Swartberg Pass
Swartberg Pass
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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  • Alok
    Johannesburg, South Africa5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful , Scenic and breathtaking Mountain pass, The Swatberg Pass.
    One of the most amazing and scenic place in SA, we did our trip in December 2022 started from oudtshoorn and the back to oudtshoorn via de rust. You can drive the main pass with most of car, we did that with CX3 with 156 mm ground clearence. For dehell 4x4 is mandatory . The scenes are amazing and weather in december gets hot, lot of places to take pictures, make food and eat snacks enjoying the scenic mountains. Its on of the most loveliest mountain pass in SA. You can complete the pass in 3-4 hours with hault, break , taking photos with ease from one way. The other way of prince albert is equally nice .
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 9, 2024
  • Climber320397
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Swartberg Pass
    The Swartberg Pass is a must do experience. The views are exceptional and it is an amazing way to get to Oudtshoorn from Prince Albert. It is hard to believe how the pass was engineered so many years ago. Well worth it.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 6, 2024
  • floridaherbie
    Marco Island, Florida223 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Outworldly experience!
    Driving from Cango Caves to the Swartberg Pass summit on an unpaved road is nothing for the faint hearted and you should do it at least with some kind of SUV - because of the clearance. The best part is the descending part to Port Albert with unbelievable rock formations, you think you are not on earth. Well worth the demanding drive!
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 19, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,671 reviews
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Julia B
Northampton, UK777 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We were staying outside of Oudtshoorn and in my research I had read how wonderful the views were from the Swartberg Pass so we decided after a visit to the Cango Caves to drive over it to Prince Albert for lunch.

It was a cloudy day but we decided it didn't matter and to carry on. I hadn't read enough and so we were taken by surprise at the unmade, single track road with severe drops without barriers. I have a fear of heights so luckily I wasn't driving! We were in a Nissan X Trail and felt pleased to have a good vehicle to deal with the terrain. My husband is a very experienced driver but even he felt that this was rather a challenging drive.

This is a road for slow, careful driving. The views as we descended were wonderful and afterwards we were pleased that we had done it but it was tough and not a relaxing scenic drive as expected.

Looking back we are pleased that we did the drive but would recommend having a vehicle with good suspension and lots of patience. Not recommended for those with vertigo!
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet J
England, UK54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We did this pass with a few worries I have to admit. We were staying in Oudsthoorn and travelled up to Prince Albert then did the pass back to Oudsthoorn. It is a good 22km all gravelled with some very sharp hair pin bends. The views are amazing. The first half of the pass is in pretty decent repair the second half descending is less so. A few places we had to steer around quite large boulders. Thoroughly enjoyed it We even got to see a tortoise.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alok
Johannesburg, South Africa5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
One of the most amazing and scenic place in SA, we did our trip in December 2022 started from oudtshoorn and the back to oudtshoorn via de rust.

You can drive the main pass with most of car, we did that with CX3 with 156 mm ground clearence. For dehell 4x4 is mandatory .

The scenes are amazing and weather in december gets hot, lot of places to take pictures, make food and eat snacks enjoying the scenic mountains. Its on of the most loveliest mountain pass in SA. You can complete the pass in 3-4 hours with hault, break , taking photos with ease from one way.

The other way of prince albert is equally nice .
Written January 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Snowbird52
London, UK127 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
The pass was driveable in early November 2023 in a normal saloon car but is going to need a lot of repair work to put it back to how it was. One or two deeply rutted sections were touch and go. It was first gear for most of the way and the whole thing took about 2 hours.
Written November 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter I
North Yorkshire, UK462 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Had to get to Oudtshoorn from Prince Albert but the map did not indicate the road conditions so we set off along the dirt road not knowing what was coming. We soon found out as we entered the canyon on a single track. There then followed a wonderful drive of about 90 minutes up a very steep, very tortuous, mostly single track dirt road often with huge drops on one (mainly my wife's) side. After reaching the top, the descent was perhaps not quite so steep and tortuous but the views were just as good. It's only about 25 km but what an experience. My wife hated it and after speaking to others it seems that, in general, it may not be a trip for the ladies.
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GreyPoundLondon
London, UK193 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We drove from south to north in an ordinary rental car. We'd seen reviews suggesting a 4WD but decided to go ahead. To our surprise, nearly all the cars on the pass that day were like ours. We started from Schoemanshoek at about 9 before the weather heated up. We took it slowly and stopped frequently to admire the view and take photos. The road on the southern side is gravel but once you get over the summit, the north side is more compact. The big advantage is that, unlike the Meeringspoort pass, there weren't any lorries. The road can be narrow in places but it wasn't busy so we didn't have any passing problems. Well worth the effort.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hemingwayaway
england329 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is an official road and even has its own number-its just not a tarmac surface. Well maintained, it's an up and down pass. The Oudtshoorn side is the lumpiest road surface, steepish and not as spectacular at the Prince Albert side. It's no big deal to do in a normal car-you do not need a suv or 4wheel drive. The PA side is spectacular, but even moreso is the tarmac loop through the horge before DeRust. Allow 1.5 hrs for the pass and 3ish hrs total for the circular route back to O. Very lightly trafficked when I did it on a February midweek.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeneralShamu
New York City, NY1,114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
Such a beautiful pass to drive through and completely manageable in a 2WD vehicle. Ensure you drive slow around turns because you never know when the approaching vehicle is drifting because they are watching the scenery rather than the road.

Gusty winds at the top but no need for cold weather clothing during summer time. Do not drive this at night nor if it's been raining.

We drove this pass south to north (from Oudtshoorn) and then, rather than come back the same way, took a right onto the main tarred road R407. It is tarred and more distance but requires the same time to get back to Oudtshoorn. This way you see something different (beautiful valley canyons!!!) on the return.
Written December 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Enaya2016
Sandton, South Africa51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
Enjoyed the lovely views on this pass. The winding road provides an exhilarating experience as you drive through. In wet weather, it may be advisable to go up this pass using a 4x4 vehicle.
Written January 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PierreDorf
Centurion, South Africa157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
I am extremely scared of heights, but I thought I hadd to take on this challenge. I entered from Prince Albert and was immediately in awe of the scenery. I kept praying that no car would come from the front on one of the blind curves and lucky for me my prayers were answered. The views are magnificent , but don't take your eyes off the road for too long if you are driving. I takes approximately 45 to 60 mins to get to the other side and then it is only a short drive to the Cango Caves.
Written November 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Swartberg Pass - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Swartberg Pass




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