Mountain passes mean incredible selfies and spectacular picnic stops and the Western Cape will leave you spoilt for choice… Get outta town and into the passenger seat for a road trip upgrade with a ‘lord of the rings’ mountain view coming right up.
Chapman’s Peak Drive, M6
Show visitors how to use the sun visor on a Cape Town summer’s day along the windy, winding ribbon from Camp’s Bay to Kommetjie. It’s a twisty one with frequent pullover spots for a snack and steep slopes to the sea. Great for sunset shots.
NOTE: there’s a toll for this one, and no falling rocks for this fee.
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Clarence Drive, R44
Cut snugly between Kogelberg Nature Reserve and the Indian Ocean, this single-lane experience is more Sunday morning drive than mountain pass. Its slow curves, gentle inclines and vast, ocean views over False Bay are ridiculously romantic. On a clear day you can see a huge stretch of Cape Town peninsula’s mountainscape.
TRY: it in a convertible. Nuff said.
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Du Toitskloof pass, R101
Give the toll and the tunnel a miss and cash in on stunning views between Paarl and Rawsonville. Expect wild stone peaks and stunning waterfalls on the East side, and lush farmlands to the west. Bilbo would be jealous.
EEK! Watch out for trucks doing 20km per hour on that hairpin bend …
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Outeniqua pass, N9
On the one side, Garden Route, on the other side, The Klein Karoo, this steep, snaking pass connects two major areas of the region with double lanes, virgin forest and views that will impress your mom and your best friend alike. Unless your mom IS your best friend, in which case, double tap.
TIP: if you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike along the old pass on the other side of the valley into George.
PHOTOGRAPHY PROS Take pics at the peak of the pass for a sense of drama, from the bottom for a sense of grandeur, and use panoramic for the bigger picture.