As you receive this newsletter, the MPSA film crews are somewhere between Graaff-Reinet and Molteno, finding all those isolated little back-road passes and poorts, which you will be seeing over the next few months as production resumes in January 2017. One of our goals for the new year, is to produce the MPSA book. More news on that side of the project as things develope.
With most of our readers on holiday at this time of year, we feature something a little different today. Our 'Pass of the Week' is one of the best off-road passes on offer and all of it falls within the protection of a nature reserve ensuring a peaceful journey coupled with unsullied scenery.
The pass can only be driven in a high clearance 4WD vehicle, adventure motorcycle or MTB and once you've watched the videos, you will understand why. The pass traverses the South Africa-Lesotho border at it's summit and presents an exciting and challenging drive for the more experienced off-road driver, but It should never be attempted alone.
With some of the most exquisite Eastern Cape scenery on offer, there is usually also time to visit the beautifully designed buildings of the Mariazell Mission Station which is near the foot of the pass.
Christmas is almost upon us and each year we find something appropriate to gift to our readers. Today we have a bumper pre-Christmas edition featuring a double pass of great scenic value, featuring 3 videos with outstanding scenery.
With the annual influx of visitors from up-country to the coast, we thought it appropriate to feature a coastal pass this week. The Western Cape has by far, the largest number of mountain passes in South Africa and some spectacular passes close to the ocean. Perhaps the most famous is Chapman's Peak Drive, which must rank as the most frequently closed pass in South Africa, due to rain, rock-falls, accidents, fires, cycle tours, maintenance or suicides.
Although "Chappies" grabs most of the limelight, there is another big pass on the opposite side of the Cape Peninsula, spanning the entire eastern rim of False Bay, which can easily be overlooked by the short-stay visitor and it is this fabulous and magnificently restored road that we feature today.
It's a road of stunning coastal vistas, providing access to view sites, fishing spots, hiking trails, beaches, tidal pools, whale watching as well as access to several coastal towns such as Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay, Kleinmond and Hermanus. Read on as we take you over this beautiful drive in a two part video series, exploring the history, nooks and crannies of this 'not to be missed' coastal drive. Driving the pass with knowledge, makes it so much more enjoyable.
December has arrived. It's a time of festivities, holidays - a time of giving. It's also a time when the road death toll increases dramatically. Drive defensively this festive season; comply with the speed limits; rest if you're tired and ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. We want you back next year.
2017 is going to be a huge year for MPSA and we are setting our goals at completing all 750 passes by Dec 2017. It is possible, as we produced just over 250 passes during 2016. With the addition of the new Ben 10 Challenge and other exciting developements, we are anticipating that 2017 will be a massive year for us. None of this success and achievement can be achieved without the support of the public - which is currently 60,000 strong each month. Our readers cover all race groups and genders and the appeal of the passes and poorts seems to be universal. Thank you for your support of this uplifting and challenging project.
This week we head off into the Little Karoo and specifically to the fascinating town of Steyterville, where we explore and drive the 'Poort of the Flags'. Besides the normal video, we added a second video on Steyterlville itself, as we dig back into it's rich history and uncover some detail - like the fact that Dr Danie Craven lived there and where he married his first wife - amongst other famous South Africans. This Karoo town is a fine example of how to 'get things right' post 1994.
We were swamped with inquiries about the Ben 10 Challenge which we mentioned in last week's news release. There were so many emails, that we simply will not be able to answer all of them, but for those who want to participate in the challenge, please be patient, as we promise to publish all the relevant details here as well as on our Face Book page as developements unfold.
This week we leave the green hills of Eastern Cape and head into the far north-western corner of the Northern Cape to explore what is probably the best known mountain pass in the Richtersveld. We'll take you over this tricky and slow pass to uncover the fascinating geology, flora and flora of this beautiful mountain desert that we are privileged to have within striking distance from both Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Judging by the number of inquiries we receive at Mountain Passes South Africa, it is clear that the 'silly season' has begun. Families making plans for the school holidays and people from all walks of life gearing up for an affordable local holiday; more and more people are seeking out the back roads - those discoveries we like to keep to ourselves; the roads less travelled. This week we even had inquiries from folk wanting to know which passes were best for viewing the super-moon.
In this world of media negativity, at MPSA we aim to always bring you uplifting, stimulating and positive news.
During mid-December, all our filming crews are heading for the Eastern Cape highlands where we plan on re-filming the Big 8, plus another two passes. The first is a new road (4x4 only) that will become the new highest altitude record holder with an altitude of 3001m, in the process exceeding Sani Pass by a considerable margin. This is the Ben Mac Dhui Pass. Weather permitting we will be filming it on December 16th.
The second is a contour traverse above the 2600m contour line, called the Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse (TTT), which connects the Tenahead Lodge near the summit of Naude's Nek Pass with the Tiffindell Ski Resort on a rough jeep track (4x4 only) just inside the RSA-Lesotho border, which has incredible scenery.
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.
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.