The French missionaries were a tough and resourceful bunch in the 1700 & 1800's. Some failed and went back to France, but a few stuck things out in this water scarce, mountainous region at a small (and often unreliable) natural spring, where they set out to bring Catholicism to the local San people. They called the spot Pella. Two of these missionaries, with no building skills and armed only with a photograph of a similar church in France, set about building a cathedral no less, in the dusty little village using their bare hands, local products and cement carted in by ox-wagon. The result is truly astounding and has been there for 150 plus years.
The statistics for this pass are not particularly impressive, as it is only 2.9 km long and has a height gain/loss of only 103 metres. But dry statistics don’t always paint the right picture. This stunningly beautiful pass is absolutely worth the time and effort it takes to get there, and will leave a lasting impression on your soul. The “road” is little more than a track, and has a few tricky sections with large rocks, sharp stones and patches of very soft sand, so do not tackle this pass if you are not driving a 4x4 fitted with all-terrain tyres. If you attempt this pass on an adventure motorcycle, be prepared to fix a puncture or two and/or to pick up your bike a few times!
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.
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.