Latest News! 20th September, 2018

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Gannaga Pass Gannaga Pass - Photo: Trygve Roberts

News 24 / Traveller 24

MPSA is in the media again. This time on News 24. Here's the link:


Tankwa Tour - a huge success!

Our 2018 Tankwa Tour has just been completed and as usual we prefer to publish the perspective of a tour participant which is published here verbatim: 

"Have you ever wanted to try new adventures, visit those off the beaten track places, but thought that it was not possible, well we discovered over the last weekend that with the right organisation, leadership and caring it can be done, with ease. 

My husband and I were part of a group tour which spent the last weekend driving on some of those roads less travelled through the Tankwa Karoo, which is in the Northern Cape.  This was an absolute adventure from start to finish, with the added bonus of the most spectacular wild flower display which was totally unexpected. 

I must add that we have a little Suzuki Jimny which our grandchildren call the “Noddy Car”, for those who don’t know what it is, it is a small 4x4 vehicle with low range capability, which we did not have to use at all, but in comparison to the other 4x4’s on the trip, it was tiny, so don’t let the size of your vehicle stop you from having the adventure of a life time. One can imagine our trepidation when we set off!  Would it be able to cope with whatever was coming our way?  The answer is yes, it did, so don’t let your fears of the unknown put you off if you are looking for the chance of a life time to explore the great unknown plains of South Africa. [More lower down...]

Our host, Trygve Roberts, who owns the Mountain Passes South Africa group, led a well oiled, superbly run tour over 21 mountain passes in and around the Tankwa Karoo National Park, some of which were in the park itself.  This took place over three days and each day we were briefed as to where we were going and also what to expect on our journey, with all  our accommodation and meals being booked by Trygve beforehand,  we had  to do no preparation for the trip ourselves  other than to make sure our vehicles were in tip top condition. We spent 3 days in awe of the vast and beautiful scenery of this virtually untouched land and with everything being so well organised we were able to just enjoy it without any stress of things going wrong.  This is always a possibility I might add, but we knew right from the onset we were in excellent hands should that happen.  Trygve kept us all informed of the history behind every pass and area that we travelled through, as we were each supplied with a two way radio for the trip.  This proved to be extremely informative and at times highly amusing with quite a few anecdotes coming from the other drivers too, all of whom we hope to meet up with again in the future, as they have become friends. 

I  could go on and on about our wonderful time, but, would strongly advise that you look at the website “Mountain passes of South Africa”,  start planning your trip and join a tour if you possibly can, you won’t regret if for a single minute." ~ Joe and Zena Becker, Cape Town.

Our featured pass of the week, has to be one of the Tankwa Tour passes. Most of these have now been refilmed in 1080HD with the latest stabilised GoPro6, but of course it will take us several weeks to rebuild all 21 videos. In the mean-time enjoy this 2013 wide angled footage shot after a cold wet midwinter spell. Each day this week, we are posting scheduled posts on our Face Book page every 2 hours or so, forming a photo essay of our Tankwa Tour, which we felt would be more enjoyable than a long written report. So if you haven't been following our FaceBook page, hop onto it and scroll back to see all the photos and comments

Listen on the radio

Each Monday we do a 10 minute live radio interview on mountain passes and this week's talk revolved around a summary of the Tankwa Tour.

You can listen to the recorded podcast.

"Ride the Dragon Tour" ~ next up....

With the success of the Eureka City and Tankwa tours, Mike Leicester (who runs our Jhb office) has planned a trip along the Drakensberg coming up in October. It will be featured tomorrow (Friday) on our FaceBook page. He only has space for 5 vehicles, so if you fancy "Riding the Dragon", then book your spot right away. The tour is open to 4WD vehicles and adventure motorcycles.

3 days, 4 provinces, 26 passes! Join the MPSA crew on an amazing adventure as we traverse the rugged Drakensberg escarpment on a rollercoaster trip up and down South Africa’s most iconic mountain range. Test your driving skills, take in the spectacular scenery, visit out-of-the-way places, and learn about the history and culture of the Voortrekkers that pioneered these routes and the devastating wars that shaped our future. 

The trip will take place from Friday 12 October to Sunday 14 October. You will need a 4x4 with low range that is fitted with all-terrain tyres. Everything else will be organised for you, including accommodation and eating arrangements, and you will be accompanied throughout the tour by a national guide, 4x4 instructor and mountain passes expert. All expenses (fuel, tolls, accommodation, food etc.) will be for your own account, and in addition a guiding fee of R2190 per vehicle will apply. Book per email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Pass of the week: 


* * * * *   G A N N A G A   P A S S   * * * * *


New passes added this week:

Mbashe River Pass - A big gravel pass in the old Transkei - a tough one in wet weather!

Nungi Pass - A steep gravel pass in the north eastern part of the E/Cape.

Trygve Roberts


Thought for the day: "Only I can change my life. No-one can do it for me" ~ Carol Burnett 

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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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