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Mountain Passes News

For those of you that are regular visitors, you will have noticed the changes we've made to the website. As part of making the website more mobile friendly, we have switched to a responsive mobile friendly template and design. This template is optimized for all the latest verisons of internet browsers. There are some minor changes navigating the site, but all the content and features remain the same. In essence the site will now automatically resize and format regardless of whether you are accessing it from a PC, laptop, iPad or mobile device. Almost 50% of our users access the site from a mobile phone, so it's been crucially important to make these changes.

To have a look at an example of what the new page layout will look like for all passes, click on this link below:

http://mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/find-a-pass/western-cape/item/37-bains-kloof-pass,-wellington.html

Over the next few weeks we will also be updating each pass page to make the page content (text, images, video and table) display optimally on all screen sizes. In the meantime, bear with us, as most of the passes will show some display/formatting anomalies as to where and how the Fact File displays as well as positioning of some photos and their descriptions.

Our provisional tests show that the site is working well across most operating systems, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and most of the versions of Internet Explorer. The exception is Internet Explorer 7, which we are working on. If you're using anything older than IE7, you might experience problems. We ask for your patience during this important phase of transition and growth of the website. You are also welcome to let us know about any technical issues you are experiencing with the new site. When doing so, provide us with details of your operating system, and screen resolution settings as well as the specific page you might be having issues with. Current known issues include: 1. Videos extending beyond content area on smaller screens; 2. Additional spacing between paragraphs and/or images. There may be some visual issues still present on smaller ipad and smaller views, and we will continue to tweak the content. Users of Internet Explorer Version 7 can fix display issues by clicking on "Compatability Mode" in the address bar on the top left of your screen (the one with the icon of a page torn in half)


This week we feature a lovely trio of passes on the P1721 - a small farm road in the Karoo along the northern fringes of the Swartberg range, which very few people know about.

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As usual our production team is in full swing with several great new passes having been published in the past week which were filmed mainly in the area between Prince Albert and Meiringspoort. Winter has arrived in the Cape with a sudden and dramatic drop in temperature, coupled with heavy rain. Our recent filming trip revealed just how low dam levels are in the Karoo and just how welcome these winter rains are.

Today's featured pass is in fact a poort, rather than a pass, with hardly any change in altitude, but that in no way diminishes the grandeur of the scenery. This poort, which few people even notice after having driven either the Swartberg Pass or Meiringspoort, is the final bit of rugged mountain scenery, before one arrives in the hospitable and historic little Karoo dorp of Prince Albert.

We explore some of the history and uncover some weird facts about the village. For example - did you know that this is the only place in South Africa where Spanish jamon is produced?

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This week we've been filming in the Central Karoo between Prince Albert and Meiringspoort on some minor gravel roads, where we uncovered no less than six fantastic new passes. These will all be produced over the next few weeks. We were thoroughly impressed with the quality of these roads, with most of them either currently being resurfaced or having recently been repaired and it's heartening to see local government investing in good roads for our farmers. It paints a very positive picture compared to all the doom and gloom available on most of the news sources and especially on social media, where the doomsayers are in full song.

Our featured pass this week will appeal to all motorists who enjoy an easier gravel pass and this one holds a special allure to kayakers and white water rafters. It's located close to Vryheid in the northern sector of KZN and provides a long, easy drive along the Bivane River - well known for it's quantity of good rapids and small waterfalls.

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This town once hosted a major railway junction in the 1940's but is now better known for its notorious drug-rehabilitation centre. We visited the town recently and could palpably feel the depression and sombre mood of this once prosperous Northern Cape town. Of course, we're talking about Noupoort. The town lies on the N9 major route between Port Elizabeth and the Reef, but amidst the decaying buildings and dying railway sheds at Midlandia, the dorp is very much influenced by the business activities of the Noupoort Christian Care Centre - a topic in its own right. But just to the south of Noupoort there is a lovely pass well worth driving.....

Let it not be said that we dont cover every mountain pass in South Africa! Over the past three years we have had many requests from pass fans as to exactly where the fabled Donkies Pass is. This week we unveil the first of two passes named after the asses. It took a lot of research finding these two passes, but thanks to the meticulous work done by one of our readers, Brits Steyn, who submitted an exceptionally well researched list of passes in KZN and Mpumalanga, we are able to accurately pinpoint these two 'off the beaten track' passes.

[Expand this page to access the link, by clicking on the title, the photo 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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