Best time to visit Cape Town

Bainskloof Pass

Enjoy the ride over one of the most picturesque passes in South Africa

Bainskloof Pass in Cape Town 2020 - Best Time

© Phil Pieterse

Bainskloof Pass is a mountain pass and a national monument on the provincial road between Ceres and Wellington in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It spans from the east edge of Wellington to the bridge over the Breede River. Constructed by Scotsman Andrew Geddes Bain, this 18 km (11 mi) pass was completed in four years and was opened in 1854. It was originally meant for horse-drawn traffic, but later on, the pass was asphalted. Today, it's a scenic, curvy drive with good quality pavement about an hour or two away from Cape Town. The pass is also a part of the route of the annual Bainskloof Ultra Marathon.

At its highest point, the pass reaches 594 m (1,949 ft). From there on, the road follows the course of the Witte River, which descends on the northern side through a steep cleft to a stretch of crystal-clear natural pools, waterfalls, and rapids. The magnificent pass remains a cosmopolitan attraction and offers unsurpassed vistas, charming hiking trails along with indigenous and unique flora and fauna.

The flora of the area includes more than 250 species of flowering plants, including a variety of types of protea, erica, and gladioli. Wildlife in this area boasts various species such as grysbok, leopards, jackals, klipspringers, honey badgers, and even endangered frogs.

Summer is when the pass attracts people the most. Swimming in the river, hiking, or visiting the Tweede Tol is close to perfection as well as viewing locations along the pass or picnicking. Driving the pass in winter another best season to drive the pass when the fynbos bursts in colors and the rivers run wild.

Bainskloof Pass in Cape Town - Best Season 2020