Latest News! 14th July, 2016

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Wolf River Pass summit views Wolf River Pass summit views - Photo: Trygve Roberts

With Lesotho in our sites for early 2017, the website will eventually display over 730 passes and poorts towards the end of 2017. It is the only website of its kind in the world and we are delighted that we can still bring this huge font of knowledge to our readers completely free of charge. Your ongoing support and an ever increasing readership allows us to attract advertisers to keep this gentle financial balance.

From time to time in our travels across the length and breadth of this great land of ours, we uncover some great passes. Today we feature one of those. This big, gravel pass offers dense sections of indigenous forests, pine and bluegum plantations, steep gradients, exceptional mountain views, a wide range of flora and fauna,  waterfalls, dams and a picture perfect rural village.

The pass gives access to some of the finest hiking, walking and MTB trails and starts or ends high in the misty reaches of the Amathola mountains. To add to these multiple attractions, not many people know about it either. You'll have the place to yourself.

Our featured pass descends from Hogsback village towards the south east. It's a long pass at over 27 km and initially follows the forest smothered ridges around Hogsback through state forests and private farms and past the waterfall, aptly named Madonna and Child.

The climbing is reasonable and soon the forests give way to open grassland, where the summit offers spectacular views over Keiskammahoek. The 20 km long descent traverses a wide variety of scenery and near the bottom the peaceful village of Izingcuka changes the pace to deliberately slow, where you will see Xhosa women still carrying heavy loads delicately balanced on their heads in the traditional manner.

We slice into some traditional practices and show you the rites of passage into manhood for the 'abakwetha' and why the word 'inkwenkwe' is important in this part of the world.

The pass is completed by following the banks of the Wolf River and ends at the dark and brooding waters of the Sandile Dam. It took 5 separate videos to cover all this lovely drive has to offer. Only the Prince Alfreds Pass north of Knysna can equal that feat!

Come and cyber drive this one with us and get the bucket ready, as the list is getting longer and the years shorter! This one is a real humdinger.

***** WOLF RIVER PASS *****

We have had one of our most productive weeks in the last 5 years with five new passes added and five upgraded videos. We've hyperlinked all of them for your click-through convenience.

New passes added this week:
Hobbs Hill (N6) Eastern Cape
Kiewiet se Hoogte (R356) Northern Cape
Telegraafnek (S31) Free State
Kommissiepoort (R26) Free State
Koeisehoogte Pass (P154) Western Cape

Upgraded videos added this week:
Droevoetspoort (R356) Northern Cape
Fort Cunynghame Pass (N6) Eastern Cape
Oudeberg Pass (R63) Eastern Cape
Dontsa Pass (R352) Eastern Cape
Nonesi's Nek Pass (R410) Eastern Cape

Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” - Mark Twain. 

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Mountain Passes South Africa

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.

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