The Cogmanskloof Pass, also spelt Kogmanskloof, connects the towns of Ashton and Montagu. The pass is another Thomas Bain masterpiece and his superbly designed dry walling still stands in perfect tact today. Its entire 6.5 km stretches through a majestic landscape of towering contorted and twisted rock formations within a colourful pastoral patchwork, which delights the eye and invigorates the spirit.
The pass begins at an altitude of 183m above sea level and will take you between 7 - 10 minutes to drive, excluding stops for photographs or to scramble up to the top of Fort Sidney for lovely vistas over the poort. Take heed the accent and descent is steep with a bit of rock climbing and is not for the very young, the elderly or the feint hearted.
The original path through here followed the riverbed and was hued by the KhoiKhoi, who named the path after a chief or clan of the area known as Cogmans or Kogmans. This road was more than often flooded which made it virtually impassable.
There is a hued out tunnel, more like a ‘hole in the wall’ through the mountain called KalKoenkrantz, immediately after one passes the second of the three bridges over the Kingna River. The tunnel is a landmark that tells locals they are almost home again and visitors that Montagu is now ‘just around the corner’. This famous tunnel was 'dug' using dynamite and is 16m long with a 5m high roof. Initially the road had gone around Kalkoenkrantz, but to follow the river in this way had already proved fatal when in 1867 twelve people were swept away and lost their lives.
If you glance up, above the ‘hole in the wall’ just before entering the tunnel, you will see an Old English Fort balanced on the top. As it is constructed from the very same rocks as its surrounds, it is not very noticeable. It was built in 1899 by the English, during the Anglo Boer War and was declared a National Monument in 1999.
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