A gravel road through a Karoo style poort of 5,56 km with comfortable gradients and rugged scenery. This is one of many farm roads that traverse the vast area of the Karoo. The towns are far apart and travellers need to be well prepared in case of a breakdown. This pass has the potential to form a clockwise loop from the Blounek Pass to rejoin the R381 much further north. This is a 'well off the beaten track' pass that will satisfy those that seek the wild and rugged roads of South Africa.
This fairly long, but easy gravel pass is located south of the Breede River in the Scherpenheuwel area and provides an unusual connection between the riverside road, which is interrupted by a nose in the mountain, making the continuation of the road alongside the river impractical. It offers an alternative routing to the R60 as it follows the southern side of the Breede River. The pass heads inland towards a mountain called Scheepershoogte, after which the pass takes its name. The scenery is lovely at any time of year, but it's best in spring time. The road follows the course of a small stream through the mountains, then levels off over a small plateau and descends again to the Breede River Valley, where the tar recommences. It can get quite slippery here in winter when the rains come.
The Dassieshoek Pass is a gravel road just north of Robertson that connects the town with the Dassieshoek Nature Reserve, which nestles in the foothills of the Langeberg mountains. The pass is gravel and despite some extremely sharp corners, has relatively easy gradients and it can be driven in a normal sedan vehicle. The road is a dead–end. This is not an official pass, but qualifies to be listed in terms of our definition.
Located in the remote high mountain plateau north of Beaufort West and approximately midway between the Thomas Bain built Roseberg and De Jager passes, The Trapvoet Pass winds its way steeply down a mountain and into a small canyon carved out by the river over the millenia. This road is long and rough and we don not recommend anyone attempting this one without a 4x4 with good ground clearance and low range.
This short, but steep gravel pass lies on private property at the farm Tierfontein, but can be accessed by guests staying at Ko-Ka Tsara bush camp. This pass is for experienced offroad motorcyclists and 4x4 vehicles with low range. The pass, named after the almost extinct Bontebok (but now flourishing, thanks to the efforts of conservationists) takes one from the Gamka river valley to the top of the mountain and provides access from there via the high plateau to the eastern side of the Gamka Dam.
Namaqualand plays host to a number of great gravel passes. The Kamieshoogte Pass is the closest of them in terms of accessibility and commences just a stones throw away from the N7 highway. This pass is also called the Kamiesberg Pass and is sometimes spelt as Kammiesberg with a double 'm'. The pass ascends 319 vertical metres to summit at 1073m ASL after 6,98 km. It’s a popular pass amongst the MTB adventure set.
South Africa and especially the Klein Karoo (Little Karoo) has some of the finest gravel roads for the purpose of eco-tourism. With the popularity of the GPS, these minor roads are just waiting to be discovered. The Rust en Vrede Pass (Rest and Peace) is not an official pass, but provides a fabulous drive along a gravel road with sufficient gradient and curves to qualify it as a mountain pass. It follows the east/west axis of the Swartberg Mountains on its southern side.
This fairly steep gravel pass lies on the east/west axis on the southern side of the Swartberg Mountains and connects the Kruisrivier farming area in the west with the Swartberg Private Game Lodge at the eastern end of the pass. Continuing eastwards along this road (P363) will bring you to the foot of the Swartberg Pass as well as ultimately to the Cango Caves.
This lovely gravel pass traverses a substantial area of the Botelierskop Private Game Reserve, which lies due north of Klein Brak Rivier on the Garden Route’s coastal plateau. The pass is just over 5 km long and has gradients between 1:5 and 1:20. You are almost guaranteed to see game on this lovely drive. This road appears on certain maps as Blesbok Road.
This is a semi-suburban old road demarcated on the government maps as an official pass. It is a straight forward fairly easy descent down a road which is a mix of gravel and tar and heads east towards Great Brak River and ends at a T-junction few kilometers later in the village.
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