The naming of this long and interesting pass causes plenty of confusion. On the government map it is labelled as Systershoog. This name has been inadvertantly altered by several map sources to read Syfershoog or Syfershoogte. To add to the confusion, it is known locally as the Maermanskloof Pass, the Spoegrivier Pass and the Kharkams Pass. In Namaqualand the manner of word construction is somewhat different to the rest of South Africa and the naming of any word ending in 'heights' is called a 'hoog' as opposed to the more grammatically correct 'hoogte' Thus many names in this region end with the word hoog, which is the correct official name.
This pass is long at 16,2 km and contains 38 bends, corners and curves - some of which are very sharp and have negative banking. The road follows a very different vertical profile to the usual classic pass shape and ends in a steep descent down into the Spoegrivier valley. It connects Kharkams in the east with Spoegrivier in the west and provides an alternative (and much slower) route to Hondeklipbaai.
The full content of this article is restricted to subscribers.
Subscribe for only R425 a year and get full access to our website (936+ 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 R325.
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: