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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.

[Expand this page by clicking on the title, picture or READ MORE button to access the links to the three new passes]

Published in Mountain Passes News

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.

Expand this page to access the links by clicking on the title, photo or the READ MORE button. 

 

Published in Mountain Passes News

This week we have released our first batch of route files. Our IT department has been burning the midnight oil making the necessary changes and improvements. A route file is a small down-loadable file (it takes about 1 second) that we have embedded just below the interactive map. Once you have it on your PC/Laptop/tablet etc. you can then save it and upload to your GPS for pin point accurate navigation to any pass and the actual pass itself of course. We have also built in a HELP page, where we describe in detail how to get the most out of the site (including a section on the new route files). You will notice that.....

Published in Mountain Passes News

With scorching heat waves in the Western and Northern Cape coupled with gale force south easterly winds, this is prime fire season for the winter rainfall areas. Please be ultra careful with fires and cigarette butts. Meanwhile the rest of South Africa is having rain, rain and more rain with electrical storms causing havoc to remote communities. Global warming is a reality. Whilst it is easy to rationalise and say the weather is mostly the same as it always has been, a look at the widespread flooding in the UK is of concern.

This week we have another trio of interesting Northern Cape passes for you to cyber-drive. (Click the READ MORE button to expand this page)

Published in Mountain Passes News

Far from the lush and green passes of the Southern Cape where we have spent almost a month on the production of passes, we move much further away for the next fortnight - into the thirstlands of the Northern Cape, where there are a surprising number of big passes. {Click the READ MORE button for the hyperlinks}

Published in Mountain Passes News

We get lots of help with our passes project from researchers, historians, travel writers and road engineers. On Saturday last week, we had the privilege of meeting our favourite road engineer, Graham Ross, at his home in Somerset West. Graham has patiently guided and mentored our project with a wonderful sense of patience and diplomacy. A lot of Graham's lifetime worth of experience has gone into research and he has shared his invaluable collection of statistics as well as some lovely stories, many of which have been crafted into a rich tapestry of tales about South Africa and it's developement over the last 300 years. He has given us access to all of this and many tales, facts and figures are reproduced on this website with his blessing. Do yourself a favour and find yourself a copy of Graham's excellent book: "The Romance of the Cape Mountain Passes" It's a book you will refer to many times over the years. [ISBN 978-1-920289-51-5] Sunbird Publishers.

Graham Ross
Graham Ross - 'Padmaker' of note.




We have a few more interesting Northern Cape passes for you to cyber drive this week: [ Click the READ MORE button for the hyperlinks]

Published in Mountain Passes News

The Rooiberg Pass is one of those "off the radar" passes that has very low traffic volumes. The reason for that is the much better and faster tarred roads offering alternative routes in that area. But if you want to get to the metropolis of Van Wyksdorp which is tucked away in a valley in the Little Karoo, this is one of the passes that will get you there if you happen to find yourself quaffing fine port in one of Calitzdorp's eateries. It's a real gem of a pass and begs the attention of the adventure traveller. It's also long, dusty, bumpy and challenging in places. (Click the READ MORE button for the details and hyperlink)

Published in Mountain Passes News

We're back from another 10 day pass filming expedition in the Southern Cape with lots of HD footage of some magnificent South African mountain passes. This time round we were blessed with perfect weather for filiming and only one rainy day. The Western Cape experienced some severe flooding just one week before we started this trip, which meant some of the smaller passes were still closed. This week we kick things off with what we call the BMW pass for it's "sheer driving pleasure" {Expand this page to read more and access the link}

Published in Mountain Passes News

As the year of 2013 winds its way inexorably towards the Christmas season, we have been very productive in the production of a range of videos following our Lesotho/Eastern Cape trip. Of interest is the enormous popularity of the Lesotho Police Corruption video, which has just passed the 5,000 view mark this morning. That is 5000 more people who know how best to deal with Lesotho road blocks. The video has drawn wide attention and I have had been informed that government officials in Lesotho are taking it seriously - despite the fact that they have not yet made any contact with me. A large hotel and lodge group within Lesotho have contacted me and promised to escalate the issue high up in local government. So, it would seem that the pen is indeed mightier than the AK47.

We have produced a range of videos covering some interesting places. Hyperlinks are provided below (scroll down) : There's lots more to look forward to over the next few weeks with some major passes waiting in the wings for your enjoyment.

Published in Mountain Passes News

Even the best laid plans go wong. Our 57 passes we scheduled for filming were not to be, but we did get 30 done, including, Moodies Pass, Gysmanshoek, & Muiskraal in the Heidelberg/Riversdale area.  The culprit was unseasonal rain. After an overnight stop in Port Elizabeth where we were able to see a privately restored 1937 Bentley Tourer.

Published in Mountain Passes News

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Mountain Passes South Africa

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.
 

Master Orientation Map

Master Orientation Map 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.

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