Latest News! 3rd January, 2019

Written by 
Read 1000 times
The geology signs will keep you on track The geology signs will keep you on track - Photo: Pathfinda

Happy New Year!

It is  our great pleasure to wish each and every one of you a healthy, prosperous and adventure filled year ahead. We hope that MPSA will be part of your life during the year ahead and beyond. We have lots of wonderful new ideas and concepts for 2019 as we forge ahead with our plans to run the project on a full time basis. 

New Years Day pass filming

What better way of kickstarting 2019 with an early departure on a pass filming day on January 1st. With perfect filming weather in the Western Cape, the Cape Town crew headed north towards Citrusdal with the idea of refilming some of the passes in that area, and more specifically the trio of passes on the R303 - a long connecting road between Citrusdal and Ceres with a mix of tar and gravel and one of those roads offering incredibly beautiful scenery, but be warned, the road is on the rough side and if it weren't for the 4WD capability of the Suzuki Jimny, we might have had no footage at all.

So with Elandskloof, Middelberg and Buffelshoek passes under the belt, it left just one new pass to locate and film. The pass in question was the Piet Esterhuysen Pass, which is accessed off the R303, but it is one of those passes that falls under that awkward category of a partially deproclaimed road. As is the case with other roads in that category (Sanbona Wildlife Reserve springs immediately to mind) a certain amount of jumping through hoops is required before entry can be obtained. [More lower down]

Tower to Tower Tour

Saturday,12th January - Fully Booked. You can view past and future tours (when booking opens) at the MPSA Shop.

You can also subscribe (free) to receive Tour updates, which gives you first bite at the cherry.

Our next tour is being formulated as we speak and will probably be scheduled for last weekend of January. 

Fully and Partially Deproclaimed Roads

This is a subject all on its own, but the access to the Balies Gat campsite by necessity has to cross the Tandfontein farm - one of the many farms owned by the Du Toit group who practice their craft of highly professional farming from the Koue Bokkeveld all the way to the Langkloof in the Eastern Cape. A large notice board spells out the terms and conditions of entry - and there is no guarantee to right of entry either. The board states that they might refuse entry. A permanent guard is stationed at a set of booms with a small building. The sign states that your vehicle is privy to being searched, if deemed necessary. You are then required to complete your details on a form and sign it.

When a road has been partially deproclaimed, it means that the state still undertakes to maintain the road, but the person or company over whose land the road traverses, has certain additional rights which he may impose. These requirements are limited by statute and agreement with provincial authorities and are often controversial in how they are applied, with the public taking exception in having to comply with additional requirements. There are not that many partially deproclaimed roads in South Africa and they almost always get motorists hot under the collar. So if you want to drive across the Tandfontein farm, you need to comply. After about 4 km, it is a normal road again and the small white signs can be seen on the left of the road, showing the number - in this case OP8062.

For the record, when a road has been fully deproclaimed, full responsibility for the maintenance of such road, falls under the responsibility of the land owner and the state withdraws completely from any maintenance issues.

As soon as we have completed the page and the videos for this impressive gravel pass, we will be featuring it, with history going back to the mid 1800's, as our pass of the week. Make sure you don't miss this one.

This week's podcast

Listen to a chat on the highly successful Langeberg Conqueror Tour and some of the plans conjured up for 2019.

Pass of the Week

Our featured pass this week has been billed by several renowned travel writers as "The most beautiful mountain pass in South Africa". Make no mistake, that title stands to be fiercely defended by a large number of incredible passes all over our beautiful country - far too many to list here, but as they say: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

The acid test is to watch the videos and decide for yourself. At MPSA we are always a bit reserved about such claims and prefer leaving it up to YOU to decide which is your favourite pass. Take the link below and digest the stunning scenery of the Makhonjwa Mountains and the beaufully wooded hills and valleys between Barberton and Swaziland as we take you over 38 km of twists and turns of sheer mountain pass pleasure. Pull the bucket closer, this one is going to be added for sure.

* * * * *   B U L E M B U    P A S S    * * * * *

New passes added this week:

Bucklands Pass - A inverted profile pass of over 11 km in KZN with interesting scenery (Provisional video)

Braamnek - An easy tarred pass on the R61 near Engcobo (Provisional video)

Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: "Just because the past didn't turn out like you wanted it to, doesn't mean your future can't be better than you ever imagined" ~ Anonymous.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter with News and Updates from Mountain Passes South Africa

Subscribe to our Site

Subscribe for only R425 a year (or R325 for 6 months), and get full access to our website including the videos, the full text of all mountain passes articles, fact-file, interactive map, directions and route files.



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.

View Master Orientation Map...