Ride Report: Swartberg Pass

Written by AmakayaBP

An annual  event that Dorothy and I used to go on was the Buffalo Rally in Mossel Bay.  We have unfortunately had to miss the last 3 years, but the opportunity presented itself again this year.  With much anticipation, we left on the Saturday morning and were at Delfinos Restaurant for breakfast long before the mass ride.

The mass ride has become an institution at the Buffalo Rally and the locals were out in force to watch.


As is usual there were all types of bikes and riding attire.


…and even someone with an original ‘pisspot’ helmet.


After the ride it was back to the camp to enjoy a few cold ones and watch the passing parade.  As usual there were all types to keep one amused – even this ‘pole’ dancer, g-string and all!


After a great day and evening we packed up on Sunday morning to head back to Plettenberg Bay – via Swartberg Pass.  Only a 300km detour; after all, it’s about the ride and not the destination!


The Swartberg Pass, built by Thomas Bain,  is the 10th longest mountain pass in South Africa and also has the 10th highest altitude gain (South Africa has 299 official passes).  We started our ride up the pass from the Oudtshoorn side and what a view – breathtaking!




At the top of the pass



Looking down on the Prince Albert side


Fantastic views


Strange rock formations


After completing the 25.1km we stopped at the Swartberg Hotel  for a fantastic lunch.


On our way out of town we stopped to say hello to a friend we saw crossing the road – very slowly!


Now back on tar, the road took us along Meiringspoort which is always a great, scenic ride.


All in all a total days riding of mixed tar and gravel with a total of 435k done for the day.

Have a look at our Facebook Album here for more photos or contact us for more information on bike tours in the Plett area and the Southern Cape amakaya@telkomsa.net