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Off the beaten track

South Africa’s best adrenaline pumping roads to take you off the beaten track

If adventure is the name of your game, then there is no better way to forget the crowds and get lost in all the adrenaline that comes with it. There’s so much to see off the beaten track so why not take the road less travelled and discover a few hidden gems?

Agree with our list? What’s the best ‘off the beaten track’ road you’ve ever driven? Tell us with #SABestRoads

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Spektakel Pass
 

Province: Northern Cape

ADR: 5.1:1

Road: Spektakel Pass

Spektakel Pass is a mountain pass on the tarred R355 east of the Buffels River about 22km west of Springbok in the Namaqualand region of South Africa. Derived from the Afrikaans for ‘spectacle pass’. The name stems from an incident in which an oxwagon overturned and the female passengers fell head over heels in an undignified, rather embarrassing manner, causing a spectacle.

The Spektakel Pass is said to have been named by Simon van der Stel in the late 17th Century. Arriving at the top, he is said to have exclaimed something to the effect of “Wat een spektakel!” This view shows the impacts of development, with an abandoned copper mine and the dust from the gravel road. Surprisingly, there was also water in the Buffels River on this day.

length /km
13
bends
7
hairpin bends
2
fast straights
7
Accelerating %
2
cruising %
82
braking %
1
cornering %
16
length /km
13
Accelerating %
2
bends
7
cruising %
82
hairpin bends
2
braking %
1
fast straights
7
cornering %
16

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

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Sani Pass
 

Province: KwaZulu-Natal

ADR: 2.2:1

Road: Sani Pass

KwaZulu-Natal’s Sani Pass is located in the Western part of the province, on the road between Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal and Mokhotlong, Lesotho. It is considered one of the most spectacular mountain passes in South Africa, and a favourite for off-road enthusiasts. It’s accessed via 4×4, mountain bike, quad bike or motorcycle – or you can join legions of runners who tackle it on foot each year – if you’re up for the challenge!

The Sani Pass starts at 1544m and rises 1332 vertical meters to summit at 2876m. This altitude gain is almost 300 meters more than its nearest competitor – the Naude’s Nek Pass in the Eastern Cape. Originally a pack-animals trail and only opened to traffic in 1955, Sani Pass Peaking is also aptly referred to as the Roof of Africa. No surprise why as the pass peaks in at 2 873 metres above sea level.

length /km
5
bends
28
hairpin bends
14
fast straights
11
Accelerating %
36
cruising %
34
braking %
16
cornering %
14
length /km
5
Accelerating %
36
bends
28
cruising %
34
hairpin bends
14
braking %
16
fast straights
11
cornering %
14

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