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Prince Alfred Pass

  • The Prince Alfred Pass at 88 kms long is the longest mountain pass in South Africa by a considerable margin
The Prince Alfred Pass at 88 kms long is the longest mountain pass in South Africa by a considerable margin  © Winfried Bruenken, License

Prince Alfred Pass

Prince Alfred Pass

If you know anything about the passes in the Cape then you would have heard the name Thomas Bain more than once. Thomas Bain built 17 passes in the Cape but the Prince Alfred's Pass on the R339 gravel road between Knysna and Uniondale is probably his greatest work. At 88 km it is the longest mountain pass in South Africa by a considerable margin, as well as being the second oldest unaltered pass still in use. The full pass starts at Avontuur and ends at the junction with the N2 just east of Knysna.

Thomas Bain and his father Andrew Geddes Bain were asked to build the pass which was to be Thomas's greatest challenge. Work on the Pass started in 1860 and took only 4 years to complete. They mapped out the route that would go through dense forests and cost a fortune at that time. Bain cut, planed and dry-walled, and with his team of Cape convicts, spent those four years building the Prince Alfred Pass. As with most of his passes, Thomas Bain surpassed himself and built a mountain road that was safe and scenic and is still the same over a century later. Today, Prince Alfred's Pass is a well-travelled road for both South Africans and international tourists linking the Klein Karoo with the coast.

The pass goes through four different Biomes on its route from Uniondale to Knysna which provide a home to an abundance of indigenous fauna and flora. The pass is also home to the Middle Keurbooms Conservancy which is a 30,000 hectare area which protects indigenous fauna and flora and participates in various eco-tourism and eco-farming activities. It is recorded that it is the only pass in South Africa where people live alongside the road and trade in the pass. The 88km pass is a long and beautiful road but about half way through it you will find the small town of De Vlugt. The town offers an array of quality restaurants, tea gardens and many unique outdoor activities.

There are a couple of things that visitors traveling this pass should take into consideration. There is no mobile phone reception on the pass, so make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. There are also no banks or petrol stations so it is advisable to fill up your tank and your wallet at Uniondale before you negotiate the pass. For safety it is recommended that visitors always drive at a safe speed, remembering it is a gravel road so travel slowly. Descending traffic stops for upcoming vehicles. Look out for dust from approaching traffic and hoot on sharp bends. Please note that caravans and quad bikes are NOT allowed on the pass.


Nearby Listings
Showing 1 to 10 of 10 results
Footprints of Knysna
Guest Rating: 10
Sleeps 9 in 3 units
From R 320
Per person, per night sharing | Sleeps 2 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

Footprints of Knysna

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

11.7 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

Footprints of Knysna provides self catering flatlet accommodation in Knysna, Garden Route. Footprints of Knysna is full of character and has evolved into a value based, colourful and quirky property with a vibrant yet peaceful "feel good" atmosphere and e

Protea Wilds Retreat
Sleeps 23 in 8 units
From R 950
Per unit, per night | Sleeps 2 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

Protea Wilds Retreat

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Harkerville

Garden Route

11.8 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

Protea Wilds Retreat offers self catering accommodation on the outskirts of Harkerville in the Plettenberg Bay area, Garden Route. Safe, peaceful, stunning views, great affordability. Peace and tranquillity like you've never experienced before. Convenient

Acornhill
Sleeps 20 in 5 units
From R 325
Per person, per night sharing | Sleeps 6 max (4 adults)
* Rates may vary according to season

Acornhill

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

12 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

Acornhill offers visitors to Knysna, Garden Route with self catering accommodation. Voted South Africa's favourite town, Knysna lies on the shores of an estuary between indigenous forests, Outeniqua mountains and a breathtaking coastline. With so much to

The Greens Guest House
Sleeps 16 in 8 units
From R 1050
Per person, per night sharing | Sleeps 2 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

The Greens Guest House

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

12.7 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

The Greens Guest House offers guests bed and breakfast accommodation in the heart of the lush Garden Route greenery in the picturesque and popular town of Knysna. An elegant single storey architectural jewel, housing a large open plan living area, eight e

Stannards Guest Lodge
Graded:
Sleeps 21 in 9 units
From R 710
Per person, per night sharing | Sleeps 2 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

Stannards Guest Lodge

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

12.7 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

Stannards Guest Lodge offers both bed and breakfast accommodation and self catering accommodation in Knysna, Garden Route. Located in the peaceful suburb of Hunter's Home in Knysna, five minutes away from the lagoon and world-class golf courses, and ten

Oniro on Thesen
Sleeps 12 in 1 unit
From R 3800
Per unit, per night
* Rates may vary according to season

Oniro on Thesen

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

12.9 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

Oniro On Thesen offers self catering accommodation in Knysna, Garden Route. Located in Thesen Islands and designed for relaxed, easy indoor/outdoor living with large veranda with uninterrupted view of Knysna lagoon and wetlands. The ground floors and all

Rexford Manor
Sleeps 10 in 5 units
From R 990
Per person, per night sharing | Sleeps 3 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

Rexford Manor

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

13.2 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

Rexford Manor provides bed and breakfast accommodation in Knysna, Garden Route. Situated it the aptly named suburb of Rexford in Knysna, Rexford Manor is a sumptuously appointed guesthouse, with spectacular, high level views of the historical town of Knys

36 Ridge Dr Knysna
Sleeps 8 in 1 unit
From R 2300
Per site, per night
* Rates may vary according to season

36 Ridge Dr Knysna

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

14.2 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

This stylish, contemporary holiday home with stunning views of the Knysna Lagoon and Knysna Heads is perfectly appointed for those wishing for a beautiful venue from which to explore Knysna.

Lagoon Lodge
Guest Rating: 7
Sleeps 9 in 4 units
From R 375
Per person, per night sharing | Sleeps 3 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

Lagoon Lodge

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

15 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

If you need a break-away to an elegant and romantic setting, we are ready to treat you and your loved one, in our brand new lodge! Some of the rooms has entrance to a balcony, where you have an exquisite view, over the tree tops with rich birdlife and...

The Beach House
Sleeps 8 in 2 units
From R 2000
Per unit, per night
* Rates may vary according to season

The Beach House

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Knysna

Garden Route

15.2 Km from Prince Alfred Pass

The Beach House Self Catering Apartments is the original site of the Beach House Hotel which was demolished in 1974 to build this home. It has been in the Krause family since then...

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