Col de Botha in Newcastle Rural, KwaZulu-Natal
Botha's Pass on the R34 connects the farming town of Memel in the Free State province with the KwaZulu-Natal province town of Newcastle. The summit of the pass is virtually on the border of the two provinces.
Starting at an altitude of 1574m, the pass summits at 1805m, taking you 231 meters up and producing a gradient of 1/21 over 5.25 km; which is moderate.
Botha's Pass Kontreiwinkel
At the foot of the pass is Botha's Pass Kontreiwinkel, a quaint little country stall housed in the original Botha's Pass store built in 1906. Stop off for refreshments, home made jams and confectioneries, all prepared in the traditional way; nuts, dried fruit and biltong and a variety of baskets, mats, handicrafts and collectibles of all descriptions. Plenty of off road parking makes it a pleasant stop over en-route.
Botha's Hill (after which the pass was named) was captured by General Buller on 8 June 1900 during the Anglo-Boer War with an army of 24 000 men against the Boer's army of 2 500 men and thus opened the route for the British advance into the Orange Free State. The Boers avoided being slaughtered by fleeing the scene. Remains of trenches dug by the Boers are still visible.
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