Latest News! 7th January, 2016

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Saddleback Mountains near Barberton Saddleback Mountains near Barberton - Photo: Anonymous

First things first. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

From our team in Cape Town and our team in Johannesburg, we wish all our readers, followers and viewers a fantastic 2016. May your travels be safe and your lives filled with the kind of adventure you seek; whether it be from the safety of a cyber drive on this website or the real thing on a wild mountain track in a 4x4.

Our first news release of the year sees us moving out of Thomas Bain territory for a while as we head way up north into the warm and humid climate of the 'Slowveld'. We probe around some ancient mountains said to be amongst the oldest in the world. We will unleash the determined talents of Tom Mc Glachlan, August Robert and Graham Barber who were amongst the first entrepeneurs and prospectors circa 1881 to discover the wealth of gold in the Barberton area. The town was named after Graham Hoare Barber. We dig into the details of the fabulous Sheba Gold Mine which is the richest gold mine in the world and has been in operation for over a 100 years and is still in production.

More importantly, this particular part of the Lowveld is peppered with mountain passes and we were hard pressed choosing a worthy recipient for our featured pass this week. Our Jhb based team headed up by Mike Leicester recently filmed several beautiful passes, one of which we have on offer today.

[To access the links to the pass page, click on the title, the photo or the green READ MORE button]

Nestled in the high mountains south of Barberton a winding tarred pass on the R40 connects Barberton with the border post at Bulembu in Swaziland. This fairly long pass contains 38 bends of which some are extremely sharp and it gains a solid 609m in alltitude placing it in the upper echelons of our "height gained" statistics on our EXTREME PASSES page.

The road engineers have provided many safe and attractive laybyes and the pass features excellent tourist signage explaining the different geological features along its 10 km length.

We recommend this pass for its multi-faceted features of stunning scenery, beautifully banked corners, extraordinary rock formations and deep rooted history. Watch out for slow moving, heavy logging trucks on the pass both ascending and descending. The pass eventually morphes into the Bulembu Pass closer to the Swaziland border.

The very name of this pass conjures up images of tough, weather beaten gold prospectors and dogs called "Jock". Go get it!


Trygve Roberts

Thought for the day: It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. - Elinor Smith

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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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