Phutaditjhaba is a massive sprawling complex of villages just to the north of Lesotho in the southern Free State. We weave you carefully, but accurately through this maze of interconnecting villages from the R712 midway between the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and historic Harrismith, to uncover a gem of a gravel pass that is both challenging in terms of its steepness, but also for its rough surface, both factors which are adequately compensated by extraordinarily magnificent scenery from above the 2000m contour line. It's another one of those 'Roads less Travelled'
[To access the hyperlink to this pass, expand this page by clicking on the photo, the title or the green READ MORE button]
Spring is the very best time to travel. Whether you are in the summer rainfall regions with all the new spring growth happening or the Western and Northern Cape with its stunning display of wild-flowers - there is something for everyone across this beautiful country we live in.
This week we bring you something with a completely different touch as we head into the southern Free State towards the Golden Gate Highlands National Park via our featured pass this week and what makes it special is that this is our first pass filmed from a motorcycle.
[To read more and access the pass page and video link, expand this page by clicking on the photo, the title or the green READ MORE button]
This is a short, steep climb over a big hill, about 6km to the north-west of the summit of Mullers Pass on the Free State side of the Drakensberg. The pass is only 1,5km long but has steep gradients with a maximum of 1:5. In wet weather, this will cause some traction issues for non 4WD vehicles. The pass gives access to several 4x4 routes as well as to the Kranskop area and is a prequel to the Lafrashoogte Pass on the way north to Memel in the Free State.
Kwaggasnek is a short and straightforward gravel pass which straddles the border between the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal near Volksrust. It would usually be driven in conjunction with Majubanek, a much bigger pass located to the north-east on the same route. The road is not in a particularly good condition, but can be traversed in any vehicle, provided that the weather allows. The pass is probably named after the now-extinct Quagga, which once roamed these hills in vast herds, but the name could also refer to the Burchell’s Zebra which is sometimes called a Kwagga in Afrikaans.
This short, easy pass is located close to the junction of the N1 and the R70, near Winburg in the Free State. The official route designation is the R70. This tarred road was in poor condition at the time of filming in February, 2016. It presents moderate gradients and only four very gentle curves. It lies to the east of the large irrigation dam - the Erfenis Dam, which is a popular weekend destination for locals offering fresh water angling, camping as well as a nature reserve at its north-western end near the dam wall.
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.