Latest News! 16th May, 2019

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The long and winding road through the Gamkaskloof - our destination this weekend. The long and winding road through the Gamkaskloof - our destination this weekend. - Photo: Marius Krijt

Today as you read this news release, we are heading up to the Witteberg Nature Reserve to spend the pre-tour evening with our good friend Frik Linde, where we will be having a Karoo style braai under the crisp clear stars. The next morning (Friday 17th) marks the start of our Great Swartberg Tour. Our rendezvous point is the Laingsburg Flood Museum where we will be attending a talk on the great flood of 1981.

Our routing takes us to a national heritage site - Buffelspoort. A 12 km long canyon with near vertical walls of 650m and from there on to the Seweekspoort and Bosluiskloof passes to keep the kudus company at our overnight lodge. The next day we tackle the Swartberg Pass and Gamkaskloof with an overnight stop and group dinner at Fonteinplaas in Die Hel. We have arranged for Annatjie Joubert - (the last true descendant land owner of the original klowers) - to chat to us about the astonishing history.

Our last day includes a visit to Prince Albert, Meiringspoort, and then over the Rooiberg Pass to our final overnight stop at the Rooiberg Lodge. This tour was fully booked in short order and based on its popularity, we will be repeating it in 2020 or even sooner. Watch our FaceBook page for daily updates. (More lower down...)

On the topic of tours, we have some updates:

1. JUNE: Thomas Bain Heritage Tour (3 days) - Starts in Wilderness and ends at Patensie and includes some of the best scenery in the Cape. There are still a few spaces open.  Click here for more details of the Thomas Bain Heritage Tour.

2. AUGUST: Namibia (7 days) - A big tour taking in some of the finest sights and destinations like Swakopmund, Aus, Fish River canyon and Sossusvlei. This tour is still in the concept stage, but we are taking advance bookings per email. Those on the list will get priority advantage when bookings open. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll send you an outline and pricing.

3. SEPTEMBER: Ben 10 Eco Challenge V2 Tour (4 days) - renowned for its scenery and technical driving, this tour is perfect for 4x4 drivers with 2 years experience or more. Click here for more details of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge V2 Tour.

4. SEPTEMBER: Lesotho-Sani Tour (3 days) -  Drive the highest passes in Africa and get to drive the Sani Pass before it gets tarred. Click here for more details of the Lesotho-Sani Tour.

PODCAST - A chat about the new Lesotho project and the planned tour to Namibia in August. CLICK TO LISTEN.

LESOTHO - As far back as 2015 we were approached by the Lesotho government to add their list of official passes to the MPSA website. To cut a long story short, that proposal lay dormant for several years as governments changed. With our Lesotho-Sani Tour coming up in September this year, we have decided to fast track the Lesotho chapter and add all their 31 passes as quickly as possible. You will find the menu tab under FIND A PASS just below WESTERN CAPE. Currently there are 2 passes already listed. The passes will have provisional videos, which we will replace as we get to film them over time.


Chapter 2 of the history of South Africa

San and Khoikhoi People

San People

Archaeological evidence shows that South Africa was part of a large region, including North and East Africa, in which modern humans first evolved and lived. Hundreds of thousands of generations of Stone Age hunter-gatherers populated the South African landscape for nearly two million years, yet for all of that time little is known of their names, languages, memories, beliefs, wars or alliances.

About 2,300 years ago, hunter-gatherers called the San acquired domestic stock in what is now modern-day Botswana. Their population grew and spread throughout the Western half of South Africa. They were the first pastoralists in the country, and called themselves the Khoikhoi (or Khoe), which means “men of men”. The Khoikhoi brought a new way of life to South Africa and to the San, who were hunter-gatherers as opposed to herders.

Rock art is evidence of the historical widespread distribution of the San people, as paintings and engravings can still be found in almost every district in South Africa. There is no comprehensive list of all of the sites and many have not been recorded, but it is estimated that there are at least 20,000 to 30,000 sites and more than one million individual images. Some of them are not well preserved, but collectively they represent a remarkable record of the beliefs and cultural practices of the people that created them. Eventual encroachment into their hunting areas by migrating black tribes and later by white settlers resulted in a protracted genocide, and the San were driven into remote and previously uninhabited regions of the country, or forcibly assimilated into other cultures.

The Khoikhoi were the first native people to come into contact with Dutch settlers in the mid-17th century. Unfortunately for them, land disputes and livestock theft resulted in a series of conflicts that largely destroyed their way of life, and diseases such as smallpox, brought into the country by visiting sailors and against which they had no natural resistance or indigenous medicines, decimated the population.

Ed note ~ We have created a special page under the main menu FIND A PASS called South African History. To go back and read any chapters you have missed, we will embed each chapter as they are published on that page for easy reference.

Pass of the Week

With the publishing of the Lesotho chapter on the MPSA website, we thought it fitting to feature one of the passes. The passes in Lesotho are in another league altogether as you will see when you review our featured pass this week.


* * * * *   M O T E N G   P A S S   * * * * *


New passes added this week:

Lekhalo La Baroa (Bushmen's Pass) - A big tarred pass on the A3 route in Lesotho between Maseru and Thaba Tseka.(Provisional video)

Caledonspoort - an attractive, but short drive between Fouriesburg and the Lesotho border


Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" ~ Donald Walsch  

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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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