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Mountain

Awe-inspiring mountain roads to get you high on life

There’s something liberating about venturing gradual slopes that gives one an accessible, intimate feel. If the mountain calls some to move, it is surely those who revel in its beauty and who makes everyone envious for driving along its mountainous peaks.

For more incredible roads – from coastal to countryside, all the Best Roads pages are on this site. Tell us which one you’d like to drive on #SABestRoads

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Naude’s Nek (gravel)
 

Province: Eastern Cape

ADR: 3.7 :1

Road: Naude’s Nek (gravel)

In 1896, the Naudé brothers built a rough track across the mountains which is now the renowned Naude’s Nek. Using picks, shovels, and a horse cart they followed the age old animal trail across the mountain.

Naude’s Nek Pass is a long, slow scenic drive on twisting gravel roads, either from Maclear on the R396 or Mount Fletcher on the D8018, over the Drakensberg to the village of Rhodes. It is the second highest altitude, gravel road, publicly accessible pass in South Africa and is a much sought after personal trophy for pass ‘hunters’ to say: “I’ve driven it!”, Zig-zagging its way over the Southern Drakensberg, the pass is a long and slow drive with an average gradient of 1:16. Starting from the Rhodes side (Western side) the road follows the Bell River valley, passing some lovely farms, many of which offer B&B facilities. This is also trout fishing country. Just outside Rhodes you will pass the turnoff to Tiffendell, via the Carlisleshoeksruit Pass.  A great spot for photographers is where the Bell River curves through several U-shaped bends, whilst tumbling over small rapids. Some of the deeper pools make for excellent fishing spots.

length /km
76
bends
101
hairpin bends
24
fast straights
78
Accelerating %
9
cruising %
73
braking %
4
cornering %
14
length /km
76
Accelerating %
9
bends
101
cruising %
73
hairpin bends
24
braking %
4
fast straights
78
cornering %
14

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.

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Robber’s Pass
 

Province: Mpumalanga

ADR: 2.0:1

Road: Robber’s Pass

Robber’s Pass is situated in the Mpumalanga province, on the R533 between Ohrigstad and Pilgrim’s Rest. The road is the original road that the settlers travelled on with their ox wagons but today it is a modern tarred highway that winds through Kranskloof, Phelindaba and the Morgenzon Forestry station.

This long tarred pass offers diverse scenery through an area steeped in history and of course, stories of robbers of those who found gold in the area. The pass begins on the northern edge of Pilgrim’s Rest and leads in a north-westerly direction into the foothills of the mountains. The initial 5 km follows a series of hairpin bends, best driven slowly. The highest point of the pass is at about 13 km, after which you descend in slow curves onto the grassy plains of the Ohrigstad River. There is the famous Robbers Grave which can be visited near the pass at Pilgrim’s Rest – a village inextricably linked to the pioneering days of the discovery of gold.

length /km
7
bends
14
hairpin bends
5
fast straights
8
Accelerating %
13
cruising %
58
braking %
5
cornering %
24
length /km
7
Accelerating %
13
bends
14
cruising %
58
hairpin bends
5
braking %
5
fast straights
8
cornering %
24

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.

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Long Tom Pass
 

Province: Mpumalanga

ADR: 1.7:1

Road: Long Tom Pass

Long Tom Pass is situated in the Mpumalanga province, on the Regional Road R37 between Lydenburg and Sabie. At the top of the Long Tom Pass is a large silver cannon called The Long Tom. That was the British name for this Boer-operated field gun that fired a 38kg shell for 10km and was the bane of British generals and their brigades.

The Long Tom Pass was built between Lydenburg and Sabie as an alternative route for the waggoners of the 1800s to get through to the Mozambican port of Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) for trade. The exquisite Horseshoe Falls are found along the Sabie River in the Mpumalanga province. These falls are found 4kms off the Old Lydenburg Road, signposted on the left side. Another popular tourist attraction is the Mac Mac Falls, named for the feisty Scottish miners who panned for gold here in the 1870s gold rush.

length /km
26
bends
34
hairpin bends
10
fast straights
27
Accelerating %
6
cruising %
59
braking %
2
cornering %
33
length /km
26
Accelerating %
6
bends
34
cruising %
59
hairpin bends
10
braking %
2
fast straights
27
cornering %
33

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.