Beste Hoogte Pass (P207)

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Fertile farmlands near Memel Fertile farmlands near Memel - Photo: Thabo M.

This is a short, steep climb over a big hill, about 6km to the north-west of the summit of Mullers Pass on the Free State side of the  Drakensberg. The pass is only 1,5km long but has steep gradients with a maximum of 1:5. In wet weather, this will cause some traction issues for non 4WD vehicles. The pass gives access to several 4x4 routes as well as to the Kranskop area and is a prequel to the Lafrashoogte Pass on the way north to Memel in the Free State.

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Video cover photo courtesy of Hougaard Malan / On-bike footage supplied by Mike Leicester

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Note: Google Earth software reads the actual topography and ignores roads, cuttings, tunnels, bridges and excavations. The Google Earth vertical-profile animation generates a number of parallax errors, so the profile is only a general guide of what to expect in terms of gradients, distance and elevation. The graph may present some impossible and improbably sharp spikes, which should be ignored.

Digging into the details:

Getting there: From Newcastle head west towards the Drakensberg and ascend over the Mullers Pass route. From the summit, it is 6 km to the start of the Beste Hoogte Pass. If you are  driving from Memel in the north, it is 25 km from Memel via the Lafrashoogte Pass to the northern start of the pass.

On the way to the start, about 2,5 km from the summit of Mullers Pass, there is the Tweespruit Waterfall on the right hand side (east) of the road on the Blinkwater river, which is well worth the short detour at GPS S27.850311 E29.678113.
Tweespruit WaterfallPhoto: The Tweespruit waterfall / Photo - Panoramio
At the start of the pass there is a fork. The right hand fork heads along the Drakensberg escarpment and heads for the Kranskop area. It also gives access to a number of extreme 4x4 routes, including the Donkies Pass which descends down to the Vulintaba Country Estate as well as Sak se Pad 4x4. Our route however takes the left hand fork, via a 90 degree bend to the left (west).

The road starts climbing immediately at a stiff gradient of 1:14, but the climb and only has a mino righthand curve. It heads directly west towards a low point in the hills. This is where the Beste farmstead is located and where the pass gets its name from. The summit is 1 km from the start at an altitude of 1893m ASL. The views from the summit are a 360 panorama and well worth stopping for a few minutes.

The descent is short at just 500m and very steep at 1:5, which will result in traction issues for non 4WD vehicles in wet weather. Just 1,5 km later, you will arrive at the Lafrashoogte Pass, after the fork where the road from the Normandien Pass joins this road. The town of Memel is reached 25 km later.


Fact File:

GPS START  S27.830705 E29.671582
GPS SUMMIT S27.830311 E29.661994
GPS END  S27.827992 E29.657414
SURFACE Gravel (P207)
DATE FILMED 04.06.2015
NEAREST TOWN Memel (24 km)


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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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