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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.
Our 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.
|GPS START||S25.674255 E28.340344|
|GPS SUMMIT||S25.676593 E28.345871|
|GPS END||S25.678688 E28.356852|
|DIRECTION - TRAVEL||East|
|TIME REQUIRED||1 minute|
|SPEED LIMIT||80 kph|
|NEAREST TOWN||Pretoria (10 km)|
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