Kommando Nek Pass (R560)

Read 1804 times
Ruins of the blockhouse at Kommando Nek Ruins of the blockhouse at Kommando Nek - Photo: Hendri

This is a modest pass that clears an old military outpost known as Kommando Nek. It connects Hekpoort to the west with the village of Hartbeespoort to the east via the R560 / R512. It only rises 56m over 2,4 km producing an easy average gradient of 1:43, with the steeper sections before and after the summit presenting at 1:14. The pass offers lovely views over the Hartbeespoort Dam as well as access to some of the ruins of the old blockhouses dating back to the Anglo-Boer war.

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.....


[On-car video material supplied by Mike Liecester / Video cover photo by Panoramio]

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
: Head east on the R560 / R512 from Hekpoort for 28 km to arrive at the southern start of the pass.

For the first 500m the gradient is virtually flat, only climbing at a gradient of 1:130, but that soon changes as the gradient increases to 1:20 as the road reaches for the summit of 1261m via an easy and wide left hand bend at the 1,25 km mark. Halfway up to the summit there is a turn-off to the right (south), called Simon Bekker Avenue, which leads down to the various suburbs and facilites at the waters edge including Kosmos and Kosmos Ridge.

Looking up towards the summit there are two obvious tall peaks. To the left (west) the peak has a telecomms tower marking it [1562,6m] and the peak to the right (east) is 1488,3m high. Most of the area of the mountain range itself falls under the jurisdiction and protection of the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment.

From the summit the views open up towards the north-east and the village of Hartbeespoort. The descent begins immediately at a steady gradient of 1:20 and the road is basically arrow straight all the way to the end of the pass at the four way stop at an altitude of 1205m ASL.

On 1 st October 1899, war broke out between the two ‘white tribes, the British and the Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State. Within a year many lives were lost in the fighting in the Magaliesberg valleys, at Kommando Nek, Nooitgedacht and in many of the deep gorges and high ridges along the mountain side. All over the area remnants of these clashes can be seen. Many forts and blockhouses were built at strategic points in the mountains and some can still be seen today, the most prominent being the fort overlooking Kommando Nek and the Hartebeespoort Dam built in early 1901.

The second Anglo-Boer war brought its own pressures to this area. The Boers who were very familiar with the mountains, used secret pathways to cross the mountains and launch guerrilla attacks on the British soldiers. Occupation of the Magaliesberg was of great importance to the Boer and English forces, especially routes between Pretoria and Rustenburg that crossed the Magaliesberg mountains through, Silkaatsnek and Kommandonek. Great battles were fought and lives were lost at Buffelspoort, Nooitgedacht, and Olifantsnek. The mountains were a severe testing of military skills and the Magaliesberg war was dominated by Boer leaders like De la Rey, De Wet, Beyers, Smuts and Kemp, who were experts in guerrilla leadership.

Fruit stall next to the roadAlong most of the roads in the area you will find fruit stalls like this one/ Photo: Daan Prinsloo


Fact File:

GPS START  S25.742489 E27.815589
GPS SUMMIT S25.732761 E27.822008
GPS END  S25.726689 E27.830112
AVE GRADIENT 1:43
MAX GRADIENT 1:14
ELEVATION START 1211m
ELEVATION SUMMIT 1261m
ELEVATION END 1205m
HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS 56m
DISTANCE 2,4 km
DIRECTION - TRAVEL North
TIME REQUIRED 2 minutes
SPEED LIMIT 80 kph
SURFACE Tar (R560)
DATE FILMED 15.08.2015
TEMPERATURE 23C
NEAREST TOWN Hartbeespoort (11 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...