Col d'Hoogekraal in Knysna Rural, Western Cape
The Pass is approximately midway on the 7 Passes Road between the two towns of George and Knysna. All the Passes along the route have been declared national monuments. The 7 Passes Road was constructed back in the 1880’s and for 70 years was the only road between George and Knysna until the N2 through the Wilderness replaced it with a faster option.
Built by Thomas Bain, the Pass covers 3 km of breathtaking scenery with beautiful views from many points along the way. It is a narrow, gravel road which begins at the well-known Hoogekraal Farm, where “Salami Maestro” Dario is based and creates his special recipes. It descends quite sharply down to and then along the Hoogekraal River and ends just before the Geelhoutsvlei Timber Mill, west of the forestry village of Karatara.
The route is suitable for most vehicles and has a speed limit of 60 km/hr. It can be accessed from the N2 and driven alone, but it is recommended that if you have a few hours, to drive all the seven passes as one drive, to truly experience all the beauty they offer. If time does not permit, join at the Hoogekraal Pass and drive the subsequent three passes to Knysna. After Hoogekraal are the Karatara Pass, the Homtini Pass and the Phantom Pass.
There are sharp twists and turns and parts of the road are corrugated and pot-holed. Also watch out for cyclists and small animals, so stick to the speed limit.
Thing to do and see
- Hoogekraal Farm (accepts visitors on occasion)
- Hoogekraal River
- Hoogekraal Bridge (geocache on the bridge)
- Small Antelope and Baboons
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.
Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport. The N2 highway will take you into the Knysna, approximately a one hour drive. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports.
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