Amandeihoogte

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There are several good examples of corbelled houses in this area There are several good examples of corbelled houses in this area - Photo: Panoramio

This very short and fairly minor 'pass' is nothing more than a slight bump in the flat Karoo topography and is located about midway between Fraserburg and Loxton in the Northern Cape, just off the R356 on a minor gravel road that connects the R356 with the R361. The spelling of this pass is baffling and we are convinced that it's a spelling mistake which has been carried forward over the years and has now become fact. The correct name is no doubt Amandelhoogte, which makes a lot more sense. In a bizarre way, the odd spelling is probably a good thing, as there is an Amandelnek Pass in the Tankwa Karoo, which would be bound to cause confusion.

Scroll down to view the map & video. This video consists entirely of Google Earth animated clips and serves to orienteer the prospective pass driver. It will be filmed in real-time at some point in the future.  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 Jules of the Karoo safaris - Theron Family]

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: This little pass can be approached from several directions. The easiest is to drive along the R356 from Fraserburg towards Loxton. After 41 km turn left onto a minor gravel road at GPS S31.725934 E21.875174. Now drive northwards for 4 km to arrive at the southern start of the pass. It can also be approached from the north by turning east off the R361 at GPS S31.628799 E21.821353 and driving along a number of farm roads for 12 km to arrive at the northern start of the pass.

Rietrivier bridgeBridge over the Rietrivier on the R356 / Photo: Deon van der WesthuizenWe have produced this pass from south to north. From the southern start the road starts ascending gently at first, but after 0,2 km the gradient ramps up quickly to 1:14 as the road climbs up a cleft in a low ridge of hills via a minor S-bend. The ascent gain is very small at just 14m and the summit of 1234m is reached at the 0,3 km point. There are good views to the west of the Rietrivier and what appears to be a runway just to the right of the river bank (probably to cater for crop-spraying aircraft) The descent begins almost immediately at a gentler gradient of 1:20.

There are only two minor changes in direction along this little bump in the vast expanse of the Central Karoo, neither of which require any adjustment in speed. At the 0,6 km mark, the gradients flatten out to almost level and the pass ends at the 1 km mark at an altitude of 1920m ASL. It's all over in 2 minutes flat, unless you get a puncture. This is one is for the extremely dedicated pass hunter.

Of all the provinces in South Africa, the Northern Cape has easily the highest number of official passes which are not really passes at all, some of them being so insignificant as to not merit publication on this website, but our goal and duty is to research, index and document every one of them, regardless of whether we think it is worthy or not. This is an official Northern Cape pass.


Fact File:

GPS START  S31.696915 E21.865685
GPS SUMMIT S31.692865 E21.864696
GPS END  S31.688619 E21.863151
AVE GRADIENT 1:71
MAX GRADIENT 1:14
ELEVATION START 1223m
ELEVATION SUMMIT 1234m
ELEVATION END 1220m
HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS 14m
DISTANCE 1,0 km
DIRECTION - TRAVEL NNW
TIME REQUIRED 2 minutes
SPEED LIMIT 60 kph
SURFACE Gravel 
DATE FILMED 12.12.2016
TEMPERATURE 38C
NEAREST TOWN Fraserburg (45 km)

Route Map:

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More in this category: « Amampoort

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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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