The Seven Passes

The Seven Passes Road connects George in the West with Knysna in the East. It’s an old road that used to be the Garden Route’s main highway – but today it’s just a quiet country lane. That offers some of the most exhilarating riding in the country...

The Seven Passes Road was built between 1867 and 1882 under the guidance of Thomas Bain (one of South Africa’s most famous roads engineers) and his brother-in-law, Adam de Smidt.

Apparently it wasn’t a happy association – but the results of their work are fine indeed.

Make 7 Passes Rest Camp your base for exploring this wonderfully scenic route with its forests, rivers, gorges, fynbos, and sleepy farmlands.

Drive or ride the Seven Passes: the route from Knysna to George

  • Drive westwards from Knysna on the N2 towards George
  • Cross the White Bridge over the Knysna Lagoon, and take the first turning to the right; keep left and follow the road to Phantom Pass.
  • You’ll come to a T-junction with the road to Rheenendal. Turn right and drive through Rheenendal village.
  • The tar gives way to gravel: follow this road past Karatara.
  • Gravel gives way to tat again. 
  • There’s a detour at Woodville: turn right onto the gravel road to the 'Big Tree.’ When your visit’s over, return the way you came and turn right onto the tar again.
  • About 3 km after the turn-off to the Big  Tree, turn right onto the gravel road to Saasveld. And cross the Touw River, the Silver River, and finally the Kaaimans River.
  • Arrive in George

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