The Bain's Kloof Pass, also spelt Bainskloof Pass, runs along the R301 and provides a direct route from the town of Wellington to the northern towns of Ceres and Worcester in the Western Cape. The pass spans 27.3km in length from the bridge over the Breede River to the edge of Wellington, and is now a national monument.
Built circa 1849 by Andrew Geddes Bain and completed in 1853, the pass was built by convicts using raw materials and new methods, and is one of the most scenic passes in the Cape. Travellers are advised to drive slowly along the pass as it has various sharp turns and hairpin bends. Slow down - the scenery is well worth it!
Keep an eye out for Borcherd's Bridge where a stream bisects the Wolvekloof, forming part of the Limietberg Nature Reserve. The 3-day Limietberg Hiking Trail descends down this kloof and ends at Tweede Tol, a campsite with fantastic picnic sites and rock pools. Other landmarks include Pilkington Bridge, Bobbejaansrivier Kloof, Bell Rocks, Dacres Pulpit, Montagu Rocks, and Bains Kloof Village. A popular bush pub offers refreshments at the northern end of the pass.
- Situated in the Cape's floral kingdom, Bainskloof contains the highest ratio of plant species per land area in the world - a total of 8600 species (of which 5800 is endemic)
- The flora covers 277 species of flowering plants, including 24 types of erica, 10 types of gladioli and 13 types of protea
- Wildlife includes jackals, leopards, honey badgers, klipspringers, grysbok, steenbok, endangered frogs, as well as 182 bird species
- The pass were completed in 4 years (1608 working days)
- An average of 53 days were spent per kilometer of construction
- Bainskloof is part of the Limietberg Nature Reserve and was declared a National Monument in 1980
- The pass is great for mountain biking, hiking and swimming in the fresh water pools
- The Bainskloof Ultra Marathon is an annual event which includes the pass as part of the route