The Bloukrans Pass in Bitou Rural, Western Cape
Bloukrans Pass translates directly from Afrikaans into “Blue Grags Pass”. It is one of several Passes in the Garden Route and Tsitsikamma area and is the sister Pass to the Grootrivier Pass.
The Blolukrans Pass, also built by Thomas Bain, is just as incredible as the Grootrivier Pass with 90-degree twists and turns and steep ravines among dense forest – quite arguably the most spectacular of the Passes in this area. With this said it is a sad state that this road has been allowed to degenerate into such a state of disrepair that it has now been declared closed to traffic. It would not be surprising if the Bloukrans Pass were to receive National Monument status which it surely is worthy of.
Over one hundred years ago, the Tsitsikamma forest was said to be impenetrable, but Bain’s motto was always “nothing is impossible” and in 1869 the devastating Tsitsikamma mountain fires provided Bain with the perfect opportunity to plot a suitable route, a 185 km route which connected Port Elizabeth with Plettenberg Bay, of which the Bloukrans Pass formed part of.
A bonus perhaps for the adventurous hiker though is that one can take a long walk along this marvellous road. Lookout for the famous “Bloukrans hairpin-bend”, which curves through a whopping 135-degrees and the slope is almost 1-in-5! With the absence of traffic, this I an excellent road to cycle. The route also provides plenty of shade for picnics.
If you don’t have the time to walk or cycle the Bloukrans Pass, stop at the Visitor Centre's view site of the new N2 Bloukrans Bridge. From here you can gaze down into the forest along the river below, and if you look carefully you may catch a glimpse of the old Pass winding its way along the mountainside. Please remember it is illegal to stop anywhere on the bridge so make sure you plan a stop at the Visitor Centre.
Things to do and see
Free to Hike & Cycle
Best during daylight hours
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