Construction on the Pakhuis Pass began in 1875, and was carried out by convict labour under the direction of ThThe Pakhuis Pass (meaning 'packing shed' in Afrikaans) begins just outside Clanwilliam, connecting it with the Karoo town of Calvinia and beyond. The pass's Surveyor and Builder, Thomas Bain, was an incredibly energetic man of many talents, which included: Art, Rock Paintings, Geology, Cartography and Engineering. This is a major Pass which has recently been fully tarred over its entire length and offers a wide variety of Scenery, Grave Sites, Weathered Rock Formations, Picnic Sites and some of the Cederberg's finest Hiking Trails.
The Pass is suitable for all vehicles but do comply with the speed limits, especially along the Northern switchback section, where the gradients are quite steep and the corners (although nicely radiused by the Road Builders), are quite sharp. The pass is in the Top 20 passes nationally in terms of its length (26,4 km) and has a big altitude gain of 824m. Most of the new road follows Thomas Bain's original lines.omas Bain. When it was completed in April 1877, it opened up direct road travel between Clanwilliam
and the Karoo.