Monantsa Pass

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Monantsa Pass connects the eastern Free State in South Africa with the Kingdom of Lesotho over the steep escarpment which separates the two countries. It is unusual in that, although the entire pass is located within the borders of South Africa, a border post must be negotiated to complete the route. Until fairly recently (2018) this was a gravelled road, but the authorities have now finished a project to pave the whole pass. Unfortunately, they have also inserted 18 large speed humps along the road, each of which serves the double purpose of slowing down traffic and diverting water runoff. It somewhat spoils what would otherwise be a beautifully scenic drive, as the height and width of these obstacles require you to slow down to almost a complete stop. All of the speed humps are on the northern half of the pass, leading up to the border post.

The pass can be completed in any vehicle (except perhaps in snowy conditions), but if you wish to extend your journey into Lesotho, a 4x4 is strongly recommended. Many of the local inhabitants use non-4WD vehicles, but most normal cars are not designed to handle without some damage the bad gravel roads and numerous river crossings that are common in this northern part of the country.

NB: To complete this pass in its entirety, you will need to have a valid passport for you and each of your passengers. Although the security checks are fairly relaxed at the border post, the officials will not let you pass through without it. If you only wish to complete the northern half of the pass up to the border post, a passport will not be required, but this would be a pity, as the best part of the pass lies beyond the post itself on the descent leading up to the Lesotho border.

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Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.

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