Gamkaskloof Pass in Prince Albert Platteland, Wes-Kaap
Gamkaskloof, also known as “Die Hel” (The Hell) is one of the most hidden away valleys in the country and can only be reached via one iconic gravel road, the Gamkaskloof Pass - there are few places in South Africa as off the grid as this 4X4 road. The Gamkaskloof valley is about 90 km from Oudtshoorn and 60 km from Prince Albert.
|Surface||Gravel / Dirt Track|
There is no real story as to how the Valley received the name “Die Hel”, but its origin is not as devilish as you may think – most of the settlers were Dutch and 'helling' means incline, thus the name rather referred to its steep hills rather than a certain hot place.
The Gamkaskloof Pass traverses through 37 km of rugged mountain scenery, initially deceptively wide and flat, but then culminating in the single-width, more serious Elands Pass with its very steep, zig-zagging and vertigo instilling section.
The length of the Pass, and the slow average speed of approximately 25 kph, should discourage anyone form completing this as a “there & back” drive in a single day. Besides it would be a shame to rush through this incredible scenery. Accommodation is available in Gamkaskloof.
The Gamkaskloof Pass can be divided into various sections and smaller Passes. The longest stretch is between the 11th and 20th km mark and features “Oom Koos se Klip”, the rock was the first real obstruction Koos van Zyl encountered when building the road and so became known by this name. The shortest section is around the 25 km mark however, this section also offers two smaller passes and a serous water crossing where drivers need to be careful not to get stuck. The highlight of the drive is the awe-inspiring Elands Pass which starts around the 32 km mark.
If you are planning on driving this Pass it is advisable to consult a map and in-depth information on the Pass and the area before heading out.
Thing to do and see
- Scholtzkloof Waterfall
- Wapadsberg Mini Pass
- Kariegasberg Pass
- Waterkloofrivier Pass
- Kango & Huisrivier Passes
- Water Crossings
- Mountain Scenery & View Points
- Botes Nek Pass
- Elands Pass
- Cape Nature Reserve
- Die Hel
Free to Drive
Best during daylight hours
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