Otto Du Plessis Pass

Whilst still on the tar road between Lady Grey and the Clifford turn-off it is possible to see part of the unique railway linking Barkly East with Lady Grey

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Otto Du Plessis Pass

Whilst still on the tar road between Lady Grey and the Clifford turn-off it is possible to see part of the unique railway linking Barkly East with Lady Grey to the northwest.

Where? Between Ida and Clifford, Eastern Cape

When? Best during daylight hours

How much? Free

Overnight? See Barkly East accommodation, in Eastern Cape

Owing to the mountainous terrain, a system of eight ‘reverses’ was incorporated into the line, which has a gradient of 1 in 36, one of only two such systems in the world. The Class 19D steam locomotive that stands in Barkly East’s square is a reminder of the early days of rail transport.

From the Clifford turn-off the road ascents steadily through farmland until reaching the summit of the Otto Du Plessis pass. This point has panoramic views from the top of the Drakensberg escarpment over the Tsomo valley.

It is reputed that on a clear day it is possible to see the Indian Ocean. This may be a dubious claim, but there is no doubt at all that the vistas are far reaching and spectacular.

As the Otto du Plessis pass descends to Ida it winds through sandstone gorges, forests, farmlands and across rivers in a breathtaking mountain wilderness. This variety of habitat means that Otto Du Plessis is one of the best birding passes in the area, so keep your eyes open for mountain ‘specials’ that include Drakensberg Rock-jumpers, Ground Woodpeckers and a variety of siskins.

Popular Activities in or near Otto Du Plessis Pass

Hike in Wild Mountain Country


If the hike up the slopes doesn’t take your breath away, then the views at the top will. Gaze down on gorges, valleys, streams, buck and wild flowers, revel in the freedom and enjoy the silence. Quench your thirst from the crystal clear...

More info and contact details: Hike in Wild Mountain Country

Horse Riding


The Southern Drakensberg mountains between Barkly East and Rhodes offer fantastic views and exhilarating riding including mountain ascents and faster trails through the valleys for experienced riders. It doesn’t matter if you have never ridden...

More info and contact details: Horse Riding in Wild Mountain Country

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