Weekend in Riversdale – Part 9: Tradouw Pass – Traversing the path of the women

“We have two options: We can either continue westwards along the R62 towards Montagu, across the Montagu Pass, and via Robertson and Worcester up to the N1…”


“We can head south across Tradouw Pass, and join the N2 near Swellendam.”

We chose the route across the magnificent Tradouw Pass, built by Thomas Bain right before he was commissioned to construct Garcia’s Pass (which we had just crossed that morning). The name of Tradouw Pass is apparently derived from the Khoi words ‘tra’ or ‘taras’ (women) and ‘dau’ or ‘daos’ (poort or ‘the way through’) – thus ‘the poort or way of the women’. We had traversed this from the opposite direction during last year’s visit to a little farm outside Swellendam (I briefly wrote about its history here).

So, will you join us?

Perhaps we can even have a picnic at one of the many viewing sites, admiring the breathtaking sceneries and marvelling at the engineering skills, perseverance and sheer guts of those road-builders of the olden days, while we sip some tea and munch some crackers with salad and ostrich biltong?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

6 thoughts on “Weekend in Riversdale – Part 9: Tradouw Pass – Traversing the path of the women

    • I wonder about that too, Lisa – all I’ve managed to find is that it is a hybrid of two Khoi words – “tra” or “taras” meaning “woman or women” and “dau” or “daos” meaning “the way through” or “a poort”, which is translated as “the way of the women”. I too wonder about the story behind that. If you find out, please would you let me know?

I'd love to hear your views

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.