Near to Laingsburg is a piece of unspoiled nature that takes your breath away if you drive through it. It is the Seven Weeks Poort, a low-lying mountain pass that is spectacular in its beauty as it takes you through the Swartberg Range. The magnificent sandstone layers of the folded mountain are revealed as you drive along this picturesque route and marvel at the interesting and sometimes grotesque rock formations. Photos taken from any angle along this pass will prove it to be one of South Africa’s most magnificent routes.
This route offers shade and cool mountain streams to the traveller after the hot, arid plains of the Karoo. Picnic sites near to these streams give you the chance to fill your water bottle or to let the children paddle.
During 1859 the authorities decided to build a pass through the Poort. The first part of the work was done by a team of convicts without the help of a road engineer. Progress was slow. In 1960 A.F. de Smidt, brother-in-law of the renowned Thomas Baines, took over and the road was completed in November 1862.
The pass meanders for 17km through the mountains at a height that alternates between 600 – 1000m above sea-level. It crosses the stream 23 times, while the view of the mountain on both sides rises up to 1500 – 2000m.
The Seven Weeks Poort gives access to the Little Karoo from the Great Karoo.