King of the Passes
The Pass lies at the southern end of the Drakensberg and is probably most well known as the highest dirt road in South Africa with a summit of 2 590 meters. It is often referred to as the “king of the passes”, full of hairpin bends and a very good chance of mist. During winter, due to its’ height, snowfall is common and the roads can be slippery. The drive is slow, but one of the most scenic trips in the country. Look out for the old public telephone in the middle of nowhere.
This area is also a popular trout fishing spot and from the Rhodes side, near where the Bell River curves are some deeper pools excellent for fishing. The area is also a photographers’ paradise,
The road to the summit is not in great shape, but the views are breathtaking and well worth the effort. Some tourists maintain that the road can be taken to the summit with an ordinary car with high clearance, but be warned, some with 4 x 4 vehicles have said it is a challenge. The approach from the Rhodes town side proves a little less daunting.
There is no charge to travel along the pass and it is recommended that visitors to the Pass travel during daylight hours. The full trip is approximately four and a half hours’, depending on weather.
Rhodes has rainfall in the summer months and can experience snowfall in the mountains during winter.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 10˚C and 23˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -1˚C and 16˚C.
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