The Bastervoetpad Pass is one of the most challenging true mountain passes in South Africa and it's rated high amongst the Top 8 high altitude passes of the Eastern Cape. Officially named the Dr. Lapa Munnik Pass, (although no-one uses this name), this rough gravel pass is located between the summit of the Barkly Pass and Ugie and traverses a southern arm of the Drakensberg along the east-west axis. The rugged mountains and deep, green valleys of the southern Drakensberg are strongly reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands, with icy winters and mild summers. This is the only pass in South Africa named after a minister of Public Health. The route was first discovered in 1862 by Adam Kok lll, when he led an armed group down the footpath as a possible route for his historic trek, but found the locals too hostile. He subsequently led the Griquas in their historic trek from Phillipolis in the Free State to their new home, called of course - Kokstad, over another route further to the east, named Ongeluksnek.
The pass boasts a summit height of 2240m, a length of 20 km and it loses 830m of altitude down the Drakensberg escarpment on the eastern side. Add to those rather impressive statistics, this pass can be treacherous in bad weather and is subject to electrical storms, violent winds, heavy rain, hail and snow. It also offers some of the finest scenery in South Africa, when the weather is good. If you intend driving this pass, watch all six videos first and then make your decision.
Please note that you need a 4x4 vehicle with low range & high ground clearance to complete this pass.
The full content of this article is restricted to subscribers.
Subscribe for only R395 a year and get full access to our website (914+ mountain passes), including the videos, the full text of all mountain passes articles, fact-file, interactive map, directions and route files.
Subscribe Now (12 months)
For those who need to only use the website for a single trip or a short time frame, we now also offer a 6 month convenience subscription at R295.
Subscribe Now (6 months)
If you have already subscribed to our site, you can Log in to view the full article.
You will gain full access to the best parts of the website, which include:
- the full content (non subscribers only see about 10% of the text) of 888+ mountain passes,
- plus you get the video(s),
- Fact File,
- Interactive Map,
- and the downloadable Route File.
You will also get our weekly newsletter packed with the latest interesting passes information delivered to your email each Thursday.
Paid subscribers qualify for 10% off the digital downloads from our online shop.
Still not convinced?
You can visit five ‘Open’ pass pages on Mountain Passes South Africa to evaluate what you’ll be getting: