South Africa
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Tintwa Pass is a gravel road that passes through the Drakensburg, linking Bergville with Swinburne, Harrismith and Van Reenan. The Pass is along the S1101 and runs in tandem with the Middledale Pass, forming one long Pass separated only by a small plateau.

Distance 6 km
Gradient average 1:36
Gradient maximum 1:5
Summit 578 m
Surface Gravel / Dirt Track

This is a safe pass for most vehicles, except in wet weather, however the Pass can be more demanding than would first appear due to the many rises and falls along its length.

If you approach from the south, leave the N3 at the Bergville signpost and travel through the small town of Geluksburg before travelling up the Middleburg Pass. To approach from the north, turn off the N3 at Swinburne, bypass the petrol stop and continue straight on for 700 metres and turn left onto a gravel road which will lead you to the S1101. After 650 metres you will arrive at the northern starting point of the Pass.

Tintwa Pass begins at a crossing of a small stream and ascends quickly to the summit, just 600 metres in. From here there are wonderful views of the sandstone mountain, which will remain in view right until the end. The descent is fairly steep as you cross over the Sandspruit and then after the bridge the road surface is extremely corrugated as you ascend once more to the false summit.  The next descent is also fairly steep with curves and bends so slow it down a little and enjoy the drive.

Both the Tintwa and Middledale Passes cover some incredibly scenic beauty and the road is in fairly good condition. Some dangers are apparent though, including farm and game animals, possible snow in winter, and the thick mists which plague this area, particularly in the early morning.

Thing to do and see

  • Middledale Pass
  • Farm Animals
  • Drakensberg Mountain Views
  • Sandspruit Pass, nearby


Free to Drive

Best during daylight hours

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