This steep gravel pass offers spectaular views over the Duiwenhoksrivier valley tucked right up into the green rolling foothills of the Langeberg, between the Tradouw and Garcia passes on a minor gravel road, which offers several pass driving options as it is also the access road to the Gysmanshoek pass. The road is suitable for normal sedan vehicles, providing it has not been raining in which case some of the low level bridges might be impassable. This is officially an unnamed pass. For purposes of indexing this pass into the website, we have unofficially named it Boosmansbos Pass as this is the most prominent geographical point along the pass.
This steep gravel pass descends/ascends the northern end of the Nardousberg mountain - a north/south oriented range to the east of the Olifants River, approximately 40 km north of Clanwilliam. It is the final section of the road that connects the main gravel road to the Bushmans Cave Amphitheatre to the gravel (R363) road on the east side of the Olifants River. The road is maintained to a good standard and providing speed limits are adhered to, all traffic should manage this pass comfortably.
Its claim to fame is that it is the final pass after the Nardouwskloof Pass that delivers motorists to the Cederberg's beautitul Bushmans Cave Amphitheatre. It's named after a nearby peak Kraaibosberg (Crow Bush Mountain) [633,7m] which can be seen to your right at the start of the pass. At 3,6 km this pass is fairly short and it descends a substantial 250m producing an average gradient of 1:14 which places it fairly high up on the national rankings in terms of steepness.
This 7,8 km attractive gravel pass has a substantial altitude drop of 494m as it descends from the Elandsfontein farm through the Kransvleikloof following the course of a small river amongst high crags through a cool and shady kloof. It terminates at a T-junction with the N7 highway. There is some confusion about the name of the kloof with some references calling it the Jakkalsvleikloof. The official government maps show the higher section of the kloof to be Kransvleikloof, followed by the lower section, which is named Jakkalsvleikloof. Then to add fuel to the fire, the next section after the gravel road joins the N7, is again called Kransvleikloof. The last farm along the descent on the right hand side of the road is also called Kransvleikloof. So, for the puposes of this website and having to give this pass an indexed name, we are going with Kransvleikloof.
The Thyshoogte Pass is named after the Thyskraal farm, through which it passes. This pass follows the Jukhoogte pass to it's south-west in fairly quick succession on the gravel R356 route between Ceres and Sutherland. Like the Jukhoogte Pass, this pass similarly has a few nasty surprises with negative banking, and some sharp dips and corners. There is one hairpin bend which also hosts the steepest gradient. This pass gets extremely slippery after rain or snow.
Most travellers are not even aware of this pass, as they travel the long and generally straight gravelled R356 across the flat plains of the Tankwa Karoo between Ceres and Sutherland. This is the first meaningful change in terrain since having passed through the Karoo Poort, about 70km further to the south west. This tricky little pass, whilst not boasting any extreme statistics, has been the undoing of many an unsuspecting driver, as things can get decidedly slippery when the rains do eventually arrive.
If you didn't know it had a name, this little poort (wisely listed in the Afrikaans diminutive, so as not to be taken seriously) would be gone in the blink of an eye and you would be none the wiser. Some maps and references also call this poort "Die Poort se Nek" This is about as obscure as any pass can get. It lies on a remote gravel road (the P2259) about 40 km due east of Sutherland. It is of some significance in that together with its sister poort (Bloupoort) a few kilometers to the west, these two little poorts are important landmarks on your journey to the fabulous Karelskraal Pass a little further on.
This gem of a pass is a well hidden secret, which lies in an isolated valley to the north of the Klipbokkrans and Baviaansberg mountains [1946m] and follows the natural kloof formed to the south of the Grasberg mountain [1638m]. It lies on the east/west axis and at 16,1 km is quite a long pass. It's not only long in terms of distance, but in time too. You will need at least 1,5 hours to complete the kloof itself and that excludes the southern return leg over many kilomters of farm roads. Multiple farm gates added to a fairly dodgy road, which can be in various states of disrepair, all add to the remote and rugged allure. It's best done in a 4x4 or at least a "bakkie" with good ground clearance and diff-lock. Despite the average gradient being an easy 1:30, there are some very steep parts, especially near the summit which reach 1:6. During winter and after rain, there are multiple river crossings to negotiate, none of which are crossed over any bridges. The rewards however, are magnificent.
The Buffelshoek Pass should be viewed in conjunction with the Middelberg Pass as it is to all intents and purposes the southern half of the Middelberg Pass. The pass takes its name from the nearby Buffelshoek farming area. The pass is gravel and generally maintained to a good standard. It offers easy gradients over the first half, then things change quite dramatically near the summit in the form of a double switchback, where fabulous views open up over the valley - views that stretch back to the south as far as the eye can see in a blend of greenery and rugged mountains in winter. It does sometimes snow on the pass. During the summer months, it is hot and dry.
This pass is in reality just the initial climb leading from the Dwyka river to the start of the Rammelkop Pass. There are many references to the two passes being one pass, but the initial part of the climb traverses the farm Allemanshoek, thus causing plenty of confusion. To keep things simple, we have treated these as two separate passes.
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