Mountain Passes News

This week we bring you an interesting tale of a wild town that once existed deep in the mountains - of fortunes and misfortunes - of shipwrecks and a city that failed spectacularly right here in South Africa.

Bringing this story to life came from investigating a pass submitted by one of our stalwart supporters from Johannesburg - Mr. Mike Leicester - who told us about a remote gravel track up the mountains in Mpumalanga, in close proximity to the richest gold mine in the world (Sheba) and  only attainable in a high clearance, low-range 4x4.

There at the top of the mountain, lie the ruins of Eureka City. The sinking of the Drummond Castle off Ushant in France inextricably links itself to the lost city of Eureka.

[Expand this page to access the link, by clicking on the photo, the title or the green READ MORE button]

This week we bring you something completely different as we take you on a 6000 km journey from Cape Town to Caprivi and back in a colourful tapestry of experiences and an ascerbic rookie take on life on the great African plains.

This is a quirky look at a city boy's take on life in the bush and a first time trip into Botswana. There was enough dust on the dashboard to keep a 5 year old busy for hours drawing stick figures (luckily we didn't have a 5 year old or stick figures), but after 3000 fairly boring kilometres from Cape Town via Calvinia, Kenhardt, Keimoes, Upington , Kathu (where a passing bakkie hurled a fair sized stone up which smashed our windscreen), Tshabong, Khakea, Kang, and Ghanzi we finally reached Maun at midday on the third day of travelling through the most featurelessly boring and flat terrained country I have yet seen. There is good reason for this – it’s to prepare you for some wildly exciting, adrenaline charged camping, once you reach Northern Botswana.

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This week, as we enjoy the coldest part of the winter, it's time to get out of the city and savour some fine Karoo air. We introduce you to an obscure, but fabulous gravel road in the Karoo, which plays host of a poort, a pass and a nature reserve. It provides instant relief from the rigours and dangers of the N1 for those who are not in a rush. 

You might have noticed that we try to include a road number for each pass or poort on the website. These numbers will help you to identify that you are on the correct road, when the lady on your GPS is confused and keeps on saying: "Recalculating..."

The website reached a new peak level last week, attaining 12,653 page views in one week. Thank you to every one who enjoys the site and a special word of thanks to some of our stalwart contributors, who work selflessly and tirelessly to ensure we have a world class product.

This week, we give kudos to Mr. Mike Leiscester - a self acknowledged mountain pass affecionado, who has meticulously checked all of our GPS co-ordinates (that's about 1500 of them) as well as distances of the passes and taken the trouble to relay errors found (and there were many!). Mike is currently compiling the ultimate mountain pass spreadsheet exclusively for us. It is this sort of person who makes our day, our week and our year! Mike is one of many people who contribute to the website and of course, we dont want anyone to feel left out, but the amount of effort, time and money he has put in, deserves special mention.

We head off into another distant corner of South Africa this week, and take you on a cyber drive into the dusty corners of the Northern Cape, where late winter and spring-time turn the arid landscape into a wonder-world of wild-flowers.

[To access the hyperlink to this pass, expand this page by clicking on te\he photo, the title or the green READ MORE button]

I'm not an economist, but I have a problem trying to rationalise why we are having fuel price increases when oil is at $62  per barrel - the lowest figure in the last decade? Somehow, something doesn't quite pan out for me.....Perhaps it has just a little to do with our camera vehicle returning a consumption figure of 4,5 km per litre!

This week we head far north into Limpopo to explore one of the few passes in that province. It's easy enough to access, as it is located on the N1.

[Expand this page to access the hyperlink, by clicking on the photo, the title or the green READ MORE button]

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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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