Scroll down to view the map & video. It is recommended to watch this video in HD. (Click on the "quality" button on the lower taskbar of the video screen and select 720HD.) Wait a few seconds for the video to open.....
FULL-SCREEN MODE: Click PLAY, then pass your mouse over the bottom right corner of the video screen. The outline of a square will appear. Clicking on it will toggle Full Screen Mode. Press ESC to return to the original format.
Note: Google Earth software reads the actual topography and ignores roads, cuttings, tunnels, bridges and excavations. The Google Earth vertical-profile animation generates a number of parallax errors, so the profile is only a general guide of what to expect in terms of gradients, distance and elevation. The graph may present some impossible and improbably sharp spikes, which should be ignored.
Digging into the details:
Getting there: From Newcastle head for the tarred D96 road that heads west out of town and traverses the Visierkerfnek Pass. Use the hyperlink provided for accurate directions to this pass and the Vulintaba Country Estate, wich is the starting point of the Donkies Pass. Please note that there are two similarly named passes in South Africa. This one in KZN is spelt in the Afrikaans way. The other one is called the Donkey Pass and is located in Free State.
Once you have reached the summit of Visierkerfnek Pass, keep heading south-west on the D96, until you reach a fork. Keep right at the fork and follow the signs to Vultintaba Country Estate. Assuming you have obtained the necessary permits and permissions to travel the route, head through the main entrance and straight after the small traffic circle, continue past the dam on the left, where the road bends to the left. At the point where it bends back towards the right (580m after the main gate), a small gravel track heads off up the hill at GPS S27.773293 E29.777588. This is the starting point of the pass.
The track climbs quite gently at first at 1:33 as it heads through a wide right hand S-bend past a balancing tank. Over the next 700m the gradient gets a lot steeper at 1:5 and the going gets tougher as the track labours its way westwards via a double S-bend. At the 1,34 km mark, the gradient eases off again to 1:20 as the direction changes into the NNW. At the 2,0 km mark, the track enters a sharp hairpin bend, where the gradient changes back to 1:5 and the direction heads into the south. This section is the steepest on the pass where you will encounter gradients of 1:3,8
The next hairpin is reached at the 2,5 km mark at an elevation of 1730m and this is also the best viewsite on the pass offering exceptional views to the south west. The track reverses direction again heading back into the NNW. This entire section offers spectacular views down into KZN on the left. The gradients here are around 1:6
At the 2,83 km mark, there is a sharp bend to the right and new vistas open up to the right, where you can enjoy a birds eye view of the Vulintaba Country Estate far below. Ahead the highest peak in the area, known as Kranskop [1903m] can be seen. According to reliable sources, this peak is not Kranskop, but Sneeuberg. The pass ends at 1846m ASL approximately 3,22 km from the start.
If you are not intending doing a U-turn and tackling the descent, you will need spot-on navigation to find your way to the main road to Memel. We highly recommend that this route not be attempted without being in the company of an experienced local guide.
|GPS START||S27.773293 E29.777588|
|GPS SUMMIT||S27.771792 E29.760648|
|GPS END||S27.771792 E29.760468|
|AVE GRADIENT||1:9 [Specific 1:8,54]|
|DIRECTION - TRAVEL||WSW|
|TIME REQUIRED||2 hours|
|SPEED LIMIT||None - Offroad|
|SURFACE||Gravel / Jeep track|
|NEAREST TOWN||Newcastle (18 km)|
Use these powerful features to get the best use out of the map:
- Choose either Map View or Satellite View (overlaid on the map detail.)
- Zoom in and out; rotate in any direction.
- Use the Get Route'feature (directly beneath the map): type in your address to get a personalised route straight from where you are to the pass, with time and distance included.
- Detailed written and printable directions.
- Drag the 'little orange man' icon onto the pass for a complete 360° tiltable "street view".
Register and get access to route files. Simply download to your PC/Laptop/Mobile device and transfer the file directly to your GPS for 100% accurate navigation from start to end. This is a free service to registered users.
Route files are only available to Registered users. When you register you will also be subscribed to our News Updates.