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Colonanek Pass Colonanek Pass - Photo: Andy Kruger

Colonanek (also known as Colananek) is situated in the high mountainous area of the Eastern Cape, close to the KZN border between the towns of Mount Frere and Cedarville. The pass, which is gravel surfaced, contains 19 bends, corners and curves withing it's 4,4 km length, producing an average gradient of 1:30 with the steepr sections measuring in at 1:11.

The pass traverses the substantial rural settlement of Colana (from which it takes it's name) so drivers need to be aware of livestock, pedestrians, slow moving vehicles and minibus taxis throughout this traverse. The scenery is lovely with colourful mud huts bedecked with thatch adding a splash of colour to the scenery. This quiet country road is a long and slow drive. If you're in a hurry, rather avoid this one.

Scroll down to view the map & video. This video consists entirely of Google Earth animations and serves to orienteer first time drivers of this pass. 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.) Wait a few seconds for the video to display.....

[Video cover photo taken near Cedarville / Photo: Google Images]

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. The graph may present some impossible and improbably sharp spikes, which should be ignored.

Digging into the details

Getting there: To approach from the south, (as we have produced it) head north out of Mount Frere on the N2 for 3 km and turn left (NW) at GPS S30.868799 E29.010320. Remain on this gravel road, following the signs to Colana for 31 km to arrive at the southern start of the pass at GPS S30.649849 E29.038680

Colona nek sceneryTraditional and modern dwellings dot the mountainsides / SouthAfrica.toTo approach from the north, head SE out of Cedarville on the tarred R56. Take the first turn to the right at GPS S30.397391 E29.054265. Follow this road southwards for 29 km to arrive at the northern start of the pass.

The pass is 4,4km long and  starts at it's southern side at an altitude of 1180m ASL and summits at an altitude of 1300m ASL., producing an easy average gradient of 1:30, but the steeper parts get as steep as 1;11. The region experiences bitterly cold winters with frequent snowfalls. Mount Frere is known to the locals as 'Kwachaba' and was founded in the 17th century by Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere.

At the northern end of the pass you will eventually arrive at a very small village of about 16 streets. Established in 1912, Cedarville is sited on a floodplain of the Umzimvubu River. The river itself originates north of Cedarville in the Drakensberg Mountains and travels 300km to the seaside town of Port St Johns. The area surrounding Cedarville falls under a protected environment and consists mostly of commercial farms, sprinkled with all manner of inviting accommodation, from cosy log cabins to high end lodges.

Cedarville is visited for the fantastic scenery, the snow in winter, the bird life, hiking trails, 4x4 routes and the crisp clean air. The town is named after the 1932m-high Cedarberg Peak that looms over the town and should not be confused with the much better known Cederberg range in the Western Cape.

Adam Kok III was a Griqua Chief who led his people on a great trek from the Mount Currie area, over the Lesotho Mountains, to a peaceful area free from persecution. He founded the town of Kokstad to self-govern East Griqualand and he is buried in the Mount Currie Nature Reserve.

Fact File:


S30.649849 E29.038680


S30.625854 E29.056856


S30.625854 E29.056856














4,4 km




12 minutes


60 kph








Mount Frere (35 km)

Route Map:

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From Address:

Route files:

||Click to download: Colona Nek (Note - This is a .kmz file which can be opened in Google Earth and most GPS software systems)

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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.

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