This old and little known route formed the most northerly access through the Winterhoek Mountains from Piketberg into the Tulbagh valley (also known as the Roodezand valley). This road is still clearly visible using aerial photography, but it is no longer publicly accessible and falls entirely on private farm land. We are listing it purely to index the four passes into the Roodezand valley and clarify the general confusion that the naming of the passes has caused over the years.
This fairly short poort routes through a clear gap in the mountains just north of Heroldt and forms a natural northerly extension to the historicial Montagu Pass on an easy traverse towards Oudtshoorn. This little poort seems to have been forgotten and completely dominated by the grandeur of the Montagu Pass, but a closer look at the Paardepoort (The Pass of Horses), reveals an old road, built in similar style to Bain's work of the late 1800's, which can be clearly seen on the opposite side of the poort with substantial retaining walls still adequately propping the old road up, above the river.
Killians Pass is located on a gravel road (P2945) about 20 km due west of Kamieskroon on the N7 in the heart of Namaqualand on the way to Soebatsfontein. To the west of the pass the road forks, with the lelt hand fork heading to Hondeklipbaai on the Atlantic coast, whilst the right hand route heads northwards to Komaggas. The pass is not a major one in terms of altitude gained or distance, but it is very steep in places with gradients of 1:5 over certain sections. Due to the arid climate, rain seldom falls here, which makes the pass reasonably safe to drive at almost any time of the year.
The Karoo Poort is a very old route followed by the first settlers, and together with the Hottentots Kloof, formed the only route to the north (and the Karoo) from Cape Town through Ceres. The road is a typical poort, with easy gradients, following the course of a (mainly dry) river-bed through a natural gap in the mountains. The construction was managed by Andrew Bain and built by Adam de Smidt, who would later become Andrew Bain's son-in-law and Thomas Bain's brother in law. The pass is gravel, except for a small section of just over a kilometer and a half, where the tarring was no doubt done to protect the Karoopoort farm orchards from dust. The original old farmstead is on the right hand side of the road (west) when driving from east to west and looking its age these days. It is the only farm in the poort.
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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