebook Page or pop in at Tex Bikes in George to hook up with some local riders. Or do your own thing and search for Attakwas Pass (Google is your friend), part of the original Ox-wagon “N1”. Likewise Rooiberg Pass, Gysmanshoek Pass, “Kom-se-Pad” in the Knysna forest, the Kamanassie road in the Klein Karoo and Prins Alfred’s Pass are worthwhile searches. Even the elusive G-Spot can be found if you look in the right places (hint: it’s between Knysna and Uniondale) and if your wife tells you to go to Hell (S33.344297 E21.755168), it’s REALLY worth a visit! But take lots of water, it gets quite hot there we’re told…