We are off on yet another trip to capture some of our beautiful passes on video.
You've all heard about the major gravel passes of the Eastern Cape, with names like Jouberts Pass, Lundin's Nek, Carlisleshoekspruit Pass, Naude's Nek, Bastervoetslaan Pass and the Otto du Plessis Pass. But staying out of the limelight amongst these big bad gravel boys, there are several minor passes - each with its own unique bit of history.
Our featured pass today is a perfect example of one of these quiet little gems, waiting patiently to be discovered. Drive with us today as we take you up and over a pass (not far from Rhodes, Elliot and Barkly East), that you've probably never even heard of, as we explore it's name and its origins, which will no doubt come as a big surprise to you, as it did to us.
We are back in the Western Cape this this week and bring you something very different in terms of mountain passes. This one is not for anyone suffering from acrophobia and you'll need to be in a high clearance 4x4 with low range, but having said that, this one can also be walked, but at 8,8 km and an altitude gain of 919m you'll need a certain level of stamina, good knees and a sturdy pair of boots!
Our featured pass lies completely within a private nature reserve and it's gravel travel all the way as we take you with us to one of South Africa's most spectacular view sites, offering breathtaking views over rugged ridges and a 400m deep canyon with near vertical sides.
This is our largest video set we have ever produced on a single pass and the page contains no less than eight videos. Sit back, relax and cyber drive with us as we take you up the second highest mountain and into the biggest snowfields of the Western Cape.
With the municipal and provincial elections behind us, there seems to be a new positivity amongst business leaders and in most walks of life. We make a conscious effort to stay away from the two subjects that cause friction: Politics and religion. Enough said!
This week we head right up into the northern-most part of South Africa into the Limpopo province and more specifically the Waterberg region, which is well known for its natural beauty, pleasant climate and plentiful wild life. When you take the click through to the pass page, please take note of the free download on offer of the official brochure: the Waterberg Meander. This expertly written brochure refers to a series of specifically placed signboards with numbers, which link with the information on the brochure. This will greatly enhance your travels through this region.
Mike Leicester took a careful drive over our featured pass and managed to get some great videography done under difficult conditions. So buckle up, and take a drive with us through the Moepel Nature Reserve as we unearth yet another gem to add onto your bucket list.
We achieved a major milestone this week, with the website attracting 19,286 page views in a single week. Our previous high was just over 12,000, so we are on the move again, climbing ever closer to the magical figure of 25,000 per week. The FaceBook page was also extremely popular this week, with just over 14,000 hits. Thank you - each one of you, for your loyal support. Remember to check out our acknowledgements page on the website, where we publish the good (and bad) things you say about us. Visitor Feedback.
Production of the new Northern Cape passes has commenced and this week we bring you a very short, but rough and steep pass in the heart of the barren Richtersveld thirstland. This one can only be managed in a 4x4. During filming we managed to interview a local park ranger who provided us with invaluable information on our featured pass. A stroke of pure luck, which we would never otherwise have known about. The more we travel, the luckier we get!
So head off with us into the land of the Kokerboom, the Botterboom and the Halfmens as we navigate our way gingerly by GPS, instinct, stone cairns and comprehensive map-reading through the wild and remote mountain desert called the Richtersveld. We also offer a comprehensive guide of safety and other measures to consider when travelling through this harsh landscape.
Winter has truly gripped South Africa with a vengeance with wild weather being reported from all corners of the nation. Imagine a tornado with severe hail in Kempton Park in July, with flooding in KZN and heavy snow clean across all the major mountain ranges. The drought has now virtually been broken nationwide, with overflowing dams to be seen everywhere and even the beleaguered Western Cape has received excellent rainfall which will soon reflect in vastly improved dam levels. Perhaps only the Northern Cape is still under the drought kosh. More about that later....
There have been some issues with some of our subscribers not receiving the weekly newsletter. We traced the fault in that our account with Mailchimp had reached it's maximum level of 2000 much quicker than what we had anticipated. We have temporarily fixed the problem and are investigating alternative methods of getting the newsletter to your desktop without it costing an arm and a leg. We apologise to all those affected and thank you for writing to us to let us know.
Your Western Cape film crew have just returned from a thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating excursion deep into the Northern Cape from Nieuwoudtville to the Richtersveld - in the process capturing 37 passes for the website, which will appear over the next few months.
Our overall impression of the Northern Cape after criss-crossing it from north to south and east to west was a province of stark contrasts. Our routing started at Niewoudtville......
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.