Swartberg


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A mountain adventure in the Little and Great Karoo


Running along the northern edge of the Little Karoo, Swartberg is a stunning mountain range whose distinctive rocky appearance belies a rich diversity of plant and birdlife. An awe-inspiring network of zigzagging roads have been built into the folds of the mountain range to create some of the world’s most striking mountain passes. An expanse of vast and desolate terrain, so isolated in some parts that a community could have lived there untouched – which rumour has it some did.

Part of the mountain range, which divides the Groot and Klein Karoo, is a nature reserve where visitors can take a four-day hiking route through beautiful mountain fynbos, past caves filled with San rock art and relics. Mountain-biking, fishing, and bird-watching is also on the agenda. At night, enjoy the Karoo landscape lit-up by the magnificent light of the stars.

There are three major entryways into the Swartberg: the Swartberg Pass, Meiringspoort, and Seweweekspoort, which link the two Karoo’s together. The most famous of these, the Swartberg Pass, is an untarred road carved into the mountainside, its steep zigzags and terrifying hairpin bends making for an unforgettable experience. The charming town of Prince Albert is found at the foot of this pass and features an excellent variety of accommodation.

 

Highlights

  • The Swartberg mountain range runs along the northern edge of the Little Karoo, while the Great Karoo lies to the north of the mountain range
  • Features incredible mountain passes along with the stunning Swartberg Pass
  • Excellent hiking trails dot through extensive mountain fynbos
  • The area is dotted with caves adorned with San rock art and relics
  • The charming town of Prince Albert lies at the foot of the Swartberg Pass

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