Latest News! 14th April, 2014

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The Ratel The Ratel - Photo: Wikipedia

With Easter around the corner, it's time for holiday planning for many families. Why not stay off the main routes and take a little longer to get to your destination by travelling some of the slower and more scenic back roads. Use our Master Map (on the home page) to plan your journey and include some interesting passes along the way. This week we bounce around the corners of South Africa and take you from the Boland's Rooihoogte Pass on the R43 where there is a mountain and a farm named after the awesome ratel (honey badger), which is our feature photo this week - all the way to Mpumalanga's Montrose Falls and then to a road most of our readers have travelled but didn't know it's name or history - this being the Bakoondhoogte Pass on the R60 near Ashton in the Western Cape.

Kilo for kilo and inch for inch, there is no more ferocious and fearless animal than the ratel. With an almost impenetrably thick coat of hair, razor sharp 3 cm long front claws, a low centre of gravity, four leg drive, massive energy reserves, an impressive set of teeth and an attitude that makes a bull-terrier look wimpish - this is an animal you should never confront. Back away gently and let it eat the chickens.

[Expand this page to access the links to the passes by clicking on the photo, the title or the READ MORE button]


1. Rooihoogte Pass - an easy pass (other than a single hairpin) on the R43 between Villiersdorp and Worcester offering beautiful vistas of mountains, orchards and lakes.

2. Montrose Pass - another relatively easy pass on the N4 tarred route through Mpumalanga where the main attraction is the Montrose waterfall in pure timber country.

3. Bakoondhoogte Pass - a fairly stiff climb followed by one of the longest descents in the Western Cape of 14,4 km. It is on the tarred R60 between Ashton and Swellendam and offers fabulous scenery of the Langeberg and surrounds.

Whatever your routing optons are, drive defensively and stay alive.

Trygve Roberts

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

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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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