The Gysmanshoek Mountain Pass follows an historical ox wagon route – used to transport supplies between the South Cape and Klein Karoo – dating back to the mid 1700’s. This is an old gravel pass through a natural cleft in the Langeberg Mountain between Heidelberg in the south and the Riversdale and Ladismith area in the north. The pass is drivable in a normal car in good weather conditions, but after good rain, a 4×4 vehicle is an better option.
A select few have travelled this off-the-beaten-track pass which provides any adventure seeker a delightful experience. The pass is 12km longs and contains 51 bends, corners and curves. The average gradient is a mild 1:36 – but there are two very steep sections close to the summit, where the gradient gets as steep as 1:5 and FWD cars might well experience tractions issues – even in dry weather. The Pass overs you Fynbos fields as one can only experience within the Explorer’s Garden Route.
The Gysmanshoek Pass can be travelled via Heidelberg or via Riversdale.
GYSMANSHOEK PASS DIRECTIONS
Via Heidelberg: Drive east along Van Riebeeck Street and just after crossing the Duiwenhoksriver, take the first turn left. This is a tarred road, which becomes a gravel road. Head north, until you arrive at a fork. Keep right at the fork and drive for 15km to arrive at the southern starting point.
Via Riversdale: Drive on the tarred R323 north-west for 3.2km. Take the gravel road to the left (GPS: S34.068246 E21.240291). Drive north-west for 25km to arrive at the southern starting point.
WHERE TO EAT
The towns of Riversdale and Heidelberg has excellent restaurants and coffee shops available.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The towns of Riversdale and Heidelberg both offer self-catering stays; B&B options and camping facilities.
ATTRACTIONS CLOSE BY
Riversdale: Old Jail and Coffee Shop; Korentepoort Dam and Dibiki Holiday Resort and Camping Site.
Heidelberg: Biltong Factory; Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and Ostrich Eco 4×4 Trail.