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Latest News! 26th July, 2018

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Diepgezet Pass scenery Diepgezet Pass scenery - Photo: Mike Leicester

Featured pass of the week

This week we head off to the north-western corner of Mpumalanga into the that geological wonderland known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt, where the ancient mountains deliver the richest minerals as diverse as asbestos and gold. But it's is the amazing scenery that attracts the adventurous traveller to this beautiful part of South Africa, tucked into the Makonjwa Mountains forming the border between South Africa and Swaziland.

One of Mpumalanga's best kept secrets is the Songimvelo Nature Reserve which hosts waterfalls, forests, mountains and valleys with swift flowing rivers where the flora and fauna are as diverse as the minerals locked into the surrounding rocks. A winding gravel road descends from the R40 off the Bulembu Pass down towards Badplaas via an old ghost town known as the Msauli Village. [More lower down]


Koringberg to Rusty Gate

Many of our readers send us pass suggestions. We investigate each and every one of them and often ask that reader to join us on the filming expedition once we've decided to add their pass suggestion to our database. Over the past two weeks we have filmed the Koringberg Pass near Moorreesburg as well as a new pass between the Helderstroom Valley and Theewaterskloof Dam, which will both be featured over the next few weeks, so there's plenty to look forward to for those of you that enjoy these remote routes that we uncover. Both of these are highly recommended.

Diepgezet Valley

Msauli Asbestos Mine closed down in 2001 when the asbestos mining industry collapsed and left behind an entire deserted village complete with a school, clinic and a church. Nature is slowly reclaiming the gardens, whilst a few hardy residents remained behind trying to eke a living in this perfect little valley with the crystal clear Mtsoli River providing the life line of survival.

Today you can drive the Diepgezet Pass - a long and winding descent of 738m over 12,6 km with some of Mpumalanga's finest scenery on offer, ranging from open grassy hills, to dense indigenous forests. A few signs near the foot of the pass still proclaim the village as Msauli, but it's more commonly known as Diepgezet.

The pass is a well kept secret amongst the adventure biker groups and although we have known about this pass for some time already, it was only a month ago, that we finally got around (at our third attempt - the other two being thwarted by bad weather) to filming the pass on a clear sunny day. The good news is that you don't need a 4x4 to drive this pass, although it should be avoided in wet weather in a normal car.

We know your bucket is getting heavy and maybe the time has come to add a second bucket, and make this pass the first one to go into it! You will have no regrets!

 

* * * * *   D I E P G E Z E T    P A S S   * * * * *

 


Trygve Roberts
Editor

Thought for the day: "The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power" ~ Anonymous

 

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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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