Mountain Passes News

Our classic cover pic this week lures us into the unknown. Places we have not been to before.....

With the website being almost complete, we are making some changes. Good changes. Make a note of these, as they will effect especially the mapping side of the website.

Firstly, our Master Map is having a facelift. Previously the black dots indicated passes yet to be produced and the red dots indicated passes already produced. We are changing these icons to show the black dots as tarred or paved passes and the red dots as gravel or jeep track passes. This will make planning from the Master Map much easier for the gravel pass enthusiasts. The process of re-programming these icons has already begun and  should be completed by the end of this week.

The second change is that our weekly news bulletins are going to change from bi-weekly to once weekly and the new day we have selected will be on a Thursday. Why a Thursday, you might ask? Because statistically, we have our maximum number of views on Thursdays. So it's simple.

We are decreasing the news bulletins as the next six month phase is about promoting the website into the most popular South African travel site. You can expect to see us on travel forums, magazine editorials, radio and maybe even on TV. We're working on it! Of course there is absolutely nothing stopping you from checking out our newest productions. A shortcut is to click on the menu button FIND A PASS without going onto any of the provinces. The passes will display in chronolgical order from newest to oldest, regardless of provinces. If you prefer our usual email prompt with a small selection of suggested passes, then it's your choice.

This week we have a humdinger for you to cyber drive - the Antoniesberg Pass. Never heard of it? Well, read on......

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Sometimes we should just look and say absolutely nothing, as the person in our cover photo appears to be doing.

Whilst the northern hemisphere folk are enjoying their summer, it's brrrr.... time in South Africa. That doesn't stop us from travelling of course, and this week we bring you a few samples of South African passes that you might and might not know.  Our extended foray into Mpumalanga is drawing to a close wth over 40 passes produced in that province alone - and we have uncovered a number of great drives there. Today we visit the Masjiennek and Hilltop passes as well as a little known pass in the Garden Route.

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The first serious cold front swept over South Africa this weekend, with the Western Cape taking the brunt of it. There were decent snowfalls on the mountains around Ceres, the Cederberg and as far east as Swellendam. That meant a complete revision of our filming itinerary and the video capturing of two big Karoo passes with lovely snow covered mountains in the background. We should have those two produced and online in about 10 days time.

Today, we visit a major historical pass dating back to the 1800's as well as a little known pass on the Garden Route where we can discover the settler roots of Barrington. We finish off our trio with a small gravel pass near beautiful Greyton.

In less developed countries motor vehicles are made to work hard and earn their keep - as our cover photo shows!

We bring you another historical road this week north of Knysna in the Southern Cape as well as a quick jaunt up to the Northern Cape for a very interesting 4x4 drive through the Namaqua National Park and then we finish up in the lowveld near Barberton's historical gold fields.

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Brrrr! Winter has arrived in the Western Cape. That spells good news for trips into the countryside and new mountain passes to discover. We have an absolute gem for you this week - the historic Attequaskloof Ox-wagon route. A road that was the N1 for wagon traffic between the coast and the Karoo for 180 years. The history is captivating and the 23 km long pass had to filmed in three videos to give you the complete picture. Unfortunately it can only be driven in a 4x4 as you will see in the video. It will give you a new appreciation of how tough life was in the 1800's. Our cover photo by Zane Erasmus shows the middel section. The little cottage in the photo can be hired from Cape Nature when you book for the 3 day hiking trail in the kloof. It doesn't get more picturesque or isolated than this.

We then do a U-turn and head all the way to Mpumalanga to discover a tough gravel pass high up in the mountains - The Shiyalongubo Pass (the pronunciation takes a little practice!) and we finish off our weekly trio with the much more gentle Skaapwagters Pass on the R539.

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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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