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Steenbok are often seen on the back roads Steenbok are often seen on the back roads - Photo: BeaufortWestInfo

Basterspoort is about as minor a poort as what a poort can get. It is just 1,9 km long and only has a 12m altitude variance. It's located on a farm track which is barely discernable on the satellite imagery close to the border between the Western and Northern Cape.  This is an official poort as listed on the government 1:50,000 maps. It should not be confused with Bastards Poort about 80 km further south.

The road follows the valley of a natural poort along the south-western side of a mountain named Beesberg. (Cattle Mountain) and connects a few remote farms. It is possible to drive from the R381 to the R356 using this road and a combination of other roads. There is a possibility that this road (and others) might be gated and locked, so if you're an uber pass hunter, drive here at your own risk and make sure you have enough fuel in case you have to retrace your route.

We have not physically driven this pass ourselves as yet, so our description and research is based on available resources and government maps.

This is a provisional video consisting entirely of Google earth 3D animations, designed to orienteer drivers with the salient features of the pass. This pass will be filmed in real time in the near future. Scroll down to view the map & video. 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: Amelia Meyer]

FULL-SCREEN MODEMODE: 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 north, as we have produced it, turn south off the R356 (between Fraserburg and Loxton) exactly 17 km south-west of Loxton at GPS S31.573492 E22.222222. Drive south on this minor farm road for 12 km to arrive at a T-junction at GPS S31.657493 E22.215801. Turn left and drive south-east for 9 km to arrive at the northern start of the poort.

To approach from the south, turn south-west off the R381 between Beaufort West and Loxton at GPS S31.683803 E22.357992 (23 km south of Loxton). Drive south-west for 11 km and locate a very minor road to the right (north-west) at GPS S31.737299 E22.264393. The southern start of the poort is within 100m of this intersection. There are many other route options approaching from both the north and the south, but we offer only the most obvious and simple directions here. If you want to explore other options, use Google Earth and plan your own navigation.

Springbok herdHerds of spingbok are frequently spotted in this part of the Karoo / Photo: BeaufortWestInfo

Pass Description: Starting at the northern end which is also the highest point along this little poort, the road descends very gently into the south-east at an average gradient of 1:158, which is so easy, that the road will appear level to the casual observer.

Although this poort is minor is every manner, it is the access roads and surrounding Karoo landscape that will provide the most pleasure to those that really enjoy off the beaten track roads, where you are highly unlikely to see another vehicle all day.

When you reach the southers end of the poort at a T-junction, the easiest way to get back to the R381 is to turn left, but if you intend heading to beaufort West, a right turn also offers alternative route options. Plan your route in advance and insert all the relevant waypoints to prevent getting lost.

Cautionaries: If you have 2 spare wheels, take them both along. This is puncture country. Carry a tyre repair kit as well as a portable 12v compressor. Also carry extra fuel and ensure you have a GPS loaded with Tracks4Africa.

Fact File:


S31.722416 E22.254028


S31.722416 E22.254028


S33.736871 E22.263719














1,9 km




3 minutes


60 kph








Loxton (36 km)

Route Map:

Use these powerful features to get the best use out of the map:

  • Choose either Map View or Satellite View (overlaid on the map detail.)
  • Zoom in and out; rotate in any direction.
  • Use the Get Route'feature (directly beneath the map): type in your address to get a personalised route straight from where you are to the pass, with time and distance included.
  • Detailed written and printable directions.
  • Drag the 'little orange man' icon onto the pass for a complete 360° tiltable "street view".

From Address:

Route files:

||Click to download: Basterspoort (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.

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