KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsBezuidenhout's Pass
Where? A gravel pass between Harrismith and Bergville close to the Sterkfontein Dam.
This remote gravel pass lies in the mountainous region between Harrismith and Bergville on the border between the Free State and Kwazulu-Natal, not far east of the Sterkfontein Dam. As such Bezuidenhout's Pass is less of a drive and more of a 4x4 feat, and a great deal more difficult to drive than either Van Reenen's or Oliviershoek.
The landscape of the pass is breathtaking.
Because the pass is not on any major road or journey it is not easy to locate. Set your speedometer to zero as you leave Bergville on the R74 north, then head left briefly onto the R616. Just after crossing the Sandspruit River take a left onto a gravel road that skirts Bethany. This road continues to Geluksburg in a northly direction for a good 19 km, parallel with the R74 (you don't want to drive as far as Geluksburg, however).
After 21.4 km take a left onto a dirt road. This road takes you to the Bezuidenhout's Pass in a westerly direction alongside the Venterspruit. As the pass begins you pass Kwaggashoek Game Lodge, and the Ngcongcosi River begins to appear on your right. The condition of the road deteriorates quite noticeably around now.
After the lodge there is a fork in the road. Keep right to head up the pass. On the map the pass may not look particularly convoluted but because of the quality of the road surface, or lack thereof as in places it is merely boulders and sand, and the rapid ascent every s-bend and ridge is a feat.
But once up the steepest section of the pass the views of the Drakensberg are close to stupendous. The entire pass has magnificent views but one's concentration is is spent navigating the pass. It is best to take it slow and stop often.
The pass ends shortly after crossing Fraser's Spruit. You can either remain on the dirt road, turning right at the t-junction to connect to Harrismith. Or left at the t-junction to connect with the R74 and the Sterkfontein Dam.
Best time to travel the pass: summer months; winter it snows and there is ice on the pass making it dangerously slippery.
Make sure: to consult a map before driving the pass.