Bainskloof Pass

The most picturesque pass in the Cape

The weather’s warm and the days are long – it’s time to get your swim on! And there’s nothing more delightful than frolicking in a wild swimming hole. The 30km-long Bainskloof Pass, an easy one-and-a-half hour’s scenic drive from Cape Town, is a pearl string of natural rock pools, each one more luscious than the last.

At the top of the pass, 595 metres above sea level, you’ll find a picnic spot where the road meets the Witte River. The river cascades down the rock faces, through a cleft in the mountainside, down a stretch of rapids, over waterfalls and into natural pools on the northern side of the mountains. And this is where the magic happens. Either pay the entrance fee to swim with the rest of the rabble, or wallow privately, and for free, in one of the pools tucked away just off the main road. You can camp at the Tweede Tol campsite, managed by Cape Nature. But because it’s on the river, it’s a spot that gets booked up quite quickly, so book ahead.

Must do: Once over the mountains and in Tulbagh Valley, stop for tea at the old tollhouse at the base of Mitchell’s Pass.

The weather’s warm and the days are long – it’s time to get your swim on!

www.capenature.co.za or 021 483 0190