Latest News! 9th April, 2015

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Multiple tight switchbacks are a feature of the pass Multiple tight switchbacks are a feature of the pass - Photo: Photo: Trygve Roberts

We try to keep things positive at MPSA, but the Easter road death toll is one of the worst in our history. The authorities are blaming the No.1 cause on alcohol consumption, with the rest being of a lesser nature, but they have nontheless, mentioned a disregard for the rules of the road as being close to the top of the culprit list - add reckless overtaking, ignoring barrier lines, invalid drivers licenses, exceeding the speed limits and of course unroadworthy vehicles. Just as we think the nation is taking a step forward, it seems we take two backwards. To those of you who managed to return safely from your journeys, welcome home!

On to more pleasant things...... This week (which we rarely do), we're taking you off-road on a 4x4 route on a private game reserve in the Central Karoo. The owners graciously allowed us to traverse their land and film the pass leading to the mountain plateau. Cyber drive with us as we take you to a quiet place, where you can see the curvature of the earth and where the eagles soar the high ridges.....

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

Our featured this pass this week is the short, steep and switchback peppered Bontebok Pass. It can be clearly seen by anyone travelling over the Molteno Pass, as it is located on the opposite side of the valley formed by the Gamka River. Nestled amongst the trees in the valley is the Ko-Ka Tsara bush camp, which is the base for exploring the 30,000 acres of private game reserve. The reserve abutts the Karoo National Park and although separated by game fences, the entire area forms one enormous game reserve. (We have provided the contact details - just click the blue hyperlink)

You can explore other, easier roads on the reserve in a normal sedan vehicle, but you will need a high clearance 4x4 to complete the Bontebok Pass. The views are breathtaking. At the summit, you'll be in a Karoo high altitude wonderland, where herds of Springbuck roam and game spotters will see lots of other game too - like giraffe and wildebeest. The reserve offers 20 species of game and 196 bird varieties. Take a drive over the plateau to explore the dramatic (and often empty) Gamka Dam and learn about Beaufort West's inventive plan to recycle water - or simply spend time relaxing in your chalet enjoying the utter peace of the Karoo where the riverine bush offers bird-watchers a multitude of attractions.

The feature this week is not a paid advertorial. We simply decided to feature it for what it has to offer the adventurous traveller.

Ko-Ka Tsara and its tracks are only open to paying guests.

Click on this link: BONTEBOK PASS

Trygve Roberts

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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.

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