Sewewekepoort / pass

Sewewekepoort pass, mountain passes, berg pas, R62

Sewewekepoort pass Travelling on the R62, between Ladismith and Calitzdorp, there is a small settlement with the name ZOAR. Petrus J Joubert renamed this settlement in 1817 when he arrived as the first missionary, sent by the London Missionary Society. It had previously been known as Doornkraal, where a community of Khoi and ‘coloured’ people lived and at their request, someone was sent to teach them the Gospel.

Turning off the R62, opposite Zoar, heading North/west one enters one of the spectacular passes in South Africa, the Sewewekepoort Pass. This pass is a natural link and pass between what we would know as the Little Karoo and the Karoo proper. It must have been in use for centuries before any foreigner arrived to ‘discover’ it. This is a pass well worth a few days to explore, not only the pass but also the surrounding area and the Bosluiskloof Pass.

The views are magnificent. Dirt road all the way, almost 17km.

You have many river crossings. We counted 16, but perhaps there are more.

Gamka Kloof, Courdiers, Boer War.

During the Boer War in 1901, Young Denys Reitz and a few of his companions got separated from Jan Smuts’ group in the little Karoo. The Meirings Poort and the Seweweke Poort was to well patrolled by the English for them to escape into the Karoo. Tim Couzens tells the story in his book, South African Battles, p. 286-7. Denys Reitz and his friends had to then escape over the top of the Swartberg mountains. There is an interesting story connecting the Courdiers from Gamka Kloof (Die Hell) to the war raging in South Africa at this time.

Entry from Laingsburg side into Seweweke Poort, heading towards Zoar and the R62.