The Grootrivier Pass (Groot River Pass) in Bitou Rural, Western Cape
The Grootrivier, or Groot River, Pass is situated along the R102 between Plettenberg Bay and Jeffreys Bay. Originally built by Thomas Bain, together with its sister Pass, the Bloukrans Pass, between 1822 and 1823.
The Pass is an all-time favourite, an exceptionally beautiful drive as the road winds its way down into Natures Valley. It is the only access road into this tranquil and peaceful village which fits compactly between the mountain side and the beach.
The Grootrivier Pass heads down Kalanderkloof, following a series of twists, turns and hairpin bends, on either side ancient Yellowwood trees and impenetrable forest which renders the river almost invisible. The Tsitsikamma forest has the highest tree diversity of any of the world’s temperate forests, with nearly 600 different tree species.
There are two places where travellers can stop along the descent, the second being the better of the two. It offers wonderful views of the ravine and the Grootrivier estuary. If you are patient at the viewpoint it is not uncommon to see some wildlife such as Duikers or Busbuck.
The road is well maintained, but with twists and turns - there is one specific hairpin turn within he first kilometre which is particularly sharp – and so there is an average speed of 40 kph. At the foot of the pass is a little bridge across the Groot River with a picnic site on the east of the bridge.
Things to do and see
- Bloukrans Pass
- Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve & Forest
- Grootrivier (Groot River) Estuary
- Mountain Scenery & View Points
- Bushbuck, Duikers & Monkey Sightings
- Bernardo’s Yellowwood
- Small Bridge Crossing & Picnic Sight
Free to Drive
Best during daylight hours
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