KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsMike's Pass
Where? The Pass heads up to the sandstone ridges of the Drakensberg escarpment from Didima Camp, Cathedral Peak
Mike's Pass is a demanding gravel 4X4 pass high in the mountains near Bergville. The reward for the drive, or ride (for this is also a popular MTB route) is the more than spectacular view, the fresh air, and snow in winter.
Mike's Pass heads up to the sandstone ridges of the Drakensberg escarpment from Didima Camp, Cathedral Peak. At the top are panoramic views of Cathedral Peak, Cathkin Peak and the Inner and Outer Horns.
Mike's Pass is well-signposted from Bergville, for those not staying in the reserve, and up until late 2014 anyone could drive the pass, provided you had a bakkie with diff-lock or a 4X4 (in wet weather only 4x4s manage the slippery terrain).
The pass is not difficult to drive, but it is extremely popular and dangerous when wet. Today only private vehicles are allowed on the pass and you will need to buy a ride on a reserve vehicle, that comes complete with a guide. The ride is not expensive, but it saves the pass from undue traffic.
Trips to the summit occur four times a day.
Though built by an Italian road engineer, the pass gets its name from the designer, Mike de Villiers, who was commissioned by the government to work out whether the cause of rivers running dry was attributable to exotic trees planted in the mountains (back then we knew little about the hazards of exotics).
After the drive, visit the Didima Rock Art Centre for an introduction to the rock art found in the caves and shelters of the Drakensberg. Research suggests that the Didima Valley was possibly one of the last places in the country where Mountain Bushmen lived.