Braamhoek Pass (4x4)

Read 2191 times
The Drakensberg beckons The Drakensberg beckons - Photo: Photo - Saman Jaywardene

This is a serious off-road pass that ascends/descends the Drakensberg from the Ingula lower dam site in the south, with the tarred access road in the north, on the lip of the Drakensberg escarpment. It's for serious offroaders only and permits are required. Avoid it completely in heavy rain or snow conditions. The pass climbs 432m over 6,8 km to summit at 1743m, producing an average gradient of 1:16. There is a flat section in the middle and then the climbing gets more serious with gradients of 1:4!  

Scroll down to view the map & video. It is recommended to watch this video in HD. (Click on the "quality" button on the lower taskbar of the video screen and select 720HD.) Wait a few seconds for the video to display…..



FULL-SCREEN MODE: Click PLAY, then pass your mouse over the bottom right corner of the video screen. The outline of a square will appear. Clicking on it will toggle Full Screen Mode. Press ESC to return to the original format.

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: In this text and our video, we describe this pass in the ascending mode (south to north).
1. From Van Reenen on the N3, take the S61 tarred road heading east and descend down the Drakensberg via the De Beers Pass.
2. Near the bottom of De Beers Pass, turn left (NE) at the Ingula Pumped Water Scheme at GPS S28.329590 E29.538160.
3. Continue for 4 km to a T-junction at the western side of the Ingula lower storage dam.
4. Continue in a northerly direction for 2km, where the road turns 90 degrees into the east.
5. At the end of this right hand bend, turn left onto the road that leads to the Ingula construction site village at GPS S28.286622 E29.561783
6. Drive up this road (north) for 350 metres and turn left again at GPS S28.283524 E29.561725 to the starting point of the pass.

This old pass traverses state and private land. Permission and permits will need to be obtained from the relevant authorities. This route is for serious off-roaders only with 4x4 vehicles with low range and high ground clearance. We recommend a minimum of three vehicles tackle the route. Take adequate recovery equipment with. Should it start snowing, it would be best to retreat to base. There are several places where the track disappears, which will require scouting ahead on foot and finding the track again. Many sections have been completely washed away. Be prepared to get dirty.

The track heads due west for 250 metres and crosses the Braamhoekspruit. The direction changes into the north-west and for the next 2,5 km the road climbs steeply (1:5) as it sticks to the western bank of the stream. A major change in direction takes place at the 2,6 km mark as the track swings completely around into the WSW. This is also the first summit of 1578m. The pass has an unsual profile with two summits and a flat section between them.

The next 2,2 km are more or less flat as the track ducks in and out of two ravines with their associated streams. At the 4,6 km mark, the next part of the ascent begins, where the direction changes into the north-west and the track follows the spine of a spur. The gradient gets perpetually steeper closer to the summit, where the steepest parts are at 1:4. In wet weather, there will be a lot of slipping and sliding in muddy conditions.

The summit is reached at 1743m ASL exactly 6,46 km from the start. Continue down a slight downhill for 400m to reach a T-junction with a tarred road. A right turn will take you to the upper station of the Ingula project and a left turn will return you to the summit of De Beers Pass (7 km) and Van Reenen (20 km)
Heavy snow on access road at the summitAbove : Heavy snow in August 2012 near the summit area access road / Saman Jaywardene



Fact File:

GPS START  S28.283492 E29.561668
GPS SUMMIT S28.265769 E29.518489
GPS END  S28.262913 E29.517911
AVE GRADIENT 1:16
MAX GRADIENT 1:4
ELEVATION START 1311m
ELEVATION SUMMIT 1743m
ELEVATION END 1725m
HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS 432m
DISTANCE 6,8 km
DIRECTION - TRAVEL North-West
TIME REQUIRED 4 to 5 hours
SPEED LIMIT None - Offroad
SURFACE Jeep track
DATE FILMED 20.04.2015
TEMPERATURE 20C
NEAREST TOWN Van Reenen (20 km)

Route Map:

Use these powerful features to get the best use out of the map:

  • Choose either Map View or Satellite View (overlaid on the map detail.)
  • Zoom in and out; rotate in any direction.
  • Use the Get Route'feature (directly beneath the map): type in your address to get a personalised route straight from where you are to the pass, with time and distance included.
  • Detailed written and printable directions.
  • Drag the 'little orange man' icon onto the pass for a complete 360° tiltable "street view".

From Address:


Route files:

Register and get access to route files. Simply download to your PC/Laptop/Mobile device and transfer the file directly to your GPS for 100% accurate navigation from start to end. This is a free service to registered users.

Please Register or Log in to access these files.

Route files are only available to Registered users. When you register you will also be subscribed to our News Updates.

Mountain Passes South Africa

Our website is 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.

Subscribe to our Site

We offer a totally free subscription. You will receive an email notification every time a new pass has been uploaded. You will also get access to registered content on our site.

Register

MPSA Tour Discount

Receive the following discount on any of the Mountain Passes Tours: R100

Use Coupon Code: mpsa4xh3za

More information

Route File

On a pass-page, scroll down to below the Route Map, to download the Route File. Available only to Registered Users.

 

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.
 

Master Orientation Map

Master Orientation Map We are as passionate about maps as we are about mountain passes. A good map is a thing of beauty that can transport you into the mists of time or get your sense of adventure churning. It is a place to make discoveries about deserts and seas, mountains and lakes; of roads leading into places you have not been before; a place to pore over holiday destinations or weekend camping trips. A map is your window to the world.

View Master Orientation Map...