Best time to visit Cape Town

Bainskloof Pass in Cape Town 2024-2025

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

Best time: mid-October–mid-February

Bainskloof Pass
Bainskloof Pass

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.

Practical info

What is the history behind the construction of the Bainskloof Pass?

The Bainskloof Pass was constructed by Andrew Geddes Bain, a Scottish explorer. The pass was completed in four years and opened in 1854, initially intended for horse-drawn traffic. Today the pass is a national monument on the provincial road between Ceres and Wellington in South Africa's Western Cape province. Spanning an area of 18 km (11 mi), it offers scenic views and a unique experience of the surrounding flora and fauna. Show more

What is the ideal time of year to plan a visit to Bainskloof Pass?

The high season to visit the Bainskloof Pass is from mid-October to mid-February when it attracts the highest number of visitors. During this time, tourists can swim in the river, hike, and picnic while taking in the fascinating views. The winter season is another ideal time to visit, driven by the bursts of color in the fynbos and the sight of the wild rivers. Both seasons offer unique experiences for visitors to the pass. Show more

What are some of the notable attractions visitors can expect to find along the Bainskloof Pass?

The area surrounding the Bainskloof Pass is brimming with natural attractions, including crystal-clear natural pools, rivers, waterfalls, and rapids. The area hosts over 250 species of native flowering plants such as protea, erica, and gladioli. Visitors can expect to spot various wildlife species, such as leopards, jackals, klipspringers, honey badgers, and even endangered frogs. Bainskloof Pass presents a natural safari for visitors exploring the Western Cape province of South Africa. Show more

What are some of the unique flora and fauna species found in the area surrounding the Bainskloof Pass?

Bainskloof Pass is surrounded by a unique terrain of flora and fauna. Tourists exploring the area will discover over 250 species of flowering plants, including a variety of protea, erica, and gladioli. Visitors will also spot various flora species such as grysbok, leopards, jackals, klipspringers, honey badgers, as well as endangered frogs. The abundance of fauna and flora provides a breathtaking safari-like adventure for those who make it to the Bainskloof Pass. Show more

What activities can visitors engage in while spending time in the area around the Bainskloof Pass?

Bainskloof Pass and its surroundings offer various activities for visitors to engage in. Tourists can go for a swim in the river, hike, take photographs of the magnificent vistas, and participate in the annual Bainskloof Ultra Marathon. Visitors can also take a drive through the pass and discover the many unique flora and fauna species that make it home, as well as enjoying picturesque views while picnicking. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Bainskloof Pass (Map)

Last updated: