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Mountain Passes News

The MountainPassesSouthAfrica website hit a new record last week logging just under 30,000 views for the prior 4 week cycle. If you are not a subscriber yet, we invite you to become one. Advantages are that you  get the freshest news and new passes first - plus you have access to the route files (which makes finding passes on your GPS a very easy matter), plus you receive an email version of this e-newsletter, inviting you to read up on the latest passes. The subscription process is straight forward. Just click on the green REGISTER button in the right column of any page; complete the fields and the rest happens automatically.

Holidays provide opportunities to try out new destinations and what could be more fun then heading out into the country. We have reduced our news bulletins down to one per week, until mid-May, once life returns to normal. This week as usual, we explore some new destinations:

1. Remhoogte Pass - This fairly easy tarred pass lies on the R60 between Ashton and Swellendam and is the biggest of the trio of passes on this road.

2. Mpageni Pass - A big pass in Mpumalanga also known as the "Old Nelspruit-Kaapmuiden Road". It is long and steep with great views over the Crocodile River Poort. 

3. Nelshoogte Pass - Traverses the State Forests between Barberton and Badplaas and is over 12 km long. A beauty.

Travel light.


Trygve Roberts
Editor






Our cover picture this week features the amazing Atlantic Road in Norway. It looks like it's straight from a science fiction movie, but it is the real McCoy with some outstanding engineering involved -  and a reminder that winter is around the corner for the Southern Hemisphere and how fortunate and blessed we are to live in a country with such a mild climate.

Easter is history and probably for the first time in many years, it didn't rain in the Western Cape over the long weekend. The national death toll from road accidents at time of writing was in excess of 80 souls. We sincerely hope all our readers, followers and subscribers are excluded from that list. Now comes that tricky part where you have to get your mind back into a work routine. Of interest in the Western Cape, was the large number of families who decided to stay at home this Easter.
We have another interesting trio of passes on offer today from Limpopo to Swellendam.

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With Easter around the corner, it's time for holiday planning for many families. Why not stay off the main routes and take a little longer to get to your destination by travelling some of the slower and more scenic back roads. Use our Master Map (on the home page) to plan your journey and include some interesting passes along the way. This week we bounce around the corners of South Africa and take you from the Boland's Rooihoogte Pass on the R43 where there is a mountain and a farm named after the awesome ratel (honey badger), which is our feature photo this week - all the way to Mpumalanga's Montrose Falls and then to a road most of our readers have travelled but didn't know it's name or history - this being the Bakoondhoogte Pass on the R60 near Ashton in the Western Cape.

Kilo for kilo and inch for inch, there is no more ferocious and fearless animal than the ratel. With an almost impenetrably thick coat of hair, razor sharp 3 cm long front claws, a low centre of gravity, four leg drive, massive energy reserves, an impressive set of teeth and an attitude that makes a bull-terrier look wimpish - this is an animal you should never confront. Back away gently and let it eat the chickens.

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Every radio station, newspaper and a dedicated TV channel - it's Oscar in abundance. With all the negativity in the news headlines, we try to keep things on a positive note. The weather is unseasonally pleasant with 28 to 30 degree temperatures in the Western Cape. Add a rash of public holidays and it's a perfect recipe to discover your country. Our trio of passes range from the Mother City and a scenic road through the Schoemans Kloof Pass in Mpumalanga.

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Our weekend was spent capturing more great "off the beaten track" passes for you, but those will only be processed during the next 10 days. This week we have a look at three diverse passes starting with Constantia Nek in Cape Town, then zooming off to Mpumalanaga to drive the gravel Wonderkloof Pass. Then back to the Western Cape for a visit to the alpine like Elandskloof Pass near Villiersdorp.

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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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