There's lots of famous Stuff Just a Short Drive Away! The Swartberg Pass This spectacular 27km pass is one of the finest mountain passes in the world, winding dizzyingly up to the summit 1585 m above sea level, which is about as high as heaven. Built by convict labour, the Swartberg Pass was completed in 1887, eight years from plan. It was designed by the famed road engineer Thomas Charles John Bain. He was a very busy man, responsible for no less than seventeen Cape Province passes and 13 children! After the, tough hardy landscape of the Karoo, the Swartberg Pass is another world. With a lot more moisture around, the Swartberg Mountain Range is a colorful display of over 600 plant species, including Proteas, Tolbosse, Pincushions and Erica's and is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage site. It's a bit like heaven with over 130 bird species as well as the Black Eagle. The views are breathtaking and photographs don't do it justice – you simply have to stand at the top of that world! Afterwards, you will be different, for, like the Eagle, you will know that you can touch the sky. If you have a crappy car, however, rather sign up for one of the hikes, a mountain bike or a donkey ride.


An inspiration to artists, poets and writers, Meringspoort forms the massive cleft through the Swartberg Mountain range. During the great depression in the 30s, reconstruction of the "boer road" of Meiringspoort was one of the work programmes for the poor. Spare a thought for the guys who built the dry-stone walls and supporting stone bulwarks by hand, for three shillings and sixpence a day. The road was tarred in the 70s, with no expense spared to preserve the natural beauty. While marvelling at the grandeur, the colour of the rock strata, the lush vegetation and sheer magnificence of the drive through Meiringspoort.