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.
[Expand this page to access the links by clicking on the title, photo or READ MORE button]
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]
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.
This week we take you on a cyber tour of some obscure, but interesting passes in the Hantam Karoo and beyond. The photo is something of a red herring and about as far from a Northern Cape scene as you can get. We visit a real old English fort on the banks of the Orange River (Gariep) as well as check out ghost rhinos and even more unlikely quaggas.
(Expand this page for the links by clicking on the photo, title or the READ MORE button)
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.