Wilgekraal Pass is located on a rough gravel road which forms an alternative route to the R36 between eNtokozweni (Machadodorp) and Mashishing (Lydenburg) in Mpumalanga. The pass, which translates from Afrikaans to English as “Willow Tree Corral”, is named after the Wilgekraalspruit, a small tributary of the Crocodile River which parallels the pass for its entire length. It is almost 7 kilometres long and has a height gain of nearly 400 metres, making it a fairly significant pass. The road surface is good although quite rocky, and can be driven in any vehicle provided that the weather conditions allow.
This 5 km long pass is fairly steep with gradients of up to 1:10. It connects Lydenburg in the north-east with Machadodorp in the south-west.The pass gains 218m in altitude and summits at 1531m ASL. It holds a good safety record and the curves are gentle and comfortable. The pass offers expansive views over the Kwena Basin and paragliders are often seen here using the lift off the ridges to stay aloft.
Cautionary : At the time of filming the R36 in its entirety is riddled with potholes to the point of being dangerous to drive on. This includes both the passes on this road - Witklip se Hoogte and Chomse se Hoogte. The road is scheduled for reconstruction in 2016/2017.
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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