Latest News! 7th June, 2018

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Xuka River Canyon Xuka River Canyon - Photo: Micheal Denne


The minions have been messing around with our publishing dates, resulting in this news release being published two days too early. Apologies for that. We shall beat them about the head with a wet toothbrush. 

Passes and Canyons

This week we leave the lush forests of Mpumalanga behind and head off to the lofty peaks of the Eastern Cape Highlands, where we introduce you to a major tarred pass, which few people are even aware of as we explore one of the biggest canyons in South Africa - The Xuka River Canyon. (More lower down)


Listen on the Radio

For the past year we have had a regular slot on the radio station - Wild Coast FM 98,6. Each Monday at 3.30 in the afternoon we have a 10 minute interview on their 'Berg en Daal' show, where we chat about one of South Africa's passes and the fascinating stories that are interwoven into the building of these roads. (More lower down)


The Feminine Touch

The MPSA office in Cape Town is a frenetically busy place and as the popularity of the website keeps growing, we need to grow our administrative side of things to keep pace. As from 1st June, Lisa Roberts will be joining the MPSA team and taking charge of some of the social media side of things. She will be mainly involved with the subscription, marketing and developement side of things on the social media front, which is her field of expertise. (More lower down) 


Lisa's degree in fine art and knowledge of languages will soon be evident in how the MPSA brand will be presented via the various social media platforms as we explore another new field whilst forging ahead to sustain Mountain Passes South Africa as the best passes site in the world and a self sustaining website that operates in a manner which allows itself to grow and improve continually, whilst at the same time providing world class, accurate travel information which is passion driven, rather than profit driven - and allows almost everyone to access the information at an exceptionally low subscription fee.

Wild Coast FM

To listen to the weekly radio talks, those who are unable to pick up the broadcast signal, can simply download any one of a number of free Apps, like 'Simple Radio'. Once you've downloaded the App, scroll down to the search bar and type in Wild Coast FM. Tap the logo and the station will begin playing immediately on your phone. Tap again to switch it off.

For those who have iPhones, here is the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simple-radio-live-am-fm/id891132290?mt=8

Set a reminder: Every Monday at 3.30 pm.

If you're technically challenged, you can listen to the podcasts right here on the website a day or two later by using this link: https://mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/news/podcasts.html


Face Book Update

A big thank you to all those who follow and like our Face Book page, as we have just passed the 18,000 followers milestone. A lot of thought and creative effort goes into our daily posts - often exceeding the amount of man hours that go into the actual passes themselves. The page maintains its popularity showing steady growth since inception. If you have a good photo that we can use in our daily geo-quizzes, why not send it in to us (with a full description) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll put you on the map!


Xuka River Canyon

This powerful yet little known river has carved a big canyon out of the mountains above Engcobo in the Eastern Cape. The canyon is on average 500m deep, 4,5 km wide and 13 km long. Running along the spine of the mountain ridge to the west of the canyon is the tarred R58 route between Engcobo and Elliot and it is here that we take you for a cyber drive on the ominous sounding Satansnek - a winding, high altitude (1426m) pass of almost 17km in length providing glimpses of the canyon, whilst dodging cattle, potholes and badly parked cars. But it's worth it!

One day our stats experts can sift through the names and log how many passes in South Africa are named after the devil, a witch or some other evil force. No amount of research was able to reveal how this road acquired its name. Maybe the Tokoloshe runs around up there..... The irony is that the other pass that provides access to Engcobo is called the All Saints Pass.

Make a note of the gravel access road to the radio towers at 03.19 in the video, where you will get the ultimate views of the canyon from the summit, but you will probably need a 4x4.


* * * * *   S A T A N S N E K   * * * * *


Upgraded videos added this week:

Koffiehoogte Pass (R532) - This is the extension of the Long Tom Pass that forms the final drop down to Sabie where the early wagon drivers camped and took their coffee break in the 1800's.


Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind" ~ Dr. Seuss 

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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.

Master Orientation Map

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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