There has been some rain in sectors of South Africa, but for most the drought is still biting hard. In the Western Cape temperatures are at a 20 year high for January with no sign of the intense heat abating. Mountain fires are burning virtually all along the coast from Agulhas to Gordons Bay and many forests and orchards have been laid to waste. Our Cape Town film crew went to refilm the Houw Hoek Pass last Sunday only to find it looking like a nuclear fallout zone, with not a blade of anything green to be seen. Even the wooden poles supporting the road signs were still smouldering.
This week we move from the North West Province back to the Western Cape and offer you a new addition to our listings. This rugged, scenic, short, tarred pass can be found near the summit of the Gydo Pass. It provides access to the fertile Witzenberg Valley.
[To access the pass page, expand this page by clicking the title, the photo or the green READ MORE button]
The high altitude, fertile Witzenberg Valley lies hidden in a fold of the Skurweberg mountains, about 20 km north of Ceres. The Witzenberg Pass is the tarred accesss road that starts at the summit of the Gydo Pass and ends at the southern head of this long and attractive valley. The road is well engineered and in good condition. It passes through a neck in the mountains amongst weathered sandstone formations, revealing the starkly contrasting green orchards of the valley. Not many people drive this pass as it is a dead-end, but take 10 minutes and experience this lovely mountain pass in the heart of the Koue Bokkeveld.
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.