Today we have three diverse passes for you to cyber drive. Mpumalanga's Long Tom Pass takes us back to the Anglo Boer war and this pass tells a story of the shrewd and practical Boer commandos, who were completely outnumbered by the British army, but despite this numerical disadvantage controlled the important necks and passes by being immensely resourceful. Their natural skills in bushcraft coupled with outstanding marksmanship, made them a formidable enemy. Read the story of the big cannon which the Brits nicknamed Long Tom. This single gun had a huge shell which had a range of 10 km. The Boers controlled the pass for a long time with this long range cannon.
Within the the city of Cape Town, there are a number of impressive suburban passes. Most of them well trodden on the tourist routes, but always a joy to drive and completely accessible in terms of time and distance. We visit two of these scenic roads. You can also learn about the noon gun and why it is fired daily.
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After some of our subscribers raised the issue of public access to Sanbona Game Reserve, near Barrydale in the Western Cape, we have investigated the matter, and we bring you a full report on this thorny situation. We also have three diverse passes for you to cyber drive.
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My jaw dropped when I saw this old Isuzu bakkie (ute) carting an entire car (sans engine) on its load bay, attached with a single webbing strap. The Isuzu's front wheels were barely on the ground and the driver was clearly having some difficulty controlling his steed. Not a traffic officer in sight. Photo taken on Giel Basson Drive, Parow, Western Cape.
The first long weekend is done and dusted. Next is the school holidays. This week we have a very interesting mix of passes for you.
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The long weekend is here! Hundreds of thousands will take to the roads for the long weekend break and of course, it's school holidays as well. Will this be another annual road slaughter, or will those impatient drivers take a chill pill and think about the safety of others? I'll let you decide.....
We have been covering some of the exquisite passes in Mpumalanga again this week and there's still plenty more to come. The Drakensberg escarpment is something of a pass fest and the area around Sabie, Grasnek and Pilgrims Rest is a national gem. You can check out another three of these passes below.
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Over the next few weeks our focus will be on the little province of Mpumalanga - also gently known as the 'Slow-veld' for the relaxed pace of life there. It has many assets including minerals, forests, fruit and nut farming, mountains with fast flowing rivers, towering waterfalls, adventure sports, ghosts towns and a rich history of pioneering characters - the whole package wrapped up in a sub-tropical climate. Ah yes, it also has a lot of mountain passes. This week we will take a look at a trio of those,
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Just yesterday, we spoke about the vast volumes of rain in Gauteng. Whenever we do river crossings, we always issue a cautionary, which might sound like overkill, but we have experienced the savage power of water and seen the consequences thereof, which is frequently fatal. This video clip below has just been released, which shows a truck crossing a submerged bridge this week, with shocking consequences. If the driver of this truck had complied with the basic rule of "If you cant walk it, dont drive it", this would never have happened. What intrigued me about this video clip is - where was the videographer standing?
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It's Thursday and we have some fresh and interesting passes for you today. From time to time I touch on touchy subjects - like global warming. Yesterday I received a batch of photos documenting the extent of the floods in Gauteng and further north. One photo specifically caught my attention - a black VW Golf half submerged in a gigantic pothole in the middle of a tarred road in a city. The mind boggles as to what the water table must be in Johannesburg and surrounds and I suppose a million miles of underground mineshafts must eventually form a system of underwater rivers, given enough rainfall. And the rain has fallen non-stop for almost two weeks. Wet coal stocks and Eskom's load shedding is a consequence. It's time to dust the generator off again! Meanwhile the Vaal Dam is more than 100% full. It never rains, bit it pours.....
This week we have a batch of passes (much drier than Jhb) in the Northern Cape to explore. Faraway places that few South Africans have been to. [Expand this page to access the links by clicking on the photo, the title or the READ MORE button}
Whilst 35000 cyclists struggelled around the Cape Peninsula in a gale force south-easterly, my thoughts went out to them as they tackled several of the passes on this website, including Smitswinkel, Chapmans Peak Drive and the dreaded Suikerbossie. Why is it that a pass with twists and turns is more bearable than one without? Anyone who has ever cycled up Suikerbossie will understand!
We have some great new material for you this week, as usual.
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We found this little guy hiding in a shoe and managed to get him back into aqualand unharmed. It's been a hectic week with lots of things keeping the team very busy, but we have three great new routes for you this week (especially if you live in the Western Cape). We have another trio of interesting and out of the way passes to explore in the Overberg area.
We have had some inquiries about publicly accessible roads in the Sanbona Reserve near Barrydale in the Cape, which we are checking out. If any readers have intimate knowledge about this, we would appreciate a call or an email.
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This week, we foresake the heat of the Northern Cape for a break back in the more temperate climate of the Western Cape. Just west of False Bay lies a mountainous section between Somerset West and the Overberg. This 300 meter high mountain plateau is host to Grabouw and the Elgin Valley. This week we have a trio of beautiful drives on offer. They can easily be driven in a single day.
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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.