If you’re a lover of Off The Beaten Track, and are in the Karoo this holiday season, do find the time to drive the Seweweekspoort Pass. The pass can serve as an alternate route between the rather busy N1 highway at Lainsburg and Route 62 near Ladismith.
Some info on the actual Seweweekspoort Pass – It’s 17 km in length, is beautifully rugged and wild with slopes and mountain outcrops that leave narrow passes which tower like walls on both sides. The pass winds through the mountains and crosses the stream 23 times.
There are several stories explaining the name. Some say it took 7 weeks for mounted troops to escort a gang of highway robbers, banished from Barrydale, through the Poort; or it took 7 weeks for the authorities to catch a stock-thief who fled into the mountains; or it took 7 weeks for a gang of brandy smugglers to return through the Poort from Beaufort West. The most likely explanation is that the Poort was named after a missionary from Amalienstein, Reverend Zerwick. The local population could not pronounce his name and called it “Seweweekspoort”.
The spectacular scenery is worth a linger, so pack a picnic and explore, which is what I’ve done more than once. Some pics are included to entice you to detour.
There are numerous spots to explore, picnic and enjoy the magnificent rock formations.
Evidence of settlements past …
And of farms very much occupied and embracing the area. This farmer has a wonderful collection of ostriches make from old vehicle and tractor parts at the gate, a lovely welcome.
Learn more on the pass at www.seweweekspoort.co.za/