Eastern & Southern Cape Mountain Passes Trip – March 2012





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  1. #1
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    Default Eastern & Southern Cape Mountain Passes Trip – March 2012

    In my beste Ingels

    The idea for this trip originated from the Eight Passes trip that one can do in the Eastern Cape. Since I first read about the 8 passes, I wanted to do it. However, when I started to draw routes on T4A, I realized that there are many more passes one can travel. We ended up planning to do no less than 54 passes over 16 days and approximately 4520 kilometers.

    Plans and reality do not always come together. We left a day later and had to abandon most of the passes that originated this trip due to extreme wet conditions in the Eastern Cape that made the passes just too muddy and slippery for solo travelers with a trailvan on tow.

    For most of this trip we also tried to stay off highways or N-roads. Did a lot of gravel roads. Following is a list of the passes that we either chickened out on or did not even bother with after speaking to the locals. Also some we missed due to route changes.

    Lundean's Nek Pass (Gravel - 2162m)
    Volunteershoek (Bidstone) Pass (Gravel)
    Carlislehoekspruit Pass (Gravel)
    Naude's Nek Pass (Gravel)
    Elandshoogte Pass (Gravel)
    Potrivier Pass (Gravel)
    Bastervoetpad (Lapa Munnick) Pass (Gravel)
    Otto Du Plessis Pass (Gravel)
    Greylings Pass (Gravel)
    Killian's Pass (Gravel)
    Devil's Bellows Nek Pass (Gravel)
    Katberg Pass (Gravel)
    Prince Alfred Pass (Gravel)
    Montagu Pass (Gravel)
    Paardepoort Pass (Tar)
    Antoniesberg Pass (Gravel)
    Waaipoort Pass (Tar)
    Munniks Pass (Tar)
    Witnek Pass (Gravel)
    Groot-Doringhoek Pass (Gravel)


    Next is a list of mountain passes we did complete, in order of completion. It’s just a pity that a lot of passes are no longer clearly marked. We often could not find a name nor the height of the pass. All one could see, was on the GPS when you pass the marker.

    Kommissiepoort Pass (Tar)
    Joubert's Pass (Gravel)
    Rebelshoogte Pass (Tar)
    Grondnek Pass (Tar)
    Barkley Pass (Tar) – The most beautiful of all the passes.
    Penhoek Pass (Tar)
    Ecca Pass (Tar)
    Zuurberg Pass (Gravel)
    Doringnek Pass (Gravel)
    Van Stadens Pass (Tar)
    Potjiesberg Pass (Tar)
    Uniondale Poort Pass (Tar)
    Outiniqua Pass (Tar)
    The next 7 passes is from the Seven Passes road between Knysna and George.
    Phantom Pass (Gravel)
    Homtini Pass (Gravel)
    Karatara Pass (Gravel)
    Hoogekraal Pass (Gravel)
    Duiwelskop Pass (Gravel)
    Kaaimansgat Pass (Tar)
    Zwartrivierhoogte Pass (Tar)

    Mountain passes we did after the Seven Passes road -
    Schoemanspoort Pass (Tar)
    Swartberg Pass (Gravel) – a Work of art.
    Elands Pass Die Hel (Gravel) - The most scary of all the passes.
    Kredouw Pass (Tar)
    Meiringspoort Pass (Tar)
    Nuwekloof Pass (Gravel)
    Grasnek Pass (Gravel)
    Holgat Pass (Gravel) – Got very nervous on this pass.
    Combrink's Pass (Gravel)
    Ravelskloof Pass (Tar)
    Paardekloof Pass (Tar)
    Rubidge Kloof Pass (Gravel) – This is now on a tar road from the N9 to Nieu Bethesda.
    Naudesberg Pass (Tar)
    Lootsberg Pass (Tar)


    Apart from doing the passes, we tried to include some interesting routes off the beaten track.

    The first was a loop that we took on the R62 just about 14 kilometers before Joubertina, coming from Kareedow’s side. This was absolutely worth the +/- two and a half hours it took us to travel. Do yourself a favor and include this in your next trip along Route 62.









    Secondly it was “Kom se Pad”, just north of Knysna through the Diepwalle and Concordia forests. What a beautiful and scenic route and day trip this was. Will always recommend it to travelers going towards Knysna.









    Next was the trip down the Gamkaskloof to Die Hell. This is another “must do”. We opted not to try and take the trailvan into the valley. Instead we stayed over in Prince Albert for two nights and did a day trip down into the valley. This is a full day excursion.








    From Prince Albert we went via Meiringspoort to Baviaanskloof. Oury biggest regret here, was that we spent way to few days in the kloof. Two nights at Uitspan and one night at Kudu Kaya. We will go back in the not to distant future to explore this area more intensively.



















    Last on our to-do list for this trip, was a visit to Nieu Bethesda and the very famous “Owl House”. Helen Martin’s life story brings a lump to your throat. The town is worth 2 nights at least, with a full day of exploring.






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    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  2. #2
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    I was just thinking of doing something like this after Juan put on that image of all the passes we have in the Eastern Cape. I was thinking to myself I should make it my goal to do em all.

    But seriously... WOW. Awesome.
    Nick "Useless/King of Stuck" Sjoberg

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  3. #3
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    Fantasties!! Tannie skuld my nog ne!!
    NISSAN PATROL GU 4.2D
    “Donkey”
    Life is a journey, not a destination!!
    Try slowing down once in a while
    and soak up your surroundings.
    You might just surprise yourself.

  4. #4
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    For those interested in our wonderful passes there are a few books you might want to get to browse thru. Sadly there are over 490 passes in all so doing them all is impossible. Choose an area or do all the Bain's passes first [32] to see how they 'dry packed' stone which lasts to this day ! Their understanding of drainage was way ahead of their time too. Have a look at; A Colossus of Roads by Patricia Storrar - ISBN 0-620-07593-7 and The Romance of Cape Mountain Passes by Graham Ross - ISBN 0-86486-596-1. Both books I've read over and over and always check them before any trip.
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



    Chev Aveo and Atos and Polo.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    For those interested in our wonderful passes there are a few books you might want to get to browse thru. Sadly there are over 490 passes in all so doing them all is impossible. Choose an area or do all the Bain's passes first [32] to see how they 'dry packed' stone which lasts to this day ! Their understanding of drainage was way ahead of their time too. Have a look at; A Colossus of Roads by Patricia Storrar - ISBN 0-620-07593-7 and The Romance of Cape Mountain Passes by Graham Ross - ISBN 0-86486-596-1. Both books I've read over and over and always check them before any trip.
    I've got this book and must agree. Reading up on the Cape mountain passes is very interesting. Like you say - especially Thomas Bain's passes. Had a thorough look at the Swartberg pass and it's amazing to see how it was done. Even with water trenches. A work of art!!!
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  6. #6
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    IMO one of his finest 'sloots' is found here on the Swartberg ?
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    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



    Chev Aveo and Atos and Polo.

  7. #7
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    WOW!! Now you've really got me fired up for our trip that starts this coming weekend.

    Cape Town to:
    Bontebok Park
    De Hoek Camp
    Mountain Zebra Park
    Mbotyi
    Waterfall Bluff
    Coffee Bay
    Morgan Bay (Double Mouth)
    Cannon Rocks
    Baviaanskloof
    Vleesbaai

    Estimate 3,500km without deviations

    39 mountain passes
    60 rivers (flowing or not)
    10 major dams (at least)

    COME ON SUNDAY!!!!
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    I'd rather be fishing, camping or brewing beer...


  8. #8
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    Tina, pragtig maar ek weet jy het meer foto;s. Hoe lyk dit met nog?

    Ek moet saamstem die kaap het pragtige passe. Ons het self laas week 'n paar gery -
    Elize

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  9. #9
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    I know it is an old thread but this is exactly what I want to do on my yearly trip in 2014. Want to focus on Bains passes but looking at this list it seems like there are more than enough options.

  10. #10
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    Never new there was this this thread. Being doing passes for a while now.

    As said there are an ineradicable number of passes and not all are listed on a single source. Eastern Cape seems to be blessed with a large amount. What I did is went onto the Wikipedia and searched for "mountain passes in South Africa" You then get list per province with co-ordinates. I then plan weekend drives to see if I can take in a few passes. Just another tip, by putting the co-ords into Google earth you get a better idea of what the pass entails.

    Did the 8 passes of the Eastern Cape Highlands end of last year and as said you actually end up doing a lot more. Want to see how many passes I can do. I needs to start a list some day.

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