Barkly Pass in Elliot & vicinity, Eastern Cape
Barkly Pass is located on the road between Barkly East and Elliot, in the high mountains of the Eastern Cape, and is the only one of eight passes in the Province that is tarred. Despite being tarred, it is still not to be underestimated as it can be extremely slippery in wet or icy weather. Barkly Pass is also subject to winter snow closures, often overnight, making the road more than a little hazardous.
At the top of the Pass, look out for the Mountain Shadow Hotel, a popular recommended stop to enjoy some country style hospitality. To the right of the entrance to the hotel, a gravel road leads off to the right, this is the R393 which leads to some of the Eastern Cape’s finest high altitude gravel passes which includes the rough and tough 4x4 only, Bastervoetpad Pass.
This major 10 km Pass has 25 bends, curves and corners which include one hairpin and one horseshoe bend and ice on the road, thick mountain mists and heavy rain, together with reckless overtaking and excessive speed is a recipe for disaster so be sure to stay well within the speed limit.
Unfortunately, there are few places where it is safe to pull over to enjoy the views, but the road does provide for a very scenic drive!
Thing to do and see
- Skilpad Rots (Tortoise Rock)
- Mountain Shadows Hotel
- Scenic Mountain Views
- Old Gravel Road Passes
- Snow Capped Mountains (in season)
Free to Drive
Best during daylight hours
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