Sudden changes in the desert “
Raw softens the glare and clings,
Up to ranges of Oudtshoorn pains
Stand up as the thrones of Kings. “
-Rudyard Kipling on Pass-Swatberg
The Swartberg pass is undoubtedly one of the greatest engineering works ever completed in South Africa. Rent a 4 x 4 is the most convenient way for a visit and see this amazing result and experience the Majesty of mountain range that divides the Groot and Klein Karoo. This mountain range Show some of the most evocative and easily recognizable Cape Fold mountains. With the pass that reaches an elevation of 1583 meters above sea level, seen through the Karoo are spectacular and are something that every visitor should experience in South Africa. 4 x 4 hire car or not.
Surprisingly very little on the road has been changed, minor restorative work and security assessments are conducted at regular intervals, but the way that you can drive today is largely the way Thomas Bain and his crew built. Actually has yet to be paved which is surprising considering its popularity with people going on road trips in South Africa. rent a car 4 x 4 is not essential, but will be slightly more comfortable drive and probably safer after heavy rains. Howeverif it is considered that when it was built, the road was crossed with ox carts by farmers of South Africa, rent a car 4 x 4 doesn’t seem entirely necessary.
The step was completed in 1886 and was officially inaugurated in 1888, It was designed and built by Thomas Bain, son of Andrew Bain, the engineer behind pass Kloof Bain equally spectacular. When the Swartberg pass was proposed local authorities were understandably sceptical, according to legend, an MP was daunting, sent a telegram saying: “Mr Bain, I expect the report will be very brief, but one word: IMPRACTICAL” replied Thomas,: “you were correct, Mr Luttig, my report is really short. In fact, it is shorter than anticipated. It is but one word: PASSABLE. “7 years later Thomas Bain had his road, a masterpiece of engineering and a national monument to this day.
The anonymous tragedy of this amazing mountain pass is the work of the prisoner which was used in construction. They were often mistreated and received absolutely no recognition for their work this is not so much a reflection on Thomas Bain but more a reflection on the country at the moment. The exact number of prisoners is unknown and varies from 200 to over 1000. This part of the country is under snow in winter and extreme heat in summer, this was long before the days of car rental South Africa 4 x 4 and it is not known how many workers have died doing the work or make the trek up the mountain.
A drive through the Karoo is a highlight of any trip through South Africa and this unit cannot be complete until you have driven through the Swartberg mountain pass. If the attempt of this unit in South Africa, rent a car 4 x 4 would be recommended if only for the sake of comfort.