Latest News! 8th November, 2018

Written by 
Read 352 times
Descending Gysmanshoek from the summit looking south Descending Gysmanshoek from the summit looking south - Photo: Trygve Roberts


* Garden Route wild fires

* Ben 10 Eco-Challenge Official Tour update

* Koue Bokkeveld Tour

* Pass of the week

How to survive a bush fire

At MPSA we strive to stay in the world of positivity, but this past week with all the wild fires in the mountains between George, Knysna and De Vlugt the news cannot be ignored. Road closures were the order of the day as the Outeniqua, Robinson and Montagu passes were all closed at some point. Tragically a number of lives were lost, as were homes, timber plantations and one of the casualties was the lovely old toll house at the foot of the Montagu Pass. Whether this graceful old building will ever be restored is a matter of conjecture. It stands forlorn, blackened - it's roof gone; a skeleton of it's former self.

Most fires are of course a natural phenomenon and when one looks at how quickly the vegetation around Knysna recovered, there is always hope that a good rainy season will quickly restore this beautiful part of the Garden Route.

If you are caught in a bush fire while driving there are several steps you should follow:

  • Try and park in a clearing or area of low vegetation
  • Close all vents, windows and doors
  • Shelter in the car below window level with a woollen blanket over you if available
  • When the fire passes, get out of the car and move safely to an already burnt area

Pass of the Week

This week we head off to the beautiful Langeberg mountains. We filmed an historic wagon route and have just released a new 3 part video series covering this lovely route and the good news is you don't need a 4x4 to drive it. [More lower down...]

Ben 10 Eco Challenge Official Tour

The interest level in our Ben 10 Eco Challenge Tour is huge, with 9 of the 10 places being snapped up in a matter of two days. This promises to be an event of note. We have all sorts of surprises built into this tour, which is more than just completing the challenge passes. [More lower down...]

At the time of writing, there is only 1 space left on the tour. If you want to secure your place, you can book online at the MPSA Shop 

The tour takes place from the 21st to 24th March next year. All accommodation and meals have been pre-booked, so it's just a question of arrive, drive and have the time of your life in the company of like minded adventurers.

Listen to the podcast:

Our Montagu Explorer Tour taking place on the 18th November is an action packed 265 km of mainly gravel roads in the mountainous area north-west of Montagu. This tour is over-subscribed and 100% full. We are taking names on a waiting list in case of cancellations. To get on this list contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Koue Bokkeveld Tour

For those readers in the Western Cape, we are busy planning our final tour of the year, which will take place on Sunday 9th December, 2018. This will be a 1 day tour similar to the highly successful Montagu Explorer. The tour will start and end in Ceres and include an old sheep trekking route hidden away in the Kwarrieberg mountains north-east of Ceres which will take your breath away, plus another 5 stunning passes with amazing views over the mountains and plains of the Ceres Valley. Like all our tours, this is  a self-drive tour and will take between 4 and 5 hours. It's suitable for all vehicles except very low slung cars. Priced at R790 per vehicle (bring as many passengers as you like) it includes the cost of radio hire. For more info and advance bookings, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pass of the Week

As part of our recent Aristata Tour we were able to refilm the unique Gysmanshoek Pass that runs between Ladismith and Heidelberg in the Western Cape. Very few people have had the pleasure of driving this pass and we are happy to report that it can be driven in a normal car (but not anything too low slung) in fair weather, providing the basic principles of tyre deflation are complied with.

The pass is one of great contrasts. From the rugged Karoo plains to the north, the pass drops down from the summit into a beautful, green valley which is strongly reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands, whereafter it follows a lovely poort till the end, near Heidelberg. It's an enjoyable, but slow drive and takes about an hour to complete excluding stops. Add it to your bucket list after watching the video set.

* * * * *   G Y S M A N S H O E K    P A S S   * * * * *


Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: "Don't brag about yourself let others praise you". ~ Proverbs 27:2

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter with News and Updates from Mountain Passes South Africa

Subscribe to our Site

Subscribe for only R300 a year (or R210 for 6 months), and get full access to our website including the videos, the full text of all mountain passes articles, fact-file, interactive map, directions and route files.



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.

Master Orientation Map

Master Orientation Map 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.

View Master Orientation Map...