There is a wondereful book for mountain pass fans called "The Romance of the Mountain Passes of the Cape". It was written by retired roads engineer and 'padmaker' Graham Ross and is now in it's 5th edition. It contains wonderful stories about South African history and the role the passes played in the development of our nation. I call Graham from time to time for guidance and technical advice. This week he sent me this lovely old black and white photo of his family on a camping excursion circa 1950, which shows the family car - an Austin A70 Station Wagon, with an Andy sailing dinghy on the roof and the trusty sloped roof Gypsey caravan in tow.
Today, Cape Town has had it's first taste of summer! At last!!!!
Researching the history of the Piekenierskloof Pass was almost as enjoyable as driving it. Only recently opened to traffic after a 2 year revamp, the commercial importance of this big pass on the main N7 route between Cape Town and Namibia cannot be underestimated. It started life as an elephant track over the neck in the mountains, then graduated slightly into a wagon route of extreme proportions, known as the Breakneck Pass.
The wild flowers are amongst the best in decades. We have just processed a little known pass East of Clanwilliam, called the Klipfonteinrant Pass. If you're in the mood to get into the spirit of sping, then this pass is a perfect destination where you are guaranteed to see more flowers than you can imagine. How to get there?
With school holidays and unseasonally cold weather in the Cape, many people will be heading off to see the snow at Ceres. We have some sage advice for you in terms of avoiding the traffic, choosing alternative routes and how to avoid being swept up in the Matroosberg hysteria.
Batten down the hatches. The winter of 2013 will be remembered for a long time in the Western Cape, with yet another severe storm, bringing icy temperatures and snow to the Cape. Friday's maximum temperature forecast is just 10C, whilst the Highveld is basking in 32C. Only in South Africa!
Bad weather also means it's time to get out into the country and experience nature at its raw best. If you own a 4x4 the country areas are your oyster. Why not head for the magnificent Cederberg, where you can find at least a dozen inspiring gravel road passes.
Our recommeded adventurers route is....
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.