Abel Erasmus-pas

Your Scenic Gateway to the Lowveld

The Abel Erasmus Pass forms part of the R36 which links the two towns of Ohrigstad and Tzaneen . The pass also links Mpumalanga’s spectacular Blyde River Canyon (Molatse Canyon) with popular Limpopo Game Reserves.

Distance 10km
Gradient average 1:20
Gradient maximum 1:11
Summit 1011m
Surface Tar

This is a major Pass with a big altitude variance with no less than 26 curves and bends, but drivers need just pay mind to the speed limits and there shouldn’t be any issues. The Pass is well worth the drive simply for the views of the Drakensberg Mountains and the Blyde River Canyon, which is the third largest canyon on earth.

The Abel Erasmus pass is 10km long and is an extraordinary feat of engineering that takes you through a 133 metres Tunnel where you also have the opportunity to view an unusual tufa waterfall. Tufa waterfalls are formed when the water running over dolomites rocks absorbs the calcium and deposits rock formations behind as layers of tufa on the surface of the waterfall. This process takes millions of years and this particular waterfall is the tallest of its kind in Africa! It is also known as the Milk Falls.

The Abel Erasmus Pass was opened on the 8th May 1959 and named after the local farmer of the same name who owned the nearby farm Graskop . He was the peacekeeper in the Lowveld and the naming of the Pass was a thoughtful way in which in which to honour his efforts in the community.

Things to do and see

  • J.G. Strijdom Tunnel
  • Kadishi Tufa Waterfall
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Olifants River Viewpoint
  • Drakensberg Mountain Range
  • Curios, Arts & Crafts at Tunnel Stop


There is no charge to travel along the pass and it is recommended to travel during daylight hours.

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