The Pass on the R339 links Knysna with the little town of Avontuur. Thomas Bain built the pass and of the 29 passes he constructed, this was probably his greatest work. The Pass was built between 1860 and 1867 and was undoubtedly his biggest challenge because not only is it an extremely long Pass, but the road had to cut through dense forest and climb 700 meters in just 14 kilometers. It is the longest mountain pass in South Africa by far, stretching 68 km. It is also the second oldest unaltered pass still in use.
The Pass takes you over some of the most beautiful and unspoilt mountain scenery in South Africa and is considered a wonderful alternative drive between the coast and the Klein Karoo. Spitzkop in particular offers an incredible view over the Garden Route.
The road is gravel and full of hairpin bends, making it not an easy pass to drive. For obvious reasons it is not recommended after heavy rains and travellers should be aware that it is off the beaten track with narrow single lanes in some places so speed limits should always be adhered to.
There is no charge to travel along the pass and it is recommended that visitors to the Pass travel during daylight hours.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 28˚C with high rainfall in October.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with the lowest rainfall in June.
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