Sir Lowry’s Pass is a rutted pass as old as the mountains, dating back to the first travellers that assailed this mountain as far back as 1664 from records that were kept. But the truth is the Khoi and San people used this mountain pass daily foraging for food and exploration further inland.
Sir Lowry’s Pass is situated in the Hottentot Mountains or the Gantouw’s Pass as it was originally known. This may be the first record of a toll booth recorded in South African history located at the peak of the mountain in 1832 as the depiction penned by artist Charles D’Oyly.
This pass breaches the Helderberg Mountains connecting towns to one another - Somerset West, the Elgin Valley and it forms part of the Garden Route on the N2 highway.
According to the records an estimated 4500 ox-wagons travelled the mountain using the pass per year. The pass was declared a National Monument in 1958.
A new pass was designed by a British engineer, Charles Michell in 1828 and was completed in 1830 using convict labour. The pass, when officially opened was named after Cole Lowry, Governor of the Cape Colony at the time.
Sir Lowry’s Pass Village had a post office which dates back to 1846 which formed the foundation of this farming community entrenched in fruits and grape farming.
Back in the early 1900’s the villagers found a stable source of income from selling wild flowers which grew in abundance on the surrounding hills and mountains.
With the wine estates in the region there is a tourist attraction which needed to be catered for and thus there are a number of lodges and guest houses in the town and region. The town itself is pretty much a village but the outskirts has made way for exclusive wine estates and lifestyle and golf estates such as Erinvale Golf Estate.
Eco-tourism is also another form of tourism to the region and tourists visit places like;
· Helderberg Nature Reserve
· Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
· Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve
Take a tour of the farms and properties on offer in Sir Lowry’s Pass via the MyRoof website.