Allemansnek Pass (R543)

Read 3128 times
Grasslands and Wetlands of Mpumalanga ensure good grazing for cattle Grasslands and Wetlands of Mpumalanga ensure good grazing for cattle - Photo: Wikimedia

This pass is straightforward with no sharp curves or steep gradients. It is of significant historical value in that this was the scene of a fierce battle during the Anglo-Boer war. The Battle of Allemansnek took place on 11th June 1900 between the Boer forces and the British army under General Buller. After this battle the Boers, fearing that they would be surrounded, retreated from Laingsnek. Buller occupied both Volksrust and Charlestown.

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.)



[On-car video footage supplied by Mike Leicester]

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:

Head west out of Volksrust on the R543 for 13,5 km to find the start of the Allemansnek Pass. The pass starts at its eastern end just before the turn-off to the right to the Waterval farm, whereafter it makes a slight adjustment into the WSW. The steep mountains to the your right (north) are the Versamelberg Mountains. (Collection Mountains)

Good grazing farmlandAbove - Good quality grazing near Volksrust / Photo: Volksrust TourismIt climbs at a steady, but gentle gradient as heads towards a natural neck opposite a farm on the left (south) of the road, Bronkhorstfontein. Shortly after the summit, a gravel road leads off to the left, which is a public farm road, which heads south to the farm Waaihoek and beyond. Near the summit there is a memorial to commemorate the battle. The memorial is some distance off the main road.

To locate it, take the first road left after the summit at GPS S27.387285 E29.698141. Continue along this road for 1.5 km and take the second road to the left at GPS S27.398985 E29.691689 – The memorial is 90 metres along this little side road on the right hand side of the road at GPS S27.399743 E29.692150. The pass ends at the crossing of a small stream and the turn-off to the right (north) to the Soetendalsvlei farm. It is a further 52 km to Vrede.

Memorial to the Battle of AllemanshoekMemorial to the Battle of Allemanshoek / Photo: Peter Levey
The most critical stage of the battle had been reached by that stage. The Boers had managed to hold up the British infantry's advance due to their concentration on either side of Allemansnek and from the summit of the hills on either side. As the burghers observed the success of their comrades on that flank, they began to converge, and the Boer rifle fire became more intense. This, in effect, temporarily halted the British advance, since they found themselves in a serious predicament due to lack of cover.

The British casualties in the battle of Allemansnek were officially recorded as 19 killed and 123 wounded. The 10th Brigade suffered heavier casualties than the 2nd Brigade on their left. Sixty-four of the brigade's 91 casualties were suffered by the Dorsets, due to their more vulnerable position coupled with their headlong charge through the nek.

Once again, Boer casualty figures have been difficult to confirm. In a telegram to President Paul Kruger on 12 June, Botha reported that his burghers had fought hard against staggering odds for some twelve hours: 'The enemy suffered heavily ... Our losses are unknown. As far as I am aware, 3 bodies have fallen into the hands of the enemy ...' According to the War Graves records from 11 June 1900, one Boer was buried on the farm Koringplaas and two on the farm Zoetendalsvlei. The latter two were recently reburied on Koringplaas. Most of the Boer casualties were from the Lydenburg Commando and only one is recorded from the Wakkerstroom Commando. Botha noted that seven members of his Swaziland Commando were wounded.

[Research and text write-up by Trygve Roberts & Mike Leicester]


Fact File:

GPS START 

S27.369192 E29.742100

GPS SUMMIT

S27.385653 E29.704252

GPS END 

S27.387273 E29.681609

AVE GRADIENT

1:50

MAX GRADIENT

1:10

ELEVATION START

1718m

ELEVATION SUMMIT

1847m

ELEVATION END

1767m

HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS

129m

DISTANCE

6,5 km

DIRECTION - TRAVEL

West

TIME REQUIRED

10 minutes

SPEED LIMIT

80 - 100 kph

SURFACE

Tar (R543)

DATE FILMED

27.04.2016

TEMPERATURE

20C

NEAREST TOWN

Volksrust (17 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...