Did you ever want to ride to hell? Well here is your chance. In the Swartberg Mountains there is a hidden, isolated valley reachable only by a dirt road that starts almost at the Swartberg Pass. The road passes through an uninhabited valley (with some luck you can see game) and then falls deeply down to the low valley floor. But read this page carefully, for this is truly one hell of a road!
To get to the start of this road you first have to cycle up the Swartberg Pass. A real beauty of a pass with great views of the Litte Karoo in the south and the Great Karoo in the north. The complete route is a dirt road (just as far as the GPS track goes). Coming from the north you first cycle through a narrow gorge, hardly wider then the road itself. The the road climbs in narrow switch banks to the pass. The surface is often rough and steep, but you can cycle it. The surface on the southern slope is much better.
The road to The Hell (Die Hel) starts about 3km north of the Swartberg Pass. The dirt road is at first quite bad but gets a little bit better later. To get down to The Hell you have to climb 780m, to climb up again you have to cover 1750m (to and from the turn off). The climbs are all very steep and together with the rough surface make some very tough cycling. But it can all be cycled...
Right at the start of the valley there is an official camp site of the nature park. But for one single person it is very expensive. Better go another 5km down to a farm with a restaurant (and beer) where you can camp much cheaper. Along the road the ground is mostly steep, but a spot to camp could always be found if needed.
At the above mentioned farm there is a restaurant with beer in the fridge. Everything else should be brought from Prince Albert or Oudtshoorn. Along the road there are at least 5 streams with clear water that you will cross.
For the return trip do start as early as possible! Once the sun is up it gets bloody hot down there. This place is not called 'The Hell' for no reason.