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Trygve Roberts

Trygve Roberts

Sunday, 27 February 2022 12:26

Latest News! 3rd March, 2022

The week that was

* Goodbye Covid, hello Ukraine

* Trips & Tours

* The Ben 10 Story

* Pass of the week.

* Paraprosdokians


Goodbye Covid

It's something of a relief that Covid-19, which has completely dominated and saturated most media platforms for the last two years, (to the point of irritating absurdity) is finally on the wane - and fast too. In many (civilized) countries around the world, Covid has been officially declared pandemic non-grata - no more masks; no more PCR tests, no more proof of vaccinations. Poof! Just like that. It makes one wonder?

However, the Russian story now dominating the world press is quite scary and suddenly South Africa seems to be one of the safest places in the world. The irony! 


Trips & Tours

We are leaving this morning on our 5th Ben 10 Eco Challenge official tour. Looking at the weather forecast for the area, we are going to be doing some slipping & sliding. The Ben 10 never fails to attract adventurers and this year is no exception with the tour being fully booked. We have amended the routes and have taken advantage of the reopening of the Rhodes Hotel which allows us to spend two nights there, thereby shortening the distances considerably. We will provide a blow by blow account of all the action in the weeks to follow.

We still have two places available on the Wild Coast Tours in May as well as two places on the Swartberg Tour in July. Use the links below to review the itineraries and pricing:

WILD COAST TOUR V4 PONDOLAND (6th - 15th May)

WILD COAST TOUR V5 MBASHE (16th - 24th May)

SWARTBERG CLASSIC 2022 (10th - 15th July) 


The Ben 10 Story - Evolution of a concept.

2016 - Whilst planning the filming of the big high altitude passes in the Eastern Cape Highlands in 2015, we were approached by one of the partners of Tiffindell, Lew Campbell. He wanted to attract more visitors to the ski resort and invited us to film the rugged two spoor track up to the summit. At that stage it had no name, but the summit peak bore the name of Ben MacDhui - originally named after a peak in the Scottish Highlands. The obvious choice of name had to be the Ben MacDhui Pass.

We formulated an agreement that if the pass was to be indexed into the MPSA database, that the public would be allowed free access to the pass, subject to each guest signing an indemnity form, but no access would be allowed during the prime snow season (June to August) as the track ran across the ski slope. Later Tiffindell bulldozed a separate track that allowed access to the pass without having to cross the ski slope.

Friday, 25 February 2022 16:38

Skurweberg Pass (P43)

This pass should not be confused with the Skurweberg Pass in Mpumalanga. This is a more sedate pass, almost a country road really, that climbs up to the summit and descends down the other side and runs along the east-west axis. At 12.5 km it's on the long side and sports 22 bends, corners and curves of which only two are sharp at 90 degrees. Its mild gradients hide the considerable altitude gain of 341m where the steepest sections measure out at 1:7.

The pass is located 33 km to the north-west of Vryheid in KZN and is easily accessible via the tarred R33 route. It forms a connecting farm road with Utrecht some 35 km to the west. The pass is doable in any vehicle in fair weather.

Thursday, 24 February 2022 10:56

Berg en Daal - Day 9 of the Wild Coast V3 Tour

We chat about Day 9 of the Wild Coast V3 Tour.

Listen to the interview:

Wednesday, 23 February 2022 13:55

Latest News! 24th February, 2022

The week that was...

* Trips & Tours

* Wild Coast Tour V3 - Final

* Pass of the week

* Humour


Trips & Tours

We launched the Swartberg Classic Tour 2022 last Thursday and bookings were brisk over the first three days, proving how popular this timeless tour has become.

March 5th to 9th - Ben 10 Eco Challenge Official Tour (Fully booked/No cancellations)

May 6th to 15th - Wild Coast Tour V4 Pondoland (1 ticket available)

May 16th to 24th - Wild Coast Tour V5 Mbashe (1 ticket available)

July 10th to 15th - Swartberg Classic 2022 (2 tickets available)


Wild Coast Tour Day 10

Wavecrest to Chintsa

We had an easy drive out on the final day via the Kobonqaba Pass. At the bottom of the pass is a single lane concrete bridge that stands about 7m above the Kobonqaba River. In 1975 a savage flood ravaged the area, bringing the river down in a massive torrent of water that overtopped the bridge, bending the metal safety railings from vertical to horizontal. The railings have never been repaired.

Once up the western side of the pass our route took us to the village of Kentani (as shown on most maps). The correct spelling in Xhosa is Centane. The bustling little village has some battlefields history.

Centane was the site of the battle of Centane on 7 February 1878 during the ninth Frontier War, when more than 300 Xhosa were killed for the loss of two British soldiers. The grave of the Xhosa king, Khawuta kaGcaleka (the father of Bhurhu kaKhawuta and Hintsa kaKhawuta) is in this town in the village of Njingini.

(Read more...)

A chat about how to drive a social media campaign as well as Day 8 of the Wild Coast Tour – The Haven to Kob Inn.

Listen to the interview:

Tuesday, 15 February 2022 16:36

Latest News! 17th February, 2022

The week that was....

* Trips & Tours

* Wild Coast V3 Day 9

* Pass of the week

* New videos added

* Paraprosdokians


Trips & Tours

With Covid appearing to be on its way out of our collective lives, it seems the very real possibility of the end of the National State of Disaster is on the horizon - as is getting rid of the masks and the sanitiser. We have noticed a real upswing in inquiries for tour bookings, so our office is abuzz with activity.

6th to 9th March - the 5th (improved) version of the official Ben 10 Eco Challenge starts in two weeks' time. This tour has been fully booked for some time and remains one of our most popular offerings. This is the first time we are going to running this tour in March.

6th to 15th May - Wild Coast Tour V4 Pondoland - We have had a cancellation, so there is one ticket available.

16th to 24th May - Wild Coast V5 Mbashe Tour - This tour has one ticket available.

11th to 15th July - Swartberg Classic Tour - Bookings open today. We have scheduled this tour for mid-winter in the hopes of catching some snow. So if you fancy cold nights and crisp, clear sunny days, sign up for this popular tour.


CORRECTION on PLATTELAND TOURS LINK:

The link in last week’s e-Newsletter of Platteland Tours’ Road Trip to Namibia did not function correctly.

Here is the correct link to the Info Doc of the tour


Wild Coast Tour V3 - Day 9

This is always the longest day of the Wild Coast Tour and no easy way to shorten it. With this in mind, our routing took the most direct way to Willowvale, where our entire convoy refuelled causing something of a traffic jam. Vehicle's bellies full we drove directly to Idutywa and a short stint on the N2 before turning off onto gravel at a tourism sign "Collywobbles"

This was arguably the worst road we had driven on the tour. It was a case of shake, rattle and roll regardless of how fancy your suspension was. WE soon noted that the taxis and most locals were driving on a track well off to one side of the "road" which resembled the bottom of a stone quarry. It was 15 kilometres of bone jarring driving, but like all things, it eventually came to an end as we took our group down a very steep pass (unnamed) to the banks of the Mbashe River for a lunch break and some group photos.

[Read more...]

 

Thursday, 10 February 2022 12:13

Latest News! 10th February, 2022

The week that was...

* Social media statistics

* Trips n Tours

* Platteland Tour Offering to Namibia

* Wild Coast V3 Tour - Day 8

* Pass of the Week


Social Media

Our Facebook page continues forging ahead with the latest number of followers being just over 96,000. We are hoping to reach the magical 100,000 figure by the end of June. Instagram is also growing fast with 14,300 followers. Our international followers have shown the largest growth in the past 6 months. SA expats (Saffers) stay glued to the page as it feeds their homesick blues.

Moderating this page is a never ending task. Of interest is that a local clothing brand "Stellies" posted a photo on their Facebook page showing a young lady putting their sticker on a road sign. Our inbox was flooded with our followers sending us the link. The result was a huge public backlash to a company that had openly encouraged their clients to put the Stellies stickers where they like. We have removed many of them from MPSA signs over the years. Within 2 hours they removed their post but have not posted any public apology. They have tarnished their brand in the process. It's a warning to other brands not to go for cheap advertising on road signs. Of interest is that Instagram removed our post on Stellies as it "violated community guidelines"

It would seem that our anti-sticker campaign started two years ago has now spread far and wide and that we have achieved our goal of making the public aware that it is vandalism. The toughest nut to crack was the biker community, but we have broken through most of the barriers now.


Trips & Tours

The Ben 10 Eco Challenge V5 Tour (4th to 8th March) remains fully booked with no cancellations.

Wild Coast Tour V4 Pondoland (6th to 15th May) if also fully booked.

Wild Coast Tour V5 Mbashe (16th to 24th May) One place available.

July 2022 - Swartberg Tour (Bookings to be opened next week)

September - Bedrogfontein Tour. (Bookings to be opened next week)

November - Garden Route Tour (5 days) Open to 4x2 vehicles


Platteland Tours Offering (Advertisement)

One of our joint-venture partners, Platteland Tours (based in Gauteng) is putting on two Self-Drive Guided tours to Namibia during May & June 2022 to cater for the demand to visit our beautiful neighbouring country.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting Namibia? Traveling in your own vehicle (no 4x4 is needed) but not knowing where to go; where to find the best tourist spots; where to sleep; what else to do and what to experience en route? The trip will take you on good gravel back-roads, to places where tour groups normally do not go, as well as to popular destinations like the Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop ghost town, Luderitz, the wild horses of Aus, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Dune 7, the Namib Desert, Goanikontes, Hentie’s Bay, the Petrified Forest, Etosha Pans and much more.

(Read more...)

A chat about the real facts behind the Beervlei Dam and we chat about days 4 & 5 of the Wild Coast Tour.

Listen to the interview:

Thursday, 03 February 2022 09:25

Latest News! 3rd February, 2022

The week that was...

* Trips & Tours

* Wild Coast - the movie

* Wild Coast Day 7 - In the jungle

* Pass of the week


Trips & Tours

First things first. Let's get the bills paid! We still have a few spots open on both our Wild Coast Tours. If you have not visited the Wild Coast before, Here is the opportunity to experience it in the safety of a group, where you will visit all the best points of interest. The links below will provide access to the full itinerary, pricing and general information.

WILD COAST V4 TOUR (PONDOLAND)

WILD COAST TOUR V5 (MBASHE)


The Wild Coast MPSA full length video

We will soon be releasing a 35 minute video (produced and filmed by Derick van Eeden during our last Wild Coast Tour). Besides the full video, we will release it via social media and on our MEDIA page on the MPSA website in 11 separate clips of roughly 3 minutes each. It's a monumental amount of work editing a video of this nature; sifting through hours of footage and selecting the scenes that will capture the public's imagination. We have been privy to previewing some of the chapters and I can assure you, they are really worth waiting for. Our thanks to Derick for doing the hard yards.


Ben 10 Eco Challenge V5

We will be heading off to the Eastern Cape Highlands early in March to take our guests on 5th official Ben 10 Tour. This tour is fully booked. If you want to add your name to the waiting list in case of a cancellation, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wild Coast V3 Tour - Day 7 - The story continues...

The Haven bowled us over with their delicious food. The wild oysters served up were of the finest quality I have tasted - and plentiful too. After breakfast it was time to saddle up our (proverbial) steeds and get ready for a day of fun and exploration. The idea was to do a west-east traverse of the Cwebe Nature Reserve. It looked so easy on the map, but we were in for a few big surprises.

(Read more...)

Sunday, 23 January 2022 15:50

Latest News! 27th January, 2022

The week that was

* Weather watch

* Trips & Tours

* Tiffindell is for sale

* Wild Coast V3 Tour (Day 6)

* Revisiting the Oceanos

* Pass of the week


Some like it hot!

Whilst Gautengers are complaining they've been robbbed of their summer with cool temperatures and a vast amount of rain, those in the Western Cape are experiencing a heatwave of note. I guess it's nothing more than life in Africa. On January 22nd temperatures soared along the West Coast where Hopefield and Vredenburg recorded new record highs. It was slightly cooler in Cape Town at around 40C.


Trips & Tours

We still have some tickets open for May Wild Coast Tours. Check the itineraries and prices on the link below:

https://shop.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/product-category/tours/


Tiffindell for sale

Tired of life in the city? Why not buy yourself some high altitude real estate in the Cape Highlands and become the owner of a ski resort. Isn't that a cool idea?!


Wild Coast V3 - The story continues

Day 6 - Coffee Bay to The Haven

It was time to say farewell to the charms of Coffee Bay and go in search of new adventures. Convoy ready to rumble with radio checks done and heading back towards Hole in the Wall, where we took a right hand fork and then very carefully negotiated our way into a very dense local forest with an unpronounceable name - Mgxotyeni. The forest is a mix of indigenous trees as well as gum plantations. The very rough track we followed is used as a service road for a water pipeline; and then mainly by trucks. 

The track is basic at best and consists of rocks (some of them quite sharp as we found out), mud, leaves, branches, lots of shade and many spiders (drive with your window open at your peril!). Derek van Eeden had the misfortune of being the first vehicle to pick up a puncture on Day 2 of the tour and in a cruel twist of fate the dreaded sidewall snake bit his Discovery a second time on this tour. He handled his misfortune with aplomb.

[Read more...]

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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.
 

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