Latest News! 15th June, 2017

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One of two waterfalls on the Koueveld Pass One of two waterfalls on the Koueveld Pass - Photo: Panoramio

The Garden Route fires....

The fires in the Garden Route are under control, but new fires have erupted in the Port Elizabeth area. The devastation in Knysna has to be seen to be believed. The human suffering and pain is beyond description. Mountain Passes South Africa have for some time had a filming trip planned into the Garden Route scheduled for 15th to 18th June. We are busy setting up a relief collection point, so we can help deliver as much relief stores as we can carry to the relevant authority in this official disaster zone, where more than 100 homes have been completely destroyed. The spirit of compassion and community has united the residents. We will try to obtain first hand information of the situation and report our findings next week on this page.

Meanwhile in the Cape Town area the super-storm that caused all the destruction, has dropped a fair amount of rain and snow as it swept over the Western Cape. Reports indicate that the Theewaterskloof Dam river feeder system is flowing strongly and the dam level has risen by one metre. It's a start in breaking the grip of the drought and this week there is rain forecast for 5 consecutive days. According to the authorities it will take three years of average winter rainfall to recover the dam levels to normal. Effectively this means Capetonians will remain under water restrictions for a long time to come.

Information filtering through indicate that repair work has commenced on the Swartberg Pass, which is good news for the town of Prince Albert, but the completion date remains at August 2018.

On Friday, 16th June, we are planning on re-filming the entire Gamkaskloof as well as the dizzying Elands Pass. We will be doing a one on one video interview with Annatjie Joubert, the last remaining original 'klower' at Die Hel, so the entire page will be revamped with multiple new videos on offer. Lots to look forward to!

Pass of the Week

Our featured pass this week lies on a quiet gravel road on the northern side of the Seweweekspoort and forms part of the border of the Towerkop Nature Reserve. This lovely gravel pass offers two waterfalls (in the winter season) and some stunning mountain views as it descends into the valley preceding the Witnekke Pass which lead to Laingsburg.


To get to the Koueveld Pass, you can approach either from the Laingsburg side or from the northern exit of the Seweweekspoort. We filmed this pass from the Seweweekspoort side in the descending mode, which offers the more dramatic views. Most people are so over-awed by the dramatic rock formations of the Seweweekspoort, that they barely notice the Koueveld Pass, but this lovely pass is worthy of being added to your 'to do' list.

The pass descends from east to west by 327m over 6 km and offers fabulous Cape Fold Mountain scenery as it drops down into a secluded valley which is intensively farmed. From the valley another two passes are traversed - the Witnekke and Rooinek passes.

The Koueveld Pass offers dramatic mountain scenery, two waterfalls and forms one of three lovely passes when approaching the Seweweekspoort from the western side. The route forms a beautiful alternative route when driving the Seweweekspoort from the western side. Make a point of stopping at the foot of the pass to admire the ostrich sculptures at the roadside which have been creatively sculpted from old car parts.


* * * * * KOUEVELD PASS * * * * *


This week marks the last of the new/upgraded passes and poorts which we filmed during our sojourn into the Northern Cape during April, 2017. The focus over the next four weeks will move to KZN and the Eastern Cape.

New passes added this week:

Kootjiestafel se Hoogte (P2323) - One of the better Northern Cape farm road passes which is followed by a 100m river crossing (featured on the pass page).

Soutpanspoort (R63) - One of the most unimpressive official passes we have ever filmed (Northern Cape). You have to see this one, to believe it.

Rooihoogte (P2327) - One of a trio of minor official passes in the heart of the Karoo between Fraserburg and Carnarvon.

Heuningneshoogte (P2326) - Another easy farm road, which has been classified as an official pass - about 70 km north-east of Fraserburg. It offers tricky navigation and the best part is simply 'getting there'!

Upgraded videos added this week:

Quaggasfontein Poort (P0568) - A small pass/poort displaying interesting geology south of Williston

Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: "Find yourself and be yourself: Remember, there is no one else on earth like you." Dale Carnegie 

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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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