Bergvliet Pass (R536)

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Raptor Raptor - Photo: Sanparks.org

This beautiful tarred pass of over 9km in length sweeps with gracious curves through the dense plantations east of Sabie in the Lowveld. It is the main road connecting Sabie with Hazyview. Although it only gains 197m in altitude and has a gentle average gradient of only 1:46, there some steep sections at 1:6. Most of the passes in this area are subject to frequent mountain mist conditions and as with all the other passes, we also put a cautionary on this pass in terms of the high dangers of driving in low visibility conditions.

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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:

Head east out of Sabie on the R536 for 7,5 km to find the western start of the pass, where the road parallels a tributary of the Sabie River, just after passing the Rietfontein Forestry Station. The heading is north-east at first as the road enters into a gentle set of S-curves. Soon the climbing begins and a deeper S-Curve is negotiated, whereafter the road twists sharply off to the right and makes a full hotrseshoe loop and reverses direction.

Great engineering on this pass with its sweeping curvesSweeping curves and perfectly banked corners on the Bergvliet Pass / Photo: BienenritterAt the beginning of the next big S-bend, the road reaches its maximum altitude of 997m. The Bergvliet Forestry Station appears on the right and around the next bend to the left, the forestry settlement of Hangklip appears, where there is a sawmill. After this smallish descent the road starts climbing again towards a second, lower summit, before descending again via another big S-bend into an easterly direction, where it ends close to the banks of the Sabie River. It is another 35 km to Hazyview from here.



Bluegum plantations as far as the eye can seeTimber harvesting is an ongoing activity in the region around the pass / Photo: Teet Jagomadi


Fact File:

GPS START 

S25.074858 E30.845979

GPS SUMMIT

S25.073002 E30.873058

GPS END 

S25.064357 E30.904375

AVE GRADIENT

1:46

MAX GRADIENT

1:6

ELEVATION START

898m

ELEVATION SUMMIT

997m

ELEVATION END

800m

HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS

197m

DISTANCE

9,2 km

DIRECTION - TRAVEL

East

TIME REQUIRED

15 minutes

SPEED LIMIT

40 - 80 kph

SURFACE

Tar (R536)

DATE FILMED

02.07.2014

TEMPERATURE

18C

NEAREST TOWN

Sabie (8 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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