Burgers Pass (R318) or Koo Pass

Cottages like this can be rented at Langdam Cottages like this can be rented at Langdam Panoramio

Originally known as the Koo Pass (serving the fruit-growing region known as the Koo Valley, it was renamed after a local town councillor from Montagu who exerted a lot of energy to influence the authorities to upgarde the road. 'KOO' products have stocked the cupboards of over 80 years' worth of South African families! the pass was plotted and originally constructed by Thomas Bain in 1877.

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.)

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. Though the graph may show several spikes, the general trend-line of the graph represents only an approximate guideline.

Digging into the details:

The pass was officially re-christened 'Burgers Pass' in 1957 in honour of the indefatigable Mr Burger and his fervent passion to create a road link between Montagu and the N1. Mr Burger, however, had a secondary passion which - had he been alive today - would no doubtedly have made him cringe with eco-impropriety: his love of bluegum trees (the water-hungry tree from Australia, and considered an incorrigible alien in South Africa, capable of growing in the harshest of climates.)

The pass commences its ascent at the crossing of the Keisierivier heading initially into the west. It then curves away inbto the south west and follows a straight climb up the mountain. After 1 km, it enters a chicane style set of bends consisting of two hairpins, but both have a fairly wiude radius, allowing readonable speed to be maintained. Another stiff climb follows with the road curling through 90 degrees into the NNE, where a sharp left hand bend is encountered. This is quite a dangerous bend and several attempts at making the road safer have taken place here over the years. A good view site offering wide views over the Koo valley under stand of Bluegums has been closed to vehicles, as this has been the scene of accidents in the past. Say what you like, but the motorists WILL stop and look at the view - so now they stop on the inside radius of the turn - which is even more dangerous! Once you've climbed through this 3rd hairpin, the road continues climbing steadily via a triple set of easy S-curves to summit at 857m ASL on a mountain plateau. The steepest sections of the climb are at a gradient of 1:8

With a number of excellent hikes plotted through its 2000 hectares, the Montagu Mountain Reserve also attracts rock-climbers with over 200 bolted routes which trace the unique topography that can only be described as awe-strikingly spectacular!

For birdwatchers, the Leiwater Dam offers the unique experience of an 'urban' birding site where 18 species of birds are bred - such as Shrikes, Egrets, Weavers and Sacred Ibis. Local birding experts have recorded an additional 52 species of bird visitors to this special avian sanctuary which is a caring community initiative. The dam, with its new hide, is situated on the corner of Bath Street and Barry Street - providing convenient access for even the most walking-wary of birdwatchers!

At the time of writing, the road surface was in a reasonable condition but under repair. Lying just further west along the same road is the Rooihoogte Pass.



S33.692840 E19.934007


S33.692878 E19.895652


S33.692878 E19.895652
















West (Ascending)


10 minutes


60 - 80 kph








Montagu (20km)



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".

    From Address:

Route files: 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.

Please Register or Log in  to access these files.

Route files are only available to Registered users. When you register you will also be subscribed to our News Updates.

Read 3941 times


Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.

Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.

Subscribe To Our Site!

We offer a totally free subscription. You will receive an email notification every time a new pass has been uploaded. You will also get access to registered content on our site.