This is no doubt our most successful tour ever. This morning we bade farewell to 22 new converts into the MPSA family with friendships bonded in dust and tears of elation and happiness.
There were a number of firsts on this tour:
The first Renault Duster
The first GWM bakkie
The first Subaru Forester
The first M/Benz ML
The first broken arm
The first pulled leg muscle
Day 0 - Meet & Greet - Sunday 10th October at the Rotterdam Boutique Hotel
Our rendezvous point was at the unique Rotterdam Boutique Hotel, just outside the village of Buffejagsrivier, itself about 8 km east of Swellendam. There is plenty of fascinating history in this area, which we will examine shortly.
The Rotterdam farm is a working dairy farm set in verdant fields, with the Langeberg Mountains standing sentinel to the north. The property is immaculate.
From the moment you turn in at the elegant gate, one gets the impression of laid back order. Four energetic Border Collies and two friendly Rotweillers greet one at reception, demanding some affection before the formalities of checking in are dealt with.
The homestead consists of the original and very old farm building (De Oudehuis) where the reception, kitchen, dining room and bar is located. The height of the doors is lower than normal as was typical of buildings from the 1700 and 1800's when the population was shorter.
A little to the east is the elegant Fraser-Jones Suites. It's a double storey building with olde-worlde charm oozing out of every nook and cranny. The rooms are enormous; bigger than the average small house in South Africa and appointed to 4 star quality.
Our visit coincided with load shedding. This caused some issues with flushing toilets and water pressure, but at least we were forewarned by Andy to be showered, abluted and in bed by 10 pm before the power went off.
The Doornkloof mini pass contains the deepest and longest water crossing, which has been the undoing of many non-4WD vehicles attempting this pass over the years. This section of the road traverses the farms Doornkloof and Waterkloof, and includes Botesnek, another small pass.
- Adventure Afrika July/August 2021 edition
Following the gorgeous rock pool shortly after the Paarde Vley section, the road rises from the 11th km mark over a small neck and then begins descending once again down a narrower section of the kloof (just over 1 km wide). Immediately to your left (south), you will get a good view of the towering Kariegasberg with a summit of 2 053 m.
- Adventure Afrika Issue 8 2021 edition
Gamkaskloof is surrounded by the Swartberg Nature Reserve and winds through 37 km of rugged mountain scenery, culminating in the vertigo-rush, single-width Elands Pass. It ends in the Gamkaskloof – reminiscent of a lush oasis and paradoxically nicknamed Die Hel (The Hell).
- Adventure Afrika May/June 2021 edition
As the Langkloof opens up into the Keurbooms River valley, you will pass several points of interest before crossing the Keurbooms River over a low level concrete causeway.
- Adventure Afrika Apr/May 2021 edition
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.