have to follow this road until you get to ********
left at ************ towards the Swartberg Pass. The road will
become a tarred road for a while. When you reach the Swartberg
Pass it will be gravel again.
in mind that trailers and Caravans are NOT allowed on the Swartberg
Pass. I do not think that it is so steep that you cannot get up.
The problem is that the road is very narrow at some places and
if a vehicle comes from the other direction you might have to
reverse which will be very difficult with a trailer or caravan.
Some of the bends on the pass is also very sharp.
is one of the most spectacular mountain passes in South Africa.
A photograph cannot capture the intense beauty and you cannot
describe it in words. The only way is to go see for yourself.
the road over the Swartberg Pass and down the other side until
you find the sign shown below, turn left here.
the signs says "2 hours" for the 50Km you can believe
it. The general conception (or misconception) is that the road
is very bad and that it is a 4x4 route. It is not. It is a normal
graded road which is badly corrugated at some places. Just deflate
your tyres to 1.6 bars and off you go. When we explore a road
like this we stop a lot to look at the plants and rocks. So it
took us closer to 3 hours to drive to the hell.
You can reach
the hell with a normal sedan car although I do not suggest you
do it. But some of the locals do go there in their Audi. If you
drive carefully and know what you are doing you will reach the
hell with a normal car. You might scratch the belly here and there
but it should not do serious harm (if you know what you are doing)
is that you at least use a car with high ground clearance. The
roads inside the hell has been washed away and poorly fixed. You
might reach the hell and the main camping site by normal car,
but down in hell you will not be able to drive to the shop, etc.
As I said
the road is too bad but it takes long because it is full of sharp
bends and it is like full of waves (bigger than speed humps) which
prevent you from going fast. At places we did reach 80Km/h but
most of the time you go very slow.
road to hell (also called the Otto du Plessis road)
road to hell, the picture shows Gamkas Kloof, in the valley is
the place called "The Hell"
would still consider to take my chances with a trailer on the
Swartberg Pass, but on this road to hell a trailer is a definite
NO. The bends are so sharp at some places that you have to make
a 3 point turn to get around the corners and at most places the
road is not wide enough for two cars to pass each others.
Hell was first inhabited by farmers in 1830 but was only accessible
by foot until 1963 when this road was finally built into the valley.
to hell is not all just landscape scenery. There are also beautiful
flowers all along the way. At one spot there are a lot of Proteas,
it almost seems like a Protea plantation.