KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsMuller's Pass
Where? 33km from Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Known as one of the 'gates of the frontier' Muller's Pass - together with Botha's Pass - leads down into the northern corner of KwaZulu-Natal from the highlands of the Free State with its undulating green slopes in the Drakensberg richly endowed with grasslands.
Back in the days of the Anglo-Boer War (1899) the Boers made sure that at each of these 'gates' (which included Charlestown road, Wool's Drift and De Jager's Drift), they had a column of men waiting – a strategic advantage, which more than matched the British' tactical favour. They may have lacked a perfectly-executed plan, but their perseverance and numbers often gave them the upperhand.
Muller's Pass lies between Memel and Newcastle. It is a gravel road, one of a few on these gentler slopes of the Drakensberg. People describe this part of KZN as 'wide open country' with dramatic and incredibly hilly views. It's where you imagine the song 'green are the hills of Natal' originated.
The countryside is largely unspoilt. There are no telephone poles to mar your view and photo moments are aplenty. One seldom sees buildings and it is highly unusual to encounter another human being, let alone a vehicle.
The pass starts on the KZN side not far from the Chelmsford Nature Reserve. Not long after you pass the reserve, you have the choice of one of two passes – Normandien and Muller's (the one is north west, the other south west). This part of KZN is scattered with similar dirt roads, many of them in fairly good condition, that give you hours of travelling pleasure. Although you are probably better off in a 4x4.
On the pass are two waterfalls – the Incandu Falls and the Tweespruit Falls – best viewed after rains. Visit Moorfield Nature Reserve, just off the pass, for incredible views of the surrounding hills, hikes and a descent into the kloof of the Ncandu River.