The town of Maclear, named after Sir Thomas Maclear, official astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope from 1833 to 1879, lies beneath the cliffs of the Drakensburg on the crossroads of the R56 and R396 in the Eastern Cape.

It is a sheep farming district but cheese and other dairy products are also produced.

From Maclear a road climbs directly over the Drakensberg by means of the highest road pass in South Africa - Naudé's Nek. This pass reaches an altitude of 2 623m and is often blocked by snow in winter. Skiing is good on the high slopes.

Close to Maclear is an oddly shaped mountain known as Gatberg (mountain of the cave) so named because of a large hole directly through the centre of its peak.

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