South Africa
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Messelpad Pass is one of two Passes along the 104 km gravel road between Springbok and Hondeklip Bay in the Northern Cape. The two Passes, the other being the Wildeperdehoek Pass, are geographically linked and therefore driven as one.

Distance 16.8 km
Gradient average 1:44
Gradient maximum 1:7
Summit 720 m
Surface Gravel / Dirt Track

Messelpad is a historical gravel road built between 1867 and 1869. It is a long road, almost 17 km’s, and probably best suited to 4WD vehicles because of the corrugation, washouts and potholes however, if using a non 4WD vehicle you must at least make sure it has good ground clearance. and

The Pass is exceptionally beautiful to drive due to its dramatic scenery with towering sandstone cliffs and the almost always dry bed of the Buffels River accompanying you most of the way. In Springtime, the wildflowers are sensational, and the locals regard the Pass as one of the best places to see flowers during the season.

Messelpad was built due to the Copper boom, it took six days to transport from Okiep to Hondeklip Bay, and the Pass was built as a result. Its name, when translated from Afrikaans means “masonry road”, named so after the stone embankments that form the support for the road and built under the supervision of engineer Patrick Fletcher.

The Pass is approximately 32 km’s from Springbok, just beyond the Luiskraal Farm, where the road then follows and crosses over to the other side of the Buffels River before joining the Wildeperdehoek Pass.

Thing to do and see

  • Wildeperdehoek Pass
  • Scenic Photo Opportunities
  • Fletcher Barracks Ruins
  • Namaqualand Spring Flowers (In Season)
  • Old Pass Roads


Free to Drive

Best during daylight hours

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