Baviaanspoort (R513)

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Water hyacinth choking the cobalt blue waters of the Roodeplaat Dam Water hyacinth choking the cobalt blue waters of the Roodeplaat Dam - Photo: Tracks4Africa

A small little suburban pass just to the north-east of Pretoria along the northern side and parallel to the Magaliesberg range. This pass called Baviaanspoort (Poort of Baboons) should not be confused with it's more famous namesake in the Eastern Cape - Baviaanskloof. The pass is only 1,7 km long and rises or descends a total of only 48 vertical metres producing an easy average gradient of 1:35.

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[On-car video 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 Pretoria head north on the N4 highway for 7 km and take the first major offramp onto Sefako Maghato Drive. At the end of the off-ramp, turn right onto the R513 and head east for 5 km to the western start of the pass. This road (the R513) runs parallel and to the north of the Magaliesberg. The road heads over a neck between two much smaller hills of approximately 1340m altitude.

Looking up the BaviaanspoortLooking west twards the summit of the Baviaanspoort / Photo: Mike LeicesterOur researcher in Gauteng reports that Baviaanspoort was once a substantial WW2 POW camp, which later was converted into a prison, which is still functions as today. Internment camps were set up in South Africa for enemy aliens and Nazi sympathizers. The camps were located in Andalusia, Baviaanspoort, Koffiefontein, and Pietermaritzburg. The pass is short and only has a minor gain in altitude of 48m . It falls under the caregory of a 'suburban pass' (ie. passes within built-up areas).

The descent on the eastern side is the longer and steeper portion of this little pass and has a gradient of 1:16 at its steepest point.  It ends at an altitude of 1254m ASL at the crossing of a small stream - the Pienaarsrivier, which is one of two rivers feeding the Roodeplaat Dam. This little river carves through a poort in the Magaliesberg a little further to the south, called Baviaanspoort, which is obviously where the road takes its name from.

The Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve lies close to the pass (8 km to the north) which is something of a birdwatchers paradise and the dam itself is well known for the many water sport activities that it hosts - in particular competitive canoeing and rowing.


Fact File:

GPS START  S25.674255 E28.340344
GPS SUMMIT S25.676593 E28.345871
GPS END  S25.678688 E28.356852
AVE GRADIENT 1:35
MAX GRADIENT 1:10
ELEVATION START 1283m
ELEVATION SUMMIT 1303m
ELEVATION END 1255m
HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS 48m
DISTANCE 1,7 km
DIRECTION - TRAVEL East
TIME REQUIRED 1 minute
SPEED LIMIT 80 kph
SURFACE Tar (R513)
DATE FILMED 10.08.2015
TEMPERATURE 22C
NEAREST TOWN Pretoria (10 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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