Draaiklip Pass (P2943)

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Expect sharp corners and steep gradients Expect sharp corners and steep gradients - Photo: Trygve Roberts

This short, steep pass is located 7 km north-west of Leliefontein and 14 km ESE of Kamieskroon on a minor gravel road - the P2943 in the mountainous part of Namaqualand and is a prime wild-flower spotting zone. At just 1,4 km the pass is fairly short, but it climbs 96 vertical metres, producing a stiff average gradient of 1:14, with the steepest parts being just before the summit, where things get as steep as 1:5. During wet weather, light front wheel drive cars will experience traction issues here, but at all other times of the year, the pass is suitable for all vehicles. The pass is named after the Draaiklip (or Turning Stone) which can be seen on the right hand side (west) of the road, just after the sharp left hand bend.

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.....

[Video cover photo by Trygve Roberts]

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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:

Getting there: Approaching from the north, drive up the Kamiesberg Pass from Kamieskroon. When you get to the first intersection at the eastern side of the Kamiesberg Pass, after 6,5 km keep going straight for another 4 km till the second intersection adjacent to the Bovlei farm. Keep right here and remain on the P2943 for 7 km heading due south, to arrive at the northern starting point of the Draaiklip Pass at a prominent intersection.

Draaiklip Pass summit viewsLooking south towards Leliefontein from the summit / Photo: Trygve RobertsFor those wanting to approach from the south, drive to Leliefontein from Garies on the N7 via the Studer's or Langkloof passes. Once at Leliefontein, continue heading north for another 7,5 km to arrive at the southern start of the pass.

We filmed this pass from north to south. The pass starts at an intersection, where a gravel road leads away to the right to the farm, Agtertuin. The road starts climbing steeply through a series of gentle S-bends into the SSE, then reaches a fairly sharp left hand bend at the 0,6 km point, which changes the heading into the south-east. Just before this bend, a minor road leads off to the right (west). This is a dead-end and leads to the farm with the unusual name of Trooi Cloetesplaat.

Just after this bend the gradient ramps up to a very stiff 1:5. In wet weather non 4WD vehicles might have traction issues here as this road gets muddy and slippery when the rains do eventually arrive (June to September).

The summit of  1194m is reached at the 1km mark, which is a blind rise. Keep well to the left hand side of the road in case of oncoming traffic. Immediately after cresting the summit, a new vista opens up of a long mountain plateau with the road snaking away into the distance. If you look to your left (east) you'll see a tall mountain wth a summit height of 1461m which is named Horinggatkop. The pass ends at the 1,4 km mark at the lowest point on the plateau.

Fact File:

GPS START  S30.255870 E18.051730
GPS SUMMIT S30.264141 E18.054795
GPS END  S30.267498 E18.054978
SURFACE Gravel (P2943)
DATE FILMED 22.07.2016
NEAREST TOWN Kamieskroon (17 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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