Montagu Pass

(Out of Town)


Where is the pass situated?

Situated between George and Herold in the Western Cape.


What is the distance of the pass?

The gravel pass itself is about 17km from start to end.


Do you need a 4×4?

No, but higher clearance vehicles, however, will be beneficial.


How steep is the climb?

The pass is 741m above sea level with max gradients of 1:6.

Montagu Pass
Montagu Pass
Montagu Pass
Montagu Pass

NOTE: Before driving the pass, we recommend contacting George Municipality Office at 044 803 1300 for an update, as parts of the road may be temporarily closed due to roadworks or weather.


The all gravel Montagu Pass is situated in the Western Cape between the Garden Route town of George and the village of Herold and runs parallel to the Outeniqua Pass on the N12/N9.


The gravel pass itself is about 17km from start to end, but the route from George over the Outeniqua Mountains and through the village of Herold to the N9, takes about an hour.


From George, follow the N12/N9 towards the Outeniqua Pass. The R404 and start of the Montagu Pass is on your right, about 1km from the last roundabout on the outskirts of town.


At an elevation of 741m with max gradients of 1:6, the pass winds its way through indigenous forest, mountain fynbos and some magnificent scenery.


The winding gravel road is narrow and steep in places, but accessible for regular vehicles in fair weather. Higher clearance, however, will be beneficial. Do drive slowly and be on the lookout for oncoming traffic. Some narrow sections require one driver to make way or reverse to a wider section for both vehicles to pass safely.


Named after John Montagu (Colonial Secretary of the Cape in the 1840’s), the Montagu Pass is the oldest unaltered pass still in use in S.A. and was declared a National Monument in 1972. Construction by some 250 convicts started in 1844 and the pass was opened for traffic by December 1847.

A full 3-day journey via the Cradock Pass now only took 3 hours and today it’s a mere 15min drive by car. The original dry-packed stone walls are still firmly in place nearly 200 years later. Keep an eye out for The Old Toll House (also declared a National Monument), where travellers once had to pay 1 penny per wheel and 1 penny per horse or ox. Nearing the end of the route is the hotel at North Station — its oldest section dating back to 1840.