Bainskloof is named after Andrew Geddes Bain who in 1849, with the help of several hundred convict laborers built an 18 kilometer pass through the Limietberg mountains of Wellington. The project was completed in September 1853. Bain, a Scotsman and self-taught engineer, held the position of Road Inspector for the Cape colony which was granted to him by the Central Road Council in 1845. Although the pass was originally a dirt road built essentially for horse drawn traffic, it was tarred in 1934.
Bainskloof, which is situated in the Capes floral kingdom (one of 8 world heritage sites in South Africa as established by Unescos World Heritage Committee at the 29th session in Suzhou, China in July 2004), is unique in that it contains the highest ratio of plant species per land area in the world - a total of over 8600 species of which 5800 are endemic. The flora of Bainskloof encompasses an astounding 277 varieties of flowering plants. These include 24 types of Erica, 10 types of Gladioli and 13 different types of Protea. The fauna in the area includes a selection of a 182 bird species in addition to otters, jackals, leopards, honey badgers, klipspringers, grysbok, steenbok, endangered frogs and some unique fish. Bainskloof attracts many ecotourists, particularly in the spring and summer months, and adventurers flock to Bainskloof to participate in mountain biking, hiking and swimming in the fresh water pools. The unspoilt nature of Bainskloof makes it an ideal area for environmental field workshops from universities or exploration by researchers. The Bains Cape Mountain Whisky, a single grain whisky is distilled at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington and like the pass was also named after Andrew Geddes Bain. The Bainskloof Ultra Marathon is an annual event which entails running the Pass as part of the route.
Nearby Points Of Interest