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Olifantskop Pass, in English “Elephants Head”, is situated along the N10, carrying traffic between the towns of Paterson and Cookhouse. It is one of only three Passes in the country which references elephants – the others being Olifantspoort near Queenstown and Olifantsnek near Rustenburg.

Distance 9.8 km
Gradient average 1:47
Gradient maximum 1:10
Summit 729 m
Surface Tar

The road, being a major arterial national road, is in good condition however, it is considered one of the most dangerous Passes in the country for reasons such as rock falls, severe weather, steep gradients, multiple blind corners, trucks and last but not least, wild animals. There is always the potential of encountering a kudu in the road, especially at night. Game fencing does exist, but these large antelope are capable of clearing a 2-metre-high obstacle from a standing start, so this is unlikely to stop them – keep your wits about you, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Olifantskop Pass has also been described as one the most beautiful Passes in the country, so taking it slow and sticking to the speed limit is advisable for safety reasons, but also so you have the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent scenery. The Pass is neatly bookmarked by prominent signs from both directions and the summit is easily identifiable by a road leading to some telecommunication towers and by large laybys on either side of the road. Stop here for a break and to admire the incredible views over the river valley.

There are a total of 34 corners, curves and bends on the Pass, 15 on the northern side and 19 on the southern side. Take it slow, look out for the Baboons, sharp 90 degree bends and trucks and enjoy the ride!

Things to do and see

  • Acacia Trees & Aloes
  • Suurberg Mountain Range
  • Monkeys & Baboons
  • Scenic Valley Landscapes
  • View Points


Free to Drive, best during daylight hours only

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