Latest News! 5th January, 2017

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On top of the world! On top of the world! - Photo: Mike Leicester

We wish all of our readers a wonderful, healthy 2017 filled with travel and adventure and a sense of rediscovering this beautiful country we live in. With many of you still on holiday, the roads will be busy as families begin the exodus back to their homes. Drive defensively and rest often. The annual road death carnage in South Africa during holiday periods is a blight on our copybook.

In our final news release of 2016 we spoke of our FaceBook successes (amongst other things). On Thursday, 29th December, we posted a photo of the Sani Pass taken from an unusual angle. That post absolutely smashed any previous achievements we were crowing about by more than 150%. It was viewed by just under 160,000 people and amassed 1700 Likes and 180 comments. The post only contained one short sentence. We never know what to expect when we do our FaceBook posts, but that one was an education of note.

With the Sani Pass remaining in the news this week, one of its impressive records is about to take a tumble - As of the 1st January, 2017 it is no longer the highest pass in South Africa. That honour now goes to a new pass which reaches 3001m at its summit and it is our featured pass this week.

You've all heard of Ben Nevis in Scotland. Our new record breaking pass is called the Ben MacDhui Pass (after a similarly named peak in Scotland) and it's located in the southern Drakensberg right on the RSA/Lesotho border. This is high altitude mountain country, or as the locals call it "Wild Mountain Country". The Scottish settler influence is evident in many of the names. Ben MacDhui is the tallest mountain in the entire Cape at 3001m and is revered by the local Xhosa people who call it "Makholo" which translates into 'The Great Mother'.

It's a place of very steep slopes, green grassy hills, tumbing waterfalls, Alpine flowers and it's also where South Africans flock to in winter, to try their hand at snow skiing. Getting to the pass is something of an adventure and involves traversing several major passes, not least of which is the incredibly steep Carlisleshoekspruit Pass that connects the little village of Rhodes with the Tiffindell Ski Resort. And this is where the Ben MacDhui Pass starts at an altitude of 2567m. And that number is something very few other passes in SA even summit at! You will need a 4x4 with high clearance and low range to complete this pass.

Take the link click through provided below and enjoy this wonderful new pass via a 5 part video set. The pass will form one of the 10 passes in our upcoming Ben 10 Eco Challenge. Here's the perfect opportunity to decide if you are willing to tackle it.

***** BEN MACDHUI PASS *****

New passes added this week:
Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse (TTT)

Upgraded videos added this week:
Barkly Pass (R56)


Trygve Roberts
Editor

Thought for the day: "Short & sweet - Happy New Year!" 

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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.
 

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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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