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Information on Sir Lowry's Pass, Western Cape, South Africa

Conference Venues South Africa brings you information on Sir Lowry's Pass situated in the Western Cape Province of South Africa including information on history, location, geography, attractions.

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Sir Lowry's Pass is a mountain pass on the N2 national road in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It crosses the Hottentots-Holland mountain range between Grabouw and Somerset West on the main national road between the Garden Route and Cape Town. A railway line also crosses the mountain range at this point.

There is a viewpoint at the summit of the pass is at 420m, and this point is used as a paragliding launch site. Baboons are often seen in this area. On the Grabouw side, the road passes the Steenbras Dam. Sir Lowry's Pass Village is situated near the base of the pass.


Sir Lowry's Pass History

The mountain crossing in that area was known by the indigenous Khoi people as Eland's Pass the or Gantouw and was used as a stock route. The British and Dutch settlers at the Cape built a crude road called the Hottentots Holland Kloof Pass following the Gantouw route. The first recorded crossing was in 1664, and by 1821, the pass was seeing 4500 ox wagons per year crossing into the interior, but the path was so severe that more than 20% of them were damaged. The ruts left by these wagons being dragged over the mountains can still be seen and were declared a National Monument in 1958.

Starting in 1828, a new pass was constructed on the current route, about 2km to the south of the Hottentots Holland Kloof, by the engineer Charles Michell using convict labour. The new pass was opened on 6 July 1830, and named after Lowry Cole, the Governor of the Cape Colony at the time. In the 1930s, the pass was widened and tarred, it was further improved in the 1950s, and in 1984, the upper parts were widened to four lanes in a reinforced concrete structure.

Towns and Suburbs of the Western Cape province of South Africa

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