Vuilnek is located on a minor gravel road to the south-west of Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape, not too far off the N14 national highway towards Upington. This is the area where the Langeberg Rebellion took place in 1897, when the Tswana people rose up in arms to fight for their independence. The road is plagued by severe corrugations, but otherwise is in a fairly good condition and can be driven in any vehicle.
Located in the intermediate zone between the Green Kalahari and the true semi-desert, the pass is not particularly scenic, but it does offer some excellent views over the flat plains that abound in this region. It is not known how this pass obtained its unusual name, which means “Dirty Neck”.
There are at least another two passes with the same name, one in the Western Cape and confusingly, another in the Northern Cape near Garies. This pass is aptly named, as it is both a long ravine and it passes through a range of mountains called the Langberge. The road is in a reasonable condition and can be driven in any vehicle in good weather, but on the day of filming the road had been recently resurfaced and was covered with sharp stones, so if this is the case, the chances of getting a puncture are fairly high. The area is quite remote, with only a few farms interspersed along the route, so if you are going to drive the pass, it might be a good idea to let somebody know where you are going.
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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