Scroll down to view the map & video. 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 courtesy of SanParks]
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: To approach the pass from either the north or the south, start off from the intersection of the P205-2 and the N11 at GPS coordinates S28.048610 E29.977665. Travel along the P205-2 in a westerly direction for 7.2 km to S28.080665 E29.918802. If you want to approach the pass from the south, turn left onto the P216, then travel in a southerly direction for 6.8 km to S28.132339 E29.884379. Turn right onto the D90, travel for 5.9 km to S28.131290 E29.827835, then turn right onto the D264. The southern start is 3.3 km from this point. To approach from the north, continue along the P205-2 for another 7.3 km to S28.066080 E29.849179, then turn left onto the D264. The northern start is 1.7 km from this point.
We have filmed the pass from north to south, in the ascending mode. The pass starts off at its low point of 1287 metres with a shallow left-hand curve, then straightens up for 250 metres before entering a sequence of two gradual right-hand bends. Another short straight of 400 metres is followed by a left-hand corner of 30 degrees, leading into a long straight of 850 metres.
The road continues to follow the course of the Mhlonyane River, which is on the right-hand side although not visible through the dense vegetation. The road enters a series of shallow dips and rises at the end of the straight, then curves to the left and encounters a short sharp blind rise of about 50 metres. Beware of oncoming traffic at this point, as the road is quite narrow. 100 metres further along, the road bends back to the right and dips down to cross a bridge over a small stream. What appears to be a cinder quarry is located on the left-hand side.
The road climbs back out of the small depression formed by the stream, then enters a long shallow S-bend, first turning left and then right, as it ascends gradually towards the high point of the kloof. A final right-hand curve gets you to the summit and the end of the pass, which is reached at the 3.2 km mark.
The Chelmsford Nature Reserve is located just to the north of Koffiekloof Pass. The reserve surrounds the Chelmsford Dam (also known as the Ntshingwayo Dam) which is located on the iNgagane River, and the dam itself covers a total area of 6800 hectares. It was built in 1961, and is the 3rd largest dam in KwaZulu-Natal.
The reserve is well stocked with game, which includes rhino, zebra, wildebeest, red hartebeest, springbok and blesbok. Chelmsford also features the largest population of the rare oribi in South Africa. But the reserve is perhaps best known as a birding destination, with over 200 species being recorded. The dam provides a sanctuary for a plethora of waterfowl species, including flamingos, but grassland species thrive here as well.
Watersports such as powerboating, jet skiing, windsurfing and canoeing feature strongly on the dam. Beneath the waters, anglers can expect to catch freshwater species such as bass, carp and mudfish. Accommodation is provided in the form of chalets, and in addition there are two camping areas with over 30 sites located close to the water’s edge.
[Text & video footage by Mike Leicester]
|GPS START||S28.077872 E29.838759|
|GPS SUMMIT||S28.103571 E29.830704|
|GPS END||S28.103571 E29.830704|
|DIRECTION - TRAVEL||South|
|TIME REQUIRED||4 minutes|
|SPEED LIMIT||60 kph|
|NEAREST TOWN||Dannhauser (28 km)|
Use these powerful features to get the best use out of the map:
- Choose either Map View or Satellite View (overlaid on the map detail.)
- Zoom in and out; rotate in any direction.
- Use the Get Route'feature (directly beneath the map): type in your address to get a personalised route straight from where you are to the pass, with time and distance included.
- Detailed written and printable directions.
- Drag the 'little orange man' icon onto the pass for a complete 360° tiltable "street view".
||Click to download: Koffiekloof Pass (Note - this is a .kmz file, which can be opened in Google earth and most GPS models)