The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Long Tom Pass

Afrikaans name: Long Tompas

Long Tom Cannon

A replica of a Long Tom Cannon can be seen on the Long Tom Pass

Photo © dpreezg - Adobe Stock


The Long Tom Pass gets its name from the 'Long Tom' cannon which is officially known as the 155 mm Creusot Long Tom. The Boers purchased four of these French made cannons and used them against the English in the Anglo-Boer war.

The cannons were used in many locations around the country, but their last shots were fired in the vicinity of the Long Tom pass. A replica of a Long Tom cannon can be seen at a point on the pass known as the Devil's Knuckles. This spot is 21 km from Sabie.

The pass runs between Lydenburg and Sabie in Mpumalanga. The highest point of the Long Tom Pass is at an altitude of 2,150 metres.

The drive through the pass is an easy and scenic one. Drivers should take note that this road can be busy and is often covered in mist. The pass was originally used by wagons transporting goods from the coast in Mozambique to the town of Lydenburg. In those days sections of the pass were treacherous and not all wagons made it to their destination. Other hazards along the way included animals such as lions.

There are numerous activities one can do in the vicinity of the pass with trout fishing being one of them.

References and further reading

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 126

Things ewe never knewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Published: 2015 - Page: 132

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 32

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 331

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 252

Road Tripping South Africa - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2014 - Page: 158

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 95

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 183

Getaway - Vol 27 No 04 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 16

go! - Issue 086 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 32

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 133

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 320


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