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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Free State attractions


Grootvlei Pass

Afrikaans name: Grootvlei Pas

Beautiful view from Grootvlei Pass

Grootvlei Pass

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Grootvlei Pass connects towns such as Kamieskroon on the inland plateau with those along the coastal belt such as Hondeklipbaai.

The pass is very steep in parts but, even though it is a gravel road, it is normally passable by all vehicles.

The pass is around 4 km in length and during that time drops 277 metres. In parts the gradient is 1:5.

Grootvlei Pass view

Beautiful view from the pass

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

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Vanderkloof Dam

Afrikaans name: Vanderkloofdam

Vanderkloof Dam

Vanderkloof Dam

Photo © Johan van Zyl

The Vanderkloof Dam is the second largest in South Afica and boasts the highest dam wall which is 108 metres in height. It is stated that it is 100 km in length, with a surface area of 133 square kilometres, when full!

Construction of the dam finished in 1977 and it was initially called the P.K. le Roux dam. A village was built on the southern bank to house workers during the construction period and this has become the village of Vanderkloof which is a popular tourist destination today.

The principle river feeding the dam is the Orange River. It is also fed by the Berg River, Knapsak River, Paaiskloofspruit and others.

The dam offers visitors numerous activities including fishing, boating and other water sports. The Rolfontein Nature Reserve is located along its southern bank.

Vanderkloof Dam

Vanderkloof Dam

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 347

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Wildeperdehoek Pass

Afrikaans name: Wildeperdehoekpas

Wildeperdehoek Pass

On top of Wildeperdehoek Pass

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Wildeperdehoek Pass is a short mountain pass in the Northern Cape. The pass was built between 1867 and 1869 by convicts. The road engineer was Patrick Fletcher.

The pass is less than 5 km long and rises 306 metres when travelling from the west.

The pass provides views over Namaqualand which are particularly beautiful when the spring flowers are in bloom.

Care should be exercised when travelling over this pass as sections of it have been washed away in recent years and these may, or may not, have been repaired.

References and further reading

Wild Issue 36 - Author: - Year Published: 2016 - Page: 52

Wild Issue 43 - Author: - Year Published: 2018 - Page: 14

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