This minor little pass of only 2,5 km has an altitude variance of 63m producing a mild average gradient of 1:40 and no point ever exceeds 1:12, making this an easy enough traverse. The Northern Cape government cartographers were keen to name every poort and pass that they could possibly find and this is one of many official passes, which barely comply with the basic definition of a pass, but it's official, so we have produced and indexed it for the sake of thoroughness.
There is a certain kind of pleasure in actually navigating your way successfully to locate these out of the way passes and poorts, so if you hunt this one down, remember to enjoy the 'getting there' part to the full. This part of the Northern Cape is achingly dry, barren and underpopulated. Drive well prepared for punctures and make sure you have enough fuel.
We have not physically driven this pass ourselves as yet, so our description and research is based on available resources and government maps. The possibility exists that you might encounter locked farm gates. Make sure you have sufficient fuel to backtrack.
This tarred, arrow straight road is located on the R384 approximately 18 km north-east of Carnarvon. The road connects Carnarvon with Vosburg, 100 km to the north-east. The pass is nothing more than a single cutting through the hillside and only rises 40 meters over 1,4 km producing a very gentle average gradient of 1:35. The old road which traveresed the actual Kareebospoort is marked on our virtual flyover in green and would have been a much more interesting drive than the modern version. If you didn't know better, you would never guess this to be an official mountain pass.
The Blounek Pass runs through a very gentle curve on the tarred R63 between Williston and Carnarvon between a series of slightly raised 'koppies'. It holds no apparent dangers and only gains 36 meters of altitude over 3,9 km, giving an average gradient of 1:49, with the steepest parts being at 1:13. The best feature of this little pass is that it is just 10 km West of Carnarvon - a Karoo sheep farming town which sees soaring summer temperatures above 40C and where the lure of ice cold drinks is bound to find favour with thirsty travellers.
This 4 km poort lies in the Hantam Karoo approximately 40 km north-east of Carnarvon. It functions primarily to link the local farming community and is accessed from the R384 in the south or the R386 in the north. It only rises and falls 22 meters producing an average gradient of 1:178 (easy enough for a child in a pedal car!) with the steepest part being 1:12. There are no apparent dangers in the poort other than animals on the road. Being a poort with several streams feeding it, this poort will be subject to flooding. It is best avoided in those rare circumstances. Once upon a time, rhino's roamed this poort. The rest is sad history.....We've posted a pic on the video cover as a stark reminder of what once was.
This miniature poort is just 2 kilometers in length and rises only 10 meters in altitude. It starts at 1085m ASL and 'summits' (so to speak) at 1091m and ends at 1081m. This little poort will definitely make the record books - probably being the lowest altitude gaining, official pass in South Africa. It lies deep in the 'thirstlands' of the Northern Cape on the R386, which is a gravel road, except for the actual poort itself, which is tarred.
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.