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.
The Karoo Poort is a very old route followed by the first settlers and together with the Hottentot Kloof, formed the only route to the north (and the Karoo) from Cape Town through Ceres. The road is a typical poort, with easy gradients, following the course of a (mainly dry) river-bed through a natural gap in the mountains. The pass is gravel, except for a small section of just over a kilometer and a half, where the tarring was no doubt done to protect the Karoopoort farm orchards from dust. The original old farmstead is on the left hand side of the road (west) and looking its age these days. It is the only farm in the poort.
Incredibly this magnificent gravel pass is not officially named by any government authority at the time of writing. The well designed pass twists and turns its way laboriously through 738 meters of altitude through the mountains just two kilometers from the Swaziland border to summit at a T-junction with the R40 south of Barberton. In terms of altitude gained, this pass will slot in at the 14th highest nationally. The pass provides dramatic views of towering mountains and green valleys and takes us past an old forgotten mining town - Diepgezet. In dry weather the pass can be driven in a 4x2 "bakkie", but good ground clearance is important. In wet weather, we recommend a 4x4. ~ The information on this pass as well as some photographs were submitted by Andre van Dyk.
This short, steep gravel pass is located approxmately 6 km north-east of Lydenburg. This is a rough gravel road only suitable for 4WD vehicles with good ground clearance. It carries almost no traffic and the condition can vary greatly depending on recent weather patterns. The start is awkward to find and the access route we are suggesting is one of several options possible. We recommend you carefully study the map and the Google earth imagery as well as make sure you have all the GPS waypoints on your GPS.
This pass lies 12km to the NE of Lydenburg. Translated it means Gold Fields Pass. It is a gravel pass but is generally maintained to a reasonable level and will be suitable for most vehicles in dry weather. Like all gravel roads, they can quickly deteriorate in rainy weather and become slippery,muddy, corrugated and potholed. The pass traverses a narrow valley bisected by the Spekboomrivier, which boasts two classically designed high arched, stone bridges along it's course. The valley opens up progressively towards the south-east. This is a dead end road and as a consequence usually only has local traffic on it.
Mount Carmel pass is a long gravel road climbing 310 vertical meters through the Mount Carmel range of the Drakensberg. It is located about 25 km north-west of Nelspruit on the D1054. The road connects several farms around Schagen and is mainly used by farmers and forestry vehicles. A vehicle with good ground clearance will cope better with this road, which traverses the beautiful valley through the Mount Carmel Conservancy.
The Old Cape Road is located just to the north of Knysna and traverses the line of hills above the town through indigenous as well as pine and bluegum plantations. The 6.5 km long road is generally on a level gradient, with the exception of the western ascent, which is very steep. Although the average gradients are a comfortable 1:21, the climb up past Simola Golf Estate is as steep as 1:5
This is a fairly serious gravel road pass located in the heart of the gold mining reefs, east of Barberton. We recommend a 4WD vehicle when the weather is wet as things could get very slippery in a normal car when these roads become muddy. The pass gains/loses 443m of altitude with some sections as steep as 1:6. It connects the Louw's Creek area in the north with the R40 close to Barberton in the west and services forestry, farming and gold mining activities.
The Uitkyk Pass is more commonly called the Uitkyk Road by locals. It lies just 15km to the south of Nelspruit and provides access to several farms as well as the plantations of bluegums and pines for harvesting and maintenance. It traverses sections of the Krokodilspoort mountains in the form of a large V.
This seldom driven gem of a pass ends in a dead end with a story attached. It is frequently referred to in its Afrikaans format - Boesmanskloofpas and is also called the "Road to Nowhere". The pass connects the town of McGregor with the farm Die Galg at the summit, where it ends. However in the early 1900's there was a strong need to build a road directly from McGregor to Greyton, which is a scant 25 kms to the west. The road was subsequently built and continues over the neck (Die Galg) and then descends along the northern side of the ravine, where the road was literally hacked out of the mountainside. This proved to be an onerous and expensive project and was abandoned due to lack of funds.
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