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South Africa

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This day trip is 182km, through a most amazing variety of landscapes. There are so many photo opportunities and some time for browsing in typical South African rural villages.

Swartberg PassOur directions start from Oudtshoorn, but you can join the route at any point.

From Oudtshoorn, drive towards to Cango Caves on the R328. Shortly after the caves, you will ascend the Swartberg Pass – the most famous pass in South Africa.

The gravel road is quite narrow in parts and a saloon car can drive this route, as long as it is not raining. No caravans or trailers are allowed as some of the bends are very sharp.

Stop at the top for incredible scenery over the valleys below and lookout for the fynbos along the route.

At the top of the pass, turn left to Prince Albert, a very popular village and a great place for tea or lunch or just to browse.

Prince Albert Main Road

Some things to do in Prince Albert

Prince Albert 2

  • Die Wolschuur Mohair Shop on Kerk Street sells 100% mohair hand-woven carpets, blankets, jerseys and other products. They also sell other handcrafted goodies and jewelry.
  • On Saturdays, visit the market on the square next to the Fransie Pienaar museum. You can buy homemade pickles, jams, fresh or dried fruit and more
  • Go olive tasting at the Swartrivier Olive Farm. Book your tour or tasting with them beforehand on +27 (0)23 5411 917. It’s 5 kms out of Prince Albert on the Kruidfontein Road
  • Visit Gay’s Cheese Factory for farm fresh milk, yoghurt, cream, amasi & cheese. Tel: +27(0) 23 5411 274 at Upper Kerkstraat
  • Visit the old Watermill at the southern entrance of Prince Albert
  • Attend the Olive Festival in May

After seeing Prince Albert, return on the road towards Oudtshoorn, but continue straight on the R407 towards Klaarstroom  and Meiringspoort.

Meiringspoort PassThis incredible passageway, dominated by towering sandstone cliffs,  in the heart of the Swartberg Mountain range, will leave you awestruck. The plant diversity is incredible and some of these plant species are known all over the world. The world famous geranium (Pelargonium Zonale) originates from this area. A variety of birds and small animals can be seen – you might even spot a black African eagle hunting dassies or find baboons guarding the road side.

Halfway through the gorge you can stop at the Information Kiosk where the history of Meiringspoort is displayed. Take a walk up to the impressive 60    meter waterfall that falls into a deep rock pool. Or just enjoy a picnic lunch at this special place.

De Rust GalleryThen drive on to De Rust village, a little secret gem. Have a look at the farm stalls, galleries and Victorian architecture of this delightful place that was voted SA’s favourite village in 2011.

Chat with the locals and take in the vibe.

Don’t drive around, take a donkey ride!

Travel back to Oudtshoorn on the N12 through stunning rural scenery and mountain backdrops. Look out for the Mons Ruber Wine Estate, a few kilometres outside De Rust. Not only can you taste wine here, but you can take the 1.5 hour walk to the Red Hills, a natural heritage site, if you have the time. A permit is required and is issued at the wine estate.

De Rust to Oudtshoorn

Map of the route

Day Trip Prince Albert to De Rust and Outdshoorn

More info on the town of Oudtshoorn More info on the Klein Karoo area


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