A discussion on the Stettynskloof Pass - an 18 km narrow gravel pass that leads to the Stettynskloof Dam in the mountains near Rawsonville, Western Cape.
Listen to the interview:
The Sandberg Pass takes its name from the Sandberg which the road skirts on its southern side. The road is tarred in good condition and is suitable for all vehicles. The pass forms part of a longer tarred road which connects the R43 (Villiersdorp & Worcester) near the Kwaggaskloof Dam with Robertson. This road gently approximates the course of the Breede River along its southern bank and provides a much quieter and more scenic alternative to the truck laden R60 to the north.
The Rooihoogte Pass is located on the R43 about midway between Villiersdorp and Worcester. It is not a major pass and other than the hairpin, is a relatively safe pass. The road has an altitude drop/gain of 198m over 9,28km producing an easy average gradient of 1:46, with the steep parts being at 1:8. This pass traverses prime agricultural land with lovely views of mountains, lakes, vineyards and orchards.
This little known, but none the less spectacular, 4x4 route in the Breede River Valley is found just outside the major Boland town of Worcester. (At the time of filming the owner indicated the farm was for sale, so the continued existence of this route might be in jeopardy.)
Note: This is a strictly 4x4 route.
Ed note: This trail has been officially closed: 1st December, 2015
This gently meandering tar road along the valley between the impressive Slanghoek Mountains and the smaller Badsberg mountain showcases a restfully pastoral landscape of vineyards and fruit farms. A wine-tasting tour at the popular wine farms is a must for wine connoisseurs - locals and tourists alike! The drive through the valley is a visual feast, but watch out for pedestrians, animals, cyclists and slow moving farm vehicles.
The Bain's Kloof Pass (R301) provided a more direct route from the town of Wellington to the more northern towns of Ceres and Worcester, in the Western Cape.
It is 26,8 km in length from the bridge over the Breede River to the outskirts of Wellington. Built circa 1849 by Andrew Geddes Bain, this pass was a tough nut to crack, working with convicts and raw, rough materials and methods. As always seemed to be the case with Bain, he oversaw a marvellous job of the pass which, having stood the test of time, is now a national monument.
The more dramatic, northern section of the pass roughly follows the course of the Witte River, a raging torrent during the wet winter season.
The old Du Toits Kloof Pass (officially designated as the R101) is 11km longer than the newer N1 route, and is certainly worth choosing over the new route if you're not in a hurry! Its grand, dramatic mountain views and elegantly constructed, tunnel whisks one back in time to an older, almost forgotten era -- when World War 2 impactfully changed the world with its bombs, genocide and bittersweet victories.
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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