Closest Town: Amalienstein / Ladismith
Grading: Intermediate | Duration: 3–4 hours
Location (Area/Province): Central & Klein Karoo and Western Cape
Configuration: Return ride through the Poort – 50km; full event route – 78km
Start Point: Amalienstein Village
Access: Free access to public roads
Beware of: Public traffic; falling rocks during rainstorms
Facilities: Mission village; small restaurant; safe parking
This mountain pass meanders through some of the most amazing rock formations – towering high above the pass – while following the Seweweekspoort River.
On your bike
Starting on a farm track from Amalienstein, you cross over the R62 and then onto a dual-track for a short while. This joins up with the main dirt road leading into Seweweekspoort. This road meanders through some of the most amazing rock formations – towering high above the pass – while following the Seweweekspoort River
It might not feel like it, but you actually climb quite a bit to the end of the pass. Shortly after you’ve exited this magnificent pass, you enter a farm gate on the right and, once past the farmhouse (near the road), you get onto a jeep- and singletrack, looping clockwise before linking up with the dirt road coming from the Gamkapoort Dam. This road leads you back to the pass by way of a long downhill. Once you enter the pass again, it’s mostly downhill. Just watch out for vehicles!
Once you’re back at Amalienstein you have the option to carry on to Ladismith [the ‘Long’ Seweweekspoort Challenge Race route]. From Amalienstein you’ll take a singletrack to Zoar village nearby. Crossing over the R62 again, you now enter various farms and, unless you do the race, this might become confusing without a map. You’ll need to obtain permission from Pieter Blignaut – details below.
The rest of the route is equally stunning – you pass Langenhoven’s Residence (Hoeko) and enjoy views of the orchard-filled valleys and the gigantic mountain ranges not far away. The final climb is worth all the effort, resulting in a vista of note – rolling hills as far as the eye can see, with Ladismith just around the corner, and also ‘Towerkop’, the legendary rock peak (apparently, a witch flew into the peak during a foggy night many centuries ago, resulting in the huge cleft at the peak).
Be warned! After enjoying the top of this last biggish climb, there’s a seriously fast downhill with a 90-degree right-hand bend at the end of it. If you miss this, you’ll end up among a flock of ostriches … if you’re lucky! From here it’s not far to town, with one last ‘small’ climb … [/div2]
Off the bike
Oudtshoorn, Ladismith and Calitzdorp (and the Karoo in general) brim with outdoor options, from game farms and hikes to gorgeous wine estates.
Telephone: +27 (0)44 279 1013
Website : www.7weekspoort.co.za
GPS: 33°28’59.9” South / 21°27’41.6” East