The historic Montagu pass is situated in my town’s backyard . When you take the N12 from George towards Oudtshoorn you will find the sign to turn right onto a gravel road.
Calm down and don’t be in a hurry when following this road. It is very narrow with only single lane traffic possible and no trailers, caravans and trucks are allowed and just a special warning: it is popular with mountain bikers coming down hill at great speeds! At several occasions we narrowly missed these projectiles. I swear that they do not have nerves or they are so high on adrenaline that they do not think straight ….
Travelling with a 1962 Landy we do not have a choice other than to go slow, very slow and enjoy the ever changing views of the Outeniqua mountains covered in all shades of green, purple and pink as the flowers come into bloom. This section is part of Cape Nature so no flower picking and/or removal of any plants are allowed.
Along the route there are several boards marking historic places on the pass such as Moertjiesklip, Die Noute and at Smidswinkel where you will find some remains of the blacksmith shop. Note the road’s edge that still boasts the original stone walls built by 250 Italian prisoners over a four year period and are still in good condition.
Montagu Pass served as the main road over the Outeniquas for more than 100 years and it was only with the completion of the Outeniqua Pass in 1951 that this old pass became no more than a scenic route enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. You got to love life if you drive a Land Rover!!!
For more interesting facts on the history of the Montagu Pass you can read the geocache listing at :