This little-known pass is located in a wild and remote area of the Eastern Cape near Barkly East. It forms the northern access route into Heuningneskloof (“Honey Nest Ravine”), a long valley formed by a tributary of the Kraai River. The use of a 4x4 vehicle is strongly recommended, although a high-clearance vehicle could probably traverse the pass, albeit with some difficulty. It lies far off the beaten track, and some accurate navigational skills and common sense will be required to find it. For those that do make the effort, you will be rewarded with exceptional views, the peace and quiet of an unspoilt environment, and some challenging driving.
The e-Roma pass is named in the Xhosa tongue, where many English words are prefixed by an "e". This steep gravel pass sweeps up the western ridge of a mountain just north of the small town of Cala and to the west of the Tsomo River valley. The pass is just under 5 km in length and climbs 267 vertical metres to summit at 1423m. Some of the gradients are quite steep at 1:7 and in rainy weather smaller cars might have some traction issues. In fair weather the pass is suitable for all vehicles. Watch out for local vehicles, which seem to disregard the rules of the road. They can often be encountered completely on the wrong side of the road (avoiding corrugations) or driving very fast or very slowly. Be prepared for all eventualities and remain alert. There is also the standard problem of encountering livestock.
This short, but scenic poort offers lovely, mountainous Karoo scenery on a very easy gradient of 1:124 with few dangers. The drive along the poort includes two river crossings. It ends in the north at the second crossing of the Kraairivier, the latter which should not be confused with the Kraai River near Barkly East. (Crows River). The little known poort lies on a farm road, the P1864, that parallels the R329 on its northern side for many kilometers and gives access to the well known Timbila Game Reserve as well as two other poorts in the area - Medenpoort and the much bigger Kamferspoort. The road is suitable for all vehicles in fair weather.
The dramatic poort traverses a gap through the Grootrivierberge (Great River Mountains), which has been carved out by the Heuningkliprivier (Honey Stone River) which runs along the north/south axis, but via a convoluted path approximating the natural course of the river. It only climbs 58 vertical metres over 14km producing an easy average gradient of 1:241 - The beauty of this pass is its rugged, mountainous scenery.
April, 2017 - Information just received is that this road has been closed off by a locked gate and marked as 'Private'. We don't know if this road has been officially deproclaimed, but we will investigate and publish our findings here. [Source: Pieter Laubscher]
This scenic 4,5 km gravel poort has a classic ascent/descent profile, but as poorts go, this one also doesn't have much of an altitude gain at just 88m. The average gradient pans out at a very gentle 1:51, but there are a couple of sections with slightly steeper gradients. The pass meanders along the course of a tributary of the Grootrivier, which itself has a massive drainage area sourcing in the Great Karoo. The poort lies 30 km WNW of Steytlerville in the Eastern Cape. The attraction of this poort is its complete feeling of isolation in the heartlands of the Karoo.
The Grootrivier has spawned several exceptional gravel passes, besides cutting itself out a canyon of great length, depth and beauty from the highlands of the Karoo all the way to the confluence of the Gamtoos River at Patensie, this is the same Grootrivier that you will traverse on the Antoniesberg Pass further south and it also plays host to the fabulous Grootrivier Poort, which is the final pass at the eastern end of the Baviaanskloof.
This short, but scenic poort forms a natural access point across the lower mountain range which separates the Langkloof at the N9 with the farming area along the Kammanassie river valley and Mount Daskop. The poort is fairly straightforward and the only dangerous point is in the middle of the poort where the road crosses the Matjies River via 90 degree bend over a low level concrete bridge. The river allows the flora in the poort to flourish and the birdlife in this poort is known to be good. This poort does not appear on any maps as an official pass. We have named it solely for the purpose of indexing.
This interesting gravel pass traverses the Kammanassie river valley offering beautiful views and some fairly steep gradients. The pass is also sometimes called the Jonkershoogte Pass (Slingsby Maps). The pass descends from 610m ASL at its western end and drops 165 vertical metres over a very short distance via several tight bends to cross the Kammassie River via a low level bridge. The road forms a T-junction at the Daskop farmstead where the pass turns sharply to the right to summit Mount Daskop itself at 526m ASL.
An easy gravel pass traversing farmlands in the Little Karoo north of the Kammanassie River valley. The going is easy and the condition of the road is generally good. There are very few dangers on this pass, with the only exception being the crossing of the Leeublad farmstead at the end of the pass, where there are a couple of sharp corners and the presence of other vehicles, farming equipment, livestock and pedestrians. Treat the final kilometer with extra caution as the road passes within metres of the main farmhouse. A slow speed also keeps dust levels down for the farmer.
This fairly short poort routes through a clear gap in the mountains just north of Heroldt and forms a natural northerly extension to the historicial Montagu Pass on an easy traverse towards Oudtshoorn. This little poort seems to have been forgotten and completely dominated by the grandeur of the Montagu Pass, but a closer look at the Paardepoort (The Pass of Horses), reveals an old road, built in similar style to Bain's work of the late 1800's, which can be clearly seen on the opposite side of the poort with substantial retaining walls still adequately propping the old road up, above the river.
This gravel farm road traverses a small gap in the mountains known as Eseljagpoort (Donkey Hunt Ravine). It crosses the farm of the same name and runs along the NW/SE axis and connects the Langlkoof from the tarred N9 with Heimersrivier, Oudtshoorn and Dysselsdorp in the Little Karoo. It provides an interesting alternative to the main tarred roads. Whilst this poort is minor in every respect, it does provide a feeling of distinct isolation and unusual tranquility.
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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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