Burgers Pass (KZN)

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Perfect scenery near Utrecht Perfect scenery near Utrecht - Photo: Photo - Leeulekker

The steep gravel road pass is located just north of the pioneering Voortrekker town of Utrecht in KZN. The pass rises to an altitude of 1519m, sitting well above the snow line. Expect things to get tricky in bad weather. It climbs 238m to summit at 1519m ASL, producing an average gradient of 1:17 with the steepest sections being at 1:12.

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Digging into the details:

Views are spectacular down into the green valley below, which is a nature reserve packed with game. Take the R34 to Utrecht, then head through the town towards the North. The pass is located just North of Utrecht - in the far NW corner of KZN, with a population of approximately 32,000 . The road connects Utrecht with the farming areas to the North and the town of Wakkerstroom 110 km to the North-West.

Burgers Pass x chjrpGreen valleys and towering rock buttresses can be seen on the ascent / Photo courtesy of chrjp Utrecht was one of five original Voortrekker settlements prior to 1850. The town was prominent during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 and became the headquarters for the British, under the command of Commander in Chief Lord Chelmsford [the Chemlsford Dam and Nature Reserve in the area is named after him] and Colonel Evelyn Woods' famous 'Flying Column' was also based here.

There is plenty of history in the town including a graveyard for fallen British soldiers and the large statue in front of the Dutch Reformed Church in honour of Captain Pokrowski - a Polish officer in the Russian army who died fighting for the Boer cause.

Utrecht is the only South African town falling within the boundaries of a game park and it is quite normal to see animals roaming the streets at night.

Antelope near the passYoung Kudu near Utrecht / Pic courtesy of Mary-Joye Further towards Dundee you can visit the Talana Museum, which is a battlefield and heritage park on the historic Battlefields route. 

Utrecht has two stunning high altitude, gravel passes - the other being Knight's Pass, which heads off towards the East. Both passes intersect approximately 10 km north of the summit ridge, making this a perfect loop to drive both passes returning to Utrecht to overnight or do game viewing.

Our research has not unearthed who Mr. Burger was (or is) and why the pass was named in his honour. Anyone who can enlighten us, is encouraged to send us the information. We will publish with credits.

Fact File:


S27.624274 E30.365904


S27.602468 E30.381087


S27.602468 E30.381087














4,13 km




20 minutes


40 kph






18C max / 7C min


Utrecht (2km)

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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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