Author: Michael David Leicester
Scientists researching the periods before written historical records have established that the territory of what is now referred to generically as South Africa was one of the most important centres of human evolution. It was inhabited by Australopithecines since at least 2.5 million years ago, and modern human settlement occurred around 125,000 years ago in the Middle Stone Age. The first human habitation is associated with a DNA group originating in a north-western area of southern Africa and which is still prevalent in the indigenous Khoisan (Khoikhoi and San).
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01. The challenge is open and free to 4x4 vehicles, adventure motorcycles, MTB riders, walkers and trail runners. (Note that it is not possible to complete some of the passes in a normal car). MTB cyclists, walkers and runners are permitted to move between passes per vehicle. It is a requirement to be a paid up subscriber to MPSA at the time of registration and on the dates of completion. At present (2019) the subscription is R300 a year. This is to ensure that every entrant has full access to all the safety and technical information available on the website.
feature by Hanlie Booyens
I USED TO BE A RACER – I loved it too. However time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters and these days it is not result sheets anymore. For me it is about finding joy in the journey. It is about discovering places that lift my soul. It is about reconnecting with my spirit in spaces where time slows down and I can appreciate life for all it is.
Away from the crowds there are amazing roads to travel, there are climbs to conquer and views to treasure. All you need is a bit of imagination, a good map and my friend Google.
And so we stumbled upon the Ben10. It had the allure of a proper challenge in a beautiful part of our country. It looked perfect offering great climbs, stunning views, remoteness and space. One for the bucket list. The challenge was set by the guys from Mountain Passes South Africa (www.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za). Initially aimed at the 4x4 community, they invited cyclists to attempt it as well. The goal is to cover ten specific high-altitude gravel passes within a time frame of seven days, whilst enjoying the beautiful and remote Eastern Cape highlands scenery. As they state on their website: “This is not a race but a journey.”
- January/February 2019 edition of Ride Cycling Magazine.
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Website that maps the country’s famous mountain passes fills an adventure niche market for the well-heeled, writes Janine Stephen
03 AUGUST 2017 - 06:00 JANINE STEPHEN
If you've ever done a cross-country road trip and decided to veer off the relatively straight and tedious national roads, in search of something a little more exciting, chances are good you've stumbled upon a mountain pass or two.
While researching the most extreme roads in the country, we stumbled upon an incredibly well-curated website called Mountain Passes of South Africa (MPSA).
"South Africa’s 10 highest passes are all in one province. A recently launched challenge rewards road trippers who can conquer them all in seven days. Here’s why you need to be one of them."
- January 2018 edition of Getaway magazine
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.