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Seven Passes Garden Route

Seven Passes on the Garden Route of South Africa!


Whether you need peace and quiet or the buzz of quaint shops and nice restaurants, you will find all nestled in the Seven Passes Road between George and Knysna, surrounded by active farms, where you will be able to relax and enjoy nature to its fullest. Not only will you hear and see the birds in the trees, but the monkeys will also pay you a visit to amuse you with their liveliness. But, please don’t feed the little rascals.

Welcome to Garden Route National Park and the Woodville Big Tree

The seven passes, in order from George to Knysna, are:

  • Kaaimans River Pass
  • Silwer River Pass
  • Touw River Pass
  • Hoogekraal Pass
  • Karatara Pass
  • Homtini Pass
  • Phantom Pass
Silver River Pass on the Seven Passes Route

Travelling this old route with its stretches of quiet country lanes is like returning to the unhurried horse-and-coach era of the 19th century. The modest bridges of stone and iron are still in use.

The Seven Passes route is a 75km trip. It is the original road that was built by road builder and engineer, Thomas Bain,  in 1867 for transporters to and from Port Elizabeth, which would consist of crossing 10 rivers and 7 gorges. With the stunning mountain and green pastures from the farms, silence and beautiful stars at night, it is a divine escape from the rush of the city

Here are plenty of activities and things to do like horse riding, mountain bike trails, the Map of Africa and golf courses. The Seven Passes route includes single lane bridges, forestry settlements, the scene of a brief gold rush in 1875 and the Woodville big tree. 

The Wilderness and Sedgefield area, with lovely beaches and excellent restaurants, is only a stone’s throw away.  Picturesque Knysna is only 45 minutes drive from Ouma’s Farmhouse and  Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn are about one hour’s drive away and are great for a day trip, or stay at a farmhouse in the area and make the most of swimming, gardens with amazing birdlife and relaxing around an open fire braai.

Accommodation: Ouma’s Farmhouse is a four bedroom house with two and a half bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a huge sitting room / dining room and a precious indoor braai room where the whole family can relax. The bedrooms are spacious and fitted with double beds and single beds. Linen and towels are included. The bathrooms are just as spacious and showers as   well as a bath are available to fit all the needs of a family or a group of friends. The house can comfortably accommodate eight people. Games and books are available for rainy days. For more info visit:

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You can reach the house from Wilderness via Hoekwil, or you can use the highly-rated scenic drive of the Seven Passes Road.

Must See!

Woodville Big Tree

Between Ouma’s Farmhouse and Hoekwil is the “Big Tree” and a must to see. Not only do you smell and experience the forest at its best, the short route to the Big Tree winds among some of the biggest trees you will ever come across. At 33 meters high this 800 year old colossal will take your breath away.

Ouma’s Farmhouse is close to Wilderness and Sedgefield, two beautiful seaside towns in the Southern Cape where you can enjoy the beach, the shops and the restaurants. Knysna and the spectacular lakes are less than an hour’s drive away and the road to Knysna is filled with history about the gold prospecting and the ruins of the mining village of Millwood is worth a visit.   

Come to the woods, for there is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill – John Muir.  

See you at the Seven Passes Route!


[ Thank you Ancabe van Zyl, the writer of this article, who visited the Seven Passes and stayed over at Ouma’s Farmhouse guest accommodation]

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