This pass is straightforward with no sharp curves or steep gradients. It is of significant historical value in that this was the scene of a fierce battle during the Anglo-Boer war. The Battle of Allemansnek took place on 11th June 1900 between the Boer forces and the British army under General Buller. After this battle the Boers, fearing that they would be surrounded, retreated from Laingsnek. Buller occupied both Volksrust and Charlestown.
This high altitude pass runs along the south-west/north-east axis connecting the R537 with the R40 just north of the Da Gama Dam. It is located approximately 12 km ESE of Sabie, as the crow flies. The pass summits at 1638m and there is almost always cloud covering the higher sections of this pass, creating misty and low visibiity conditions. The average gradient is 1:17 (moderate) but there are some very steep sections at 1:5
This beautiful tarred pass of over 9km in length sweeps with gracious curves through the dense plantations east of Sabie in the Lowveld. It is the main road connecting Sabie with Hazyview. Although it only gains 197m in altitude and has a gentle average gradient of only 1:46, there some steep sections at 1:6. Most of the passes in this area are subject to frequent mountain mist conditions and as with all the other passes, we also put a cautionary on this pass in terms of the high dangers of driving in low visibility conditions.
Take a 23 km drive along the rim of South Africa's most spectacular canyon - The Blyderivier Poort or nowadays known as the Molatse Canyon - and marvel at the scenic wonders the poort has on offer - like the Three Rondavels, God's Window, the Pinnacle and Bourke's Luck Potholes. The road (R532) connects the northern towns accessible from the R36 (Hoedspruit, Burgersfort and Orighstad) with the southern towns of Graskop and Sabie. There is a significant altitude gain of 480 vertical metres, but due to the length of the pass, the average gradient is a mild 1:47. The steepest gradient you will experience is on the northern sector, where it gets to 1:14.
This beautiful, tarred pass winds it's way up the escarpment on the R533 from Graskop in the east to Pilgrims Rest in the west. The scenery is breathtaking, with forests, waterfalls and birdlife in abundance. This is a very steep pass, especially on the eastern side with gradients as tough as 1:5. The pass has an average gradient of 1:11 which places it in the Top 20 SA passes in terms of average gradient.
Winding gently through the picturesque province of Mpumulanga, Botha's Nek Pass -- on the R38 -- is 13.8km long, starting at 853m ASL and rising to 1441m - resulting in a moderate gradient of 1/22. It connects Barberton in the east with Badplaas which is 38 km to the west. The pass is tarred, well engineered and in good condition. It contains 26 curves, bends and corners of which six are greater then 90 degrees.
This pass, together with it's sister pass, the Mpageni Pass forms the bulk of the old Nelspruit-Kaapmuiden road. It is a narrow tarred road [D286] that traverses the Crocodile Poort Nature Reserve. It climbs 473 vertical meters over a distance of 6,65 km to produce a stiff average gradient of 1:14, with some sections as steep as 1:5. The pass terminates where the Mpageni Pass starts (at the summit). Watch out for wild animals, especially at night and it should also be noted that there are two control booms, where you have to sign in and out.
This short, gravel pass forms part of the Rooi Ivoor 4x4 route which includes another unofficial pass - The Doornhoek Pass (also featured on this site). Together these two passes form the ascent and descent towards a deep valley to the north. The Buffelskloof Pass traverses a mountain to the north of the Buffelskloof Dam and offers many viewing options over the dam, which get better as altitude is gained. This road can only be driven with a high clearance vehicle or 4x4 with low range. Access is restricted to permit holders. The route is gated along the lower parts of the Buffelskloof dam road as well as in the north at the Doornkloof farm. For more information on the full 4x4 route, please Google Rooi Ivoor 4x4
This as a secondary gravel road in the vicinity of some of the famous attractions of the Lowveld, like the Blyde River Canyon (Molatse Canyon), Pilgrim's Rest, Bourkes Luck Potholes - a charming world of a bygone era, loaded with pioneering history.
This 5 km long pass is fairly steep with gradients of up to 1:10. It connects Lydenburg in the north-east with Machadodorp in the south-west.The pass gains 218m in altitude and summits at 1531m ASL. It holds a good safety record and the curves are gentle and comfortable. The pass offers expansive views over the Kwena Basin and paragliders are often seen here using the lift off the ridges to stay aloft.
Cautionary : At the time of filming the R36 in its entirety is riddled with potholes to the point of being dangerous to drive on. This includes both the passes on this road - Witklip se Hoogte and Chomse se Hoogte. The road is scheduled for reconstruction in 2016/2017.
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.
We are as passionate about maps as we are about mountain passes. A good map is a thing of beauty that can transport you into the mists of time or get your sense of adventure churning. It is a place to make discoveries about deserts and seas, mountains and lakes; of roads leading into places you have not been before; a place to pore over holiday destinations or weekend camping trips. A map is your window to the world.