Swartberg Pass.....WOW

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Re: Swartberg Pass.....WOW

Post by PHILinFRANCE » Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:45 pm

Same place as tempesc Tim ......https://goo.gl/maps/4bkKAnNcKokmcjSH9 , i got a Xt660r aswell and yes Craig is a top fella

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Swartberg Pass.....WOW

Post by tempesc » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:09 pm

I have added 3 links to google maps below that hope will help but I think some explanation is needed first so you can make best use of them.

In terms of ‘must do’s’ on a Western Cape trip mine would be:

1. Baviaanskloof – the best off road route I have ever ridden – absolute must. Advice is to ride it East to West – I have ridden it both ways (and loved both). If you are a half reasonable trail rider either is fine. Read up on the water crossings before you go though, especially if the water levels are high

2. Die Hel (formally Gamkaskloof) – another truly epic ride with an amazing back story to the (now extinct) community – google it. The advice is don’t ride in and out in a day. I have both camped overnight and done in and out in a morning. Again if you are a reasonable rider really no problem – 1.5-2 hours each way, but worth camping overnight if you have time want to explore (you need a permit which you can get on line).

3. Prince Albert Pass (Uniondale to Kynsna) – another breath-taking ride that goes on forever. Whatever else you do, do 1-3.

4. Swartberg Pass another must do (both sides – from Oudtshoorn to Prince Albert) – Die Hel is access near the top of the north side of the pass so you’ll do this anyway

5. Rooiberg Pass – I really like this pass, quite remote and takes you into Calitzdorp which is a really nice place to stay (and you can wine taste too).

6. Seweweekspoort – another really nice dirt pass through the mountains

7. Hogsback – not a challenging riding by quite an amazing place to visit (have a read up on it) but a long way from everything else above. If you only have a week, focus on 1 to 6 and stick with the Western Cape.

8. Chapman’s Peak – not a dirt road at all, but an epic tarmac coastal/cliff road on the Cape Pensinsula. Don’t miss it out of the trip if you have not done it before.

So, to the maps. This 2017 trip was a week long trip I did solo. The trip from Wellington to Grabouw was to get a day’s off road training from the excellent Johan at Wild @ Heart Adventure http://www.wildatheartadventure.co.za/home-about.html I found this invaluable for my confidence on a my XT660z, despite having ridden it from Cape Town to Kenya the year before. This was a great trip but two things to note. Firstly I just slabbed it from Grabouw to Swellendam given time, but ideally would have taken the back roads. Similarly I did the same from Patensie to Oudtshoorn as I was meeting my brother (albeit that R62 is still a nice road to ride).

This is the trip we planned to ride in 2018. Other than the epic stuff i tried not to double up on routes.

It was an interesting ride up to Sutherland on day 1 but it was seriously hard work on the very loose gravel – if you have not ridden on that sort of gravel be warned, it feels very unstable and takes a bit of getting used to. Over dinner that night we decided we had bitten off more than we could chew trying to get to Lesotho (Sani Pass) in 2 weeks, so we heavily adapted the plan. This was our final route. Day 2 was a long straight tar road across the Karoo desert but my pal had never been so he loved it. Similarly the next day to the Eastern Cape, Hogsback. Interesting to cover such long distances and gradually watch the scenery change. Hogsback itself is stunning so we took a day off there and just walked the area which was great. We also had a day off in Kynsna and went canoeing (also epic). If you go to Knysna be sure to follow the road I marked going both in (from Prince Alberts Pass) and out heading west, or you will miss out.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions or what some accommodation tips ask away.


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Re: Swartberg Pass.....WOW

Post by PHILinFRANCE » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:56 pm

Cheers Andy , daughter lives in Wellington now just moved up from Cape town , we did the coast road R44 to near Hermanus then found some dirt and headed into the hills untill we ran into Highway 1....................nothing hard and nice and open

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Re: Swartberg Pass.....WOW

Post by chunky butt » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:53 am

Here ya go three of Craig's little beauties
20191113_132530.jpg (188.32 KiB) Viewed 149 times

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