The Akkedisberg Pass translates from Afrikaans into Lizard Mountain Pass. It's an easy drive along this tarred coastal pass on the R 326 links the small Farming Town of Riviersonderend with the quaint coastal hamlet of Stanford and the coastal road to Hermanus. The original gravel road dates back to 1776 and is one of the very oldest passes in South Africa! The Akkedisberg Pass runs along the R 326 and first recollection of it dates back to 1776. The Akkedisberg Mountains run from Hermanus and terminate at the Akkedisberg Pass. The Klein River, which has its origin in Hermanus, terminates in Stanford. Stanford, named after Sir Robert Stanford, is a quaint town with a rich History on the R 43. The Town of Stanford, is on the site of one of Sir Robert Stanford's Farms. His story is both sad and interesting. Sir Robert was a retired British Army officer, who became a farmer in the Area in about 1840. He had bought this and another 6 Farms and was innovative as a farmer. Indeed, instead of transporting his produce by road to Cape Town, he bought a boat and sailed it around by sea.
The British Government had decided to settle 300 Irish convicts in the Cape Colony and there was a petition against this. The groundswell was exceptionally strong and the ship carrying the convicts, the Neptune, was not allowed to dock or replenish victuals. Robert Stanford supported the movement but as he was still on half pay from the British Government, he was forced to supply the ship. His motivation was that if he did not do so, apart from the personal repercussions, martial law could be declared and the supplies taken by force possibly resulting in loss of life. He suffered greatly as a result of the Public backlash, including his children being refused entry to the Local School and his one daughter dying after a local Doctor, refused her treatment. Stanford returned to the United Kingdom to petition his case for compensation. He was awarded a knighthood and a tidy some of money, but on his return discovered that most of his Farms had been sold off! His first Farm, Kleine Rivier Farm was bought by Phillipus de Bruyn from Stanford and when he sold the first plot on it to establish the Town, he named it Stanford.
The Akkedisberg Pass is a scenic, small Pass which runs along the foot of the Akkedisberg Mountains. The Pass had mild gradients and only 13 bends, corners and curves, none of which are particularly sharp or dangerous! It's a fairly long Pass at 12,5 km and produces a gentle average gradient of only 1:86 with the steepest sections getting up to 1:18. The views are lovely with the tall Mountains keeping watch over the green Valley on the right. There is at least one excellent Wine Estate that leads off the Pass. For those, addicted to Roads, road tripping and stupendous Scenery, we’re privileged to be able to enjoy various Mountain Passes in the Western Cape. "It’s total road candy! Driving through a Mountain Pass carries with it a certain symbolism. More than just the exhilarating sense of freedom that being on the open road evokes, it’s the physical act of passing from one place into another. It’s almost as if the lie of the land echoes the state of your mind… heading towards something new and leaving something else behind…"
The Pass is one of the oldest in South Africa, dating back to 1776. Detouring on the R 326 to Napier/Bredasrdorp/Arniston; "The raw features and breath-taking views of the Akkedisberg are simply jaw-dropping!"
New Dictionary of South African Place Names by Peter E. Raper