Kowyns Pass is on the R533, between Graskop and Bushbuckridge. It was completed in October 1959 and named after a local Sotho chief, Koveni, who controlled the land along the track.

In the 1890's the need for a more effective route to Pilgrims Rest for necessities became an urgent matter. Nearly every mountain pass in South Africa follows the line of an earlier game trail and Kowyns Pass was no exception. Almost single handed, Max Carl Gustav Leibnitz turned the existing animal track along the escarpment into the first 'Kowyns Pass'. The present one is the third and was completed in 1957 at a gradient of one in fourteen with one in three in some places.

Distance 7,81km
Gradient average 1:15
Gradient maximum 1:4
Summit 1479m
Surface Tar

The Pass starts outside Graskop at an altitude of 1450 m and winds down into Bushbuckridge which is 500 m lower.

At the top of the pass Leibnitz built a tollgate and Inn and even though Leibnitz did not have a liquor license, his business flourished and many humorous tales of this illicit drinking place have become legend in the Lowveld.

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Kowyns Pass
Address: Thaba Chweu Rural
MpumalangaSouth Africa
24° 57′ 42.707″ S, 30° 52′ 33.161″ E

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