1. Total distance of route and date of ride?
890 km (of which 530km was gravel). 2013
2. How long did it take to complete?
It took two days of relaxed riding. However, the roads were drenched on the first day and the road between Laingsburg and Sutherland was almost washed away completely. I had to cross a few fast-flowing rivers.
3. Why do you recommend this route?
You get to experience a wide range of Westen Cape areas. Touching on the legendary R62, then riding over Langkloof Pass near Montagu, all the way to the Anysberg Nature Reserve area. From there the Moordenaarskaroo road leads you over the Komsberg, zig-zagging over the Buffels river to Sutherland. Experiencing Ouberg Pass in its glory is always a treat. Then the breathtaking Tankwa Karoo carries you home like an old friend. Plenty to tick off your “to-ride” list.
4. Please tell us how the route runs.
Cape Town> Worcester (turn right to)> Robertson> Ashton> Montagu (drive straight through town, turn left onto gravel at first available turn. I think the sign reads Tolana/Ladismith)> Langkloof Pass> there’s a turn-off to Hoek van die Berg left, but keep right, following the sign indicating Anysberg.
Anysberg> sign to turn left to Laingsburg> 40 km to tarred road> left to Laingsburg> in town turn left, turn right at Hospital onto Moordenaars Karoo Road> Koringplaas (keep left)> after some serious bad roads and farm gates you’ll reach T-junction (turn right)> Komsberg Pass until you reach the R354> Sutherland.
From Sutherland> Ouberg Pass> R355> Tankwa Padstal> just pass the Tankwa Padstal turn right towards Klein Sederberg> Katbakkies Pass> Op die Berg> Gydo Pass> Prins Alfred Hamlet> Ceres> Bainskloof Pass> Wellington> Durbanville> Cape Town.
5. What kind of motorcycle is the route suitable for?
An adventure bike. The roads were bad, with serious water damage between Laingsburg and Sutherland where, in the rainy season, you’ll have to manoeuvre through sandy river crossings. Going down Ouberg Pass also challenges rider and bike with damaged rocky roads. The rest of the route has fairly maintained gravel roads.
6. Please name significant points of interest along the way, e.g. eateries, supermarkets, accommodation.
Breakfast in Montagu at The Orchard/Die Boord; 58A Long Street; 023 614 3454
Clean and affordable accommodation with a great plate of food and cold beer at The Jupiter Guest House and restaurant in Sutherland; 023 5711 340.
Experience true SA hospitality at the Tankwa Padstal. It’s a well-known spot for bikers and like-minded travellers to refresh, have a burger and cool off in the plaasdam pool.
Oudebaaskraaldam inside the Tankwa Karoo National Park, just a quick turn-off from your route. A great mass of water with waterfall. GPS Coordinates; 32° 23′ 01″ S 19° 54′ 05″ E
7. Any fuel stations or mechanics along the way?
Fill up in Montagu, Laingsburg, Sutherland (pumps closed on a Sunday and after 13:00 on Saturdays, but for a small extra fee you can convince the manager to help with some juice. He lives right across the pumps), Prince Alfred Hamlet and you’ll be okay to get home.
You’ll find general mechanics’ shops in Laingsburg.
8. Any dangers along the route?
Loose rocks and bad roads in general between Laingsburg and Sutherland. Proceed with caution on Ouberg Pass.
9. What did the trip cost in fuel, meals and accommodation?
Fuel: around R650
The bill at The Jupiter for dinner (four juicy lamb chops, chips and veggies), drinks, accommodation (room with two beds) and breakfast (the usual coffee, bacon & eggs) was R500, including a nice tip for the friendly staff.
Lunch and a beer at Tankwa Padstal: R55.
10. Any must-do activities on the route?
Take your time in Sutherland. There are many great places where you can have something to eat and drink.
12. Do you have any other comments or advice about the route?
I never thought I’d get so much rain on this route, so left my rain gear home. Had to stop at Montagu Agrimark for a R120 rain suit. It works better than my expensive, fancy biker rain gear, is much lighter and folds up to a smaller size!
Also add some time to your route. Crossing rivers takes time and my friend started worrying as I only reached Sutherland some hours later than planned, with no cellphone reception on the route.
It’s a beautiful route. Take your time, it’s over sooner that you think.
13. Are there any doctors and/or hospitals in the area that you know of?
Laingsburg has a state hospital; 023 551 1237.
Route submitted by Michael Hammond in 2013