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Homtini Pass

Homtini Pass lies 6th in the string of Seven Passes that fall between George and Knysna, the narrow, gravel pass covers 5km of wonderfully scenic driving, and decends to the river from which it takes its name. The pass ends at the Rheenendal Timber Mill and is also known as the Goukamma River Pass.

As the pass is a gravel road and prone to corrugations and flood damage, the speed limit has been set at 60kph and takes approximately 12 minutes to drive, excluding stops. There are some very sharp bends on this pass, one in particular is an almost 180 degree turn, a true hairpin! The pass is not suitable for heavy vehicles. It is advised that people using the pass should watch out for wild animals (especially baboons). This road is frequented by cyclists, so please be cautious!

A name that comes up time and time again in popular passes and original road engineering is that of Thomas Bain, and Homtini Pass is no exception. It was constructed in 1882 by the government Roads Engineer, Thomas Bain, and Charles Osborne, and as mentioned was the final pass of the Seven Passes. Bain took on the project of building a proper road between George and Knysna in 1867, which would include traversing 10 rivers and 7 gorges and would cover a distance of 75 kms. Bain started at the Knysna end and left his brother in law, Adam de Smidt, to deal with the George side of the route. The pair disagreed vehemently about the routing of the road, which led to bitter acrimony and a lifelong "no speak" scenario. The road served as the main route between the two growing towns for 70 years, before the new national road (N2) was opened in 1952.

There is some confusion in respect of which the 7 Passes officially are. And no we know we are listing 8 and the reason for that is that research shows that there are in fact 8 passes: Starting from George in the West, they are: The Black River Pass (Zwartrivierhoogtepas), the Kaaimansgat Pass, the Silver River Pass, the Touw River Pass (Duiwelskop Pass), the Hoogekraal Pass, the Karatara Pass, the Homtini Pass (Goukamma River Pass) and the Phantom Pass. Some references dont acknowledge the Black River Pass and others dont recognize the Silver River as a pass. The most common version is that the Silver River pass is technically part of the Kaaimansgat Pass. Early references show the Black River Pass to have been very challenging for ox-wagons, but the new modern tarred road almost leaves one with a sense that there is no pass there at all.

When in the area why not visit the Big Tree at Woodville which is 800 years old and enjoy a short 30 minute circular route through beautiful indigenous forests.

Accommodation Near Homtini Pass

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