Located in a cleft in the Wiwatersberg - the mountain range that paralells the Magaliesberg to the south, this 4,7 km pass climbs 147 vertical metres offering some fairly steep gradients, gentle curves and sweeping views over the Hartbeespoort Dam and valley. It is however, a very busy road and will continue to carry heavy traffic for the duration of time it takes for the westbound extension of the N4 to be completed.
Sephton’s Nek appears to have been named after Thomas Sephton, a British immigrant that arrived in the Zeerust district in 1860. He worked as a prospector and after finding some traces of gold, was partly responsible for starting a sudden rush on what was to become the Malmani Goldfields, today called Ottoshoop. The pass is situated on the tarred R47 route between Zeerust and Kopfontein, which is the primary border post used by most South Africans when travelling by car to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Also located along this road is Madikwe, one of the largest game parks in South Africa.
This relatively unknown poort is one of several which follow the north/south course of rivers through the Witwatersberge. It is located 12 km to the south-west of the Hartbeespoort Dam. The drive is generally over easy gradients, but there are several fairly sharp corners and one short, steep climb of 200m in length. The road offers lovely views over the small valley with the river below the road and to the east. This is a gravel road and is generally maintained to a reasonable standard.
Zilkaats Nek is sometimes also spelled as Silkaatsnek. It runs on the NW-SE axis through a low point in the Magaliesberg range and connects Pretoria and its outlying suburbs with Brits. The pass is straightforward with two gentle curves but it is fairly steep near the summit as well as on the south-eastern descent. Although the average gradient presents at a mild 1:36. the steepest gradient is 1:6 which will definitely tax some of the smaller engined cars in the rarified Highveld air.
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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