Piekenierskloof Pass in Bergrivier Rural, Western Cape
Also known as the Greys Pass, the Piekenierskloof Pass has a long and interesting history, beginning back when construction began on the original Grey’s Pass with a group of 220 convict labourers in February 1857. Thomas Bain completed the Western slope by the end of that year and by July of the following year the whole pass was open to the public. Thomas Bain named the Pass after Sir George Grey, but after the modern Pass was opened the name reverted to its original name, Piekenierskloof.
Many people wonder why it was named after some random picknickers, but the original and correct spelling was “piqueniers”, which translates to “Pike-men”, a band of armed cavalry that who pursued a group of renegade Koisan. The old road Pass still exists however, can only bedriven with permission from the land owners. The Pass was deproclaimed meaning the land was handed back to its original land owners.
Pieknierskloof Pass and the views while meandering along the gentle curves of this Pass are breath-taking. It is highly advised to take the time to stop at the many viewpoints to savour the scenery. When travelling from Cape Town up the Western slope stop and look down over the Swartland and on the other side look as far ahead over the valleys and to the mountains leading to the Oliphants River. Here, only 350 years ago (1660), Jan Dankaert recorded seeing a herd of elephant two to three hundred strong.
There is a flattish plateau after the summit, the Piekenierskloof Lodge lies just after the Summit, of some 3 kms in length, before the pass drops down towards the farming town of Citrusdal and the Olifants River Valley. The views to the North are equally dramatic but completely different, with the peak of Sneeuberg (Snow Mountain) - the highest peak in the Cederberg, dominating the skyline.
Thing to do and see
- Citrusdal Valley
- Summit Viewpoints near Piekenierskloof Lodge
- Cederberg Mountains
- Oliphants River & Valley
- Old Grey’s Pass (requires permission)
No Admission Fee, best during daylight hours
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