The Middleberg Pass on the R303 southeast of Citrusdal is a gravel road completed in its current form in 1994.
It is a link between Ceres and Citrusdal, two fruit producing regions in the Western Cape.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area covering over 70 000 hectare starts at the Middleberg Pass and runs to the Pakhuis Pass. The Cederberg Mountains were once covered with the rare Clanwilliam Cedar trees but many of these were either burnt or felled by early pioneers. The Cederberg is home to many natural rock formations, including a Maltese Cross, the Wolfberg Arch, Cathedral Rock and the Pulpit and Finger Rocks.
While on your journey of discovery of the Cape’s Mountain Passes, the Middleberg Pass will probably form a part of a route you would take that would not include these two passes at the same time.
Depending on time available, some suggestions may be:
From Cape Town, go over Bainskloof, then over Michells Pass near Ceres, stop for brunch in Ceres, over the Gydo Pass and then over Middleberg Pass to Citrusdal, for some coffee. Head on back to Cape Town over the Pikinierskloof Pass.
Head on over the beautiful du Toitskloof Pass, stop in Wolesley or maybe Tulbagh for some melktert, then over Michells Pass into Ceres, over the Gydo Pass and over Middleberg and Pikinierskloof Passes, back to Cape Town.
A likely trip over the Middleberg Pass will include Ceres, although you may want to try the Bothmanskloof Pass into the Riebeeck Valley, enjoy olives and some great wine in Riebeeck Kasteel and then try the Middleberg Pass.
Whatever the route, you will travel through some interesting and beautiful scenery, varying from farmland, which may be a blend of greens while the wheat grows, or a dry brown during the summer. Enjoy the numerous raptors punctuating the trip, sitting on the telephone poles, majestic and patient as they search for prey.
A trip along the N7 has its own unique attraction, which is understated in its beauty, until you reach the mountains that is!