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In the Media

SWARTBERG CLASSIC TOUR 2021

Overview

This is no doubt our most successful tour ever. This morning we bade farewell to 22 new converts into the MPSA family with friendships bonded in dust and tears of elation and happiness.

There were a number of firsts on this tour:

The first Renault Duster

The first GWM bakkie

The first Subaru Forester

The first M/Benz ML

The first broken arm

The first pulled leg muscle

Day 0 - Meet & Greet - Sunday 10th October at the Rotterdam Boutique Hotel

Our rendezvous point was at the unique Rotterdam Boutique Hotel, just outside the village of Buffejagsrivier, itself about 8 km east of Swellendam. There is plenty of fascinating history in this area, which we will examine shortly.

The Rotterdam farm is a working dairy farm set in verdant fields, with the Langeberg Mountains standing sentinel to the north. The property is immaculate.

Entrance gate of the Rotterdam farm / Photo: MPSA

From the moment you turn in at the elegant gate, one gets the impression of laid back order. Four energetic Border Collies and two friendly Rotweillers greet one at reception, demanding some affection before the formalities of checking in are dealt with.

The homestead consists of the original and very old farm building (De Oudehuis) where the reception, kitchen, dining room and bar is located. The height of the doors is lower than normal as was typical of buildings from the 1700 and 1800's when the population was shorter.

The Fraser-Jones Suites / Photo: MPSA

A little to the east is the elegant Fraser-Jones Suites. It's a double storey building with olde-worlde charm oozing out of every nook and cranny. The rooms are enormous; bigger than the average small house in South Africa and appointed to 4 star quality.

Our visit coincided with load shedding. This caused some issues with flushing toilets and water pressure, but at least we were forewarned by Andy to be showered, abluted and in bed by 10 pm before the power went off.

Approximately 100 km from Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape lies the incredibly beautiful and equally challenging Gamkaskloof Mountain Pass. Trygve Roberts from Mountain Passes South Africa continues his journey, this time travelling from one of the arduous mini passes, Doornkloof, to the beautiful Elands Pass.

The Doornkloof mini pass contains the deepest and longest water crossing, which has been the undoing of many non-4WD vehicles attempting this pass over the years. This section of the road traverses the farms Doornkloof and Waterkloof, and includes Botesnek, another small pass.

pdfRead the full article: The Gamkaskloof journey continues...

- Adventure Afrika July/August 2021 edition 

This month, Trygve Robert from Mountain Passes South continues his journey on the famous Gamkaskloof, approximately 100 km from Oudtshoorn.

Following the gorgeous rock pool shortly after the Paarde Vley section, the road rises from the 11th km mark over a small neck and then begins descending once again down a narrower section of the kloof (just over 1 km wide). Immediately to your left (south), you will get a good view of the towering Kariegasberg with a summit of 2 053 m.

pdfRead the full article: The road to Die Hel continues...

- Adventure Afrika Issue 8 2021 edition 

The famous Gamkaskloof, approximately 100 km from Oudtshoorn, is one of the most iconic gravel roads in South Africa, holding almost pilgrimage status amongst gravel-road devotees. As we advise travellers not to take this impressive pass on in a single drive, Trygve Roberts from Mountain Passes South Africa will talk about Gamkaskloof over the next two editions.

Gamkaskloof is surrounded by the Swartberg Nature Reserve and winds through 37 km of rugged mountain scenery, culminating in the vertigo-rush, single-width Elands Pass. It ends in the Gamkaskloof – reminiscent of a lush oasis and paradoxically nicknamed Die Hel (The Hell).

pdfRead the full article: Gamkaskloof... Heaven or hell?

- Adventure Afrika May/June 2021 edition 

In our previous edition, Trygve Roberts from Mountain Passes South Africa explored the first part of South Africa's longest pass and marvelled at Thomas Bain's engineering prowess. This month he explores further, travelling from De Vlugt southwards to Knysna.

As the Langkloof opens up into the Keurbooms River valley, you will pass several points of interest before crossing the Keurbooms River over a low level concrete causeway.

pdfRead the full article: The Prince Alfred journey continues

- Adventure Afrika Apr/May 2021 edition 

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