Bipin Prag is an amateur photographer. He went alone into Die Hel after being let down by two travel companions. With the keen eye of a photographer, and having seen all the usual photos of the Elands Pass, he thought a photo taken under moonlit conditions could work well. That all changed when a huge electrical storm charged in from the west, and suddenly he was trapped on the pass with nothing better to do than to take a photo. A passing 4x4 provided the perfect catalyst, as he set his camera up for an ultra long exposure of 15 minutes. The result was a stunning photograph of the whole pass illuminated eerily - almost appearing as an electrical charge coming up the pass from the distant lightning bolt. We predict this photo will become THE iconic photo of the Elands Pass.
Central Northern Cape
In our never ending quest to film every pass in South Africa, there are a number of filming trips scheduled over the next few weeks. Your Cape Town based filming crew have recently acquired a Suzuki Jimny for its short haul trips as an able and competent alternative to the big Toyota Land Cruiser and also as a way to cut back on fuel costs. Keep a look out for us on the back roads as the branded Jimny starts making a public appearance. Residents in Nieuwoudtville, Garies, Calvinia, Fraserburg, Sutherland and Williston should keep a look out for our camera vehicle between the 26th April and 1st May - we will be filming in your area. Give us a toot and stop and say hello!
Groot Zuikerboschkop Pass
Our featured pass of the week is a tricky, high-altitude gravel pass a few kilometres north-east of Dullstroom with lots of stones, deep ruts and steep inclines. It offers lovely scenery and challenging driving, with the road reaching a maximum altitude of 2102m ASL. At 12,5 km it's much longer than the national average and although the average gradient is a pleasant 1:28 the steepest section occurs at the 6 km mark which has gradients as steep as 1:6.
This fairly rough pass is not really suitable for vehicles lacking ground clearance, but for those who are willing to get some dust on their cars, this is something different to the usual fare. The pass summit lies at 2102m ASL and offers fantastic escarpment scenery, fresh water angling, hiking, horse riding, 4x4 routes, Anglo-Boer War history and wonderful country hospitality.
As is our practise, we keep the featured pass of the week open for 2 days to allow non-subscribers to experience the full value of the website.
***** GROOT ZUIKERBOSCHKOP PASS *****
New passes added this week:
Nougaspoort (Western Cape) - a beautifully scenic gravel poort, packed with fascinating geology - south of Touwsrivier.
Upgraded videos added this week:
Wienandsnek (Eastern Cape) - an easy gravel pass near Bedford offering solitude and great mountain scenery.
Helspoort (Eastern Cape) - a scenic tarred pass between Grahamstown and Bedford.
Thought for the day: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time" - Thomas Edison.