Winterton / Bergville 4x4 routes & passes





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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Default Winterton / Bergville 4x4 routes & passes

    Dear 4x4's,

    How fast is 2016 running by us! For that reason I have decided to take some leave and blow of some steam this coming week. I am going to visit one if my favourite spots in SA: the Northern Drakensberg. What a magical place.

    I am intending to drive the Tugela Rapids 4x4 trail between Winterton and Bergville. Has anyone driven it? Any info perhaps on the route?

    I have tackled Bezuidenhouts pass twice. Once going up and once going down. The up one was in 2013 December and the road was in horrible condition. We had to build road at certain stages as the lairs of rocky steps were at that stage higher than the nose of my already lifted Hardbody. It was a decent challenge and thoroughly enjoyable! The heavy downpours the previous days made the pass sticky and muddy and it was very scenic! We saw stacks of baboons and even found one or two eskom routes that took us to stunning scenery.

    However, in December 2015 we travelled down in my Patrol and discovered the entire road was graded. The road leading in from Montrose Shell Ultra City and the left turn-in towards Bezuidenhouts pass was worse than the pass. I bet a Kia Picanto could drive it down without a scratch or sweat. It was a big dissapointment! Please leave the road to rott away again dear locals. Is there anyone who has driven it since and can perhaps comment on the condition?

    We have done Normandien pass about 10 times. The last time in sweltering cloud-burst and flooding. The Patrol didn't break a sweat even though most of the road between Mullers pass and Normandien was literally flooded. So, that box is ticked. Collingspass, the donkeys pass up Platberg in Harrismith has been dine together with the 4x4 track to and from Gibson dam. What a view!!

    So, I'm looking for a new challenge: (1) Retiefs' pass and (2) the old van Reenens' pass. Is there anyone with info on how to get to these passes (get onto them) as well as accessibility (open to public) and road conditions. I know Mike's pass at Cathedral Peak is closed for vehicles and only accessible via mountain-bike. Anybody know another hidden gem ito a mountain pass or track? I have driven the 'maanhaar' at geluksburg as well.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Winterton / Bergville 4x4 routes & passes

    Hey I'll be in the Drakensberg at Thendele this Tuesday for two nights (5th-7th July) and then at Giants Castle Camp till Sunday.
    Silver Jeep Commander Hemi with 2" lift..you'll hear me

    or PM me quick if you wanna hookup..

    best

    Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Winterton / Bergville 4x4 routes & passes

    Where does one access the Bezuidenhoudts pass from Bergville? I tried finding it in June, only to be told that they did not know (locals....). The Middledale pass is now tarred, so no fun. Is Retief pass near Retief klip, or not? If so, not really worth the time, unless you want to see the klip for historical reasons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Kimberley
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    Thanked: 9

    Default Re: Winterton / Bergville 4x4 routes & passes

    Dear All,

    What a day. I travelled up Sandspruit Pass. Also referred to as the 'spine of the dragon'. The road has deteroirated quite badly since 2013 when last I drove it. Big ruts and digs. Lots of boulders in the road and plenty of erosion. Then, I got permission to drive down the 4 mountian passes going down to the Sandspruit in the Lost Valley from a local farmer. I drove 3 of the four on the farms Deepdale and Schoonspruijt. It took me 7 hours to drive less than 20km. The difficulty grade at least a 4/5. It was a day full of stream crossings, barely existing roads, insane decends and ascends, loose rock, gravel etc. It is severly more challenging than Sandspruit pass itself or Besuidenhouts pass. I was warned prior to the drive by the farmer that it is no joke and that any breakdowns are not recoverable from down there. Also, it is completely isolated and without any comms. It was an adventure, but I really hammerted the Patrol for 7 hours non-stop. I will drive the old van Reenen wagon track tomorrow (also on private land) and Retiefs pass on Friday. It is indeed at the 'kaalvoetvrou' monument and at Retiefsklip.

    If you want to drive Bezuidenhouts pass by descending it, drive on N3 and turn right at montrose Shell Ultra City. Follow badly corrugated dirt road and skip the first turn-off to Middeldale pass. If you go past you will find an old rusty sign indicating the Bezuidenhouts pass. It turns left. The road deteriorates badly. The pass itself has been grated. It's very drivable at the moment. If you drive from Geluksburg you can take the Bergville gravel road. Turn right towards the game farm and find the pass to the left of the game farm entrance. There's 2 or 3 farm gates on route. Just open and close them. From Bergville, take the Geluksburg turn-off to left. Take the game farm turn-off to left. Same story.
    Last edited by Van Halen; 2016/07/05 at 09:09 PM.

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