Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsWildeperdehoek Pass
Where? Between Springbok and Hondeklip Bay in the Northern Cape
'Wild horse corner' Pass is best known for its incredible descent onto the flats of Namaqualand - one of very few grassy areas in the arid, dry Northern Cape known as the Namaqua flatlands.
Almost inextricably linked to Messelpad Pass (the two are part of the 'Copper Route' between Springbok and Hondeklip Bay) Wildeperdehoek Pass is usually travelled from the north via Messelpad. The pass also forms part of the Caracal Eco Route starting at Skilpad and Namaqua National Park.
Wildeperdehoek is not a long pass. In all it is just under 5 km, and some of it is in such poor condition that you cannot drive it in anything other than a 4x4 vehicle. Together with Messelpad Pass it forms the passage over the mountains between Springbok and the coast, the two passes travelled as one.
The highlight of Wildeperdehoek is its descent. From the pass one can see as far as the coast and at the bottom of the pass the landscape alters and becomes grassland.
Like its counterpart, Messelpad Pass, Wildeperdehoek Pass was built by the engineer Patrick Fletcher and a team of prisoners from Cape Town. Stationed at the base of the Buffels River valley in a building, the ruins of which still exist, they built the passes in the late 1860s. The master dry-stone walls have been likened to the work of Thomas Bain and, in similar vein, they remain standing today as testimony to first-rate workmanship.
At the summit of Wildeperdehoek Pass are incredible views out over the Namaqua National Park. Once the descent has begun there is a choice of roads – one to Koingnaas and the other to Soebatsfontein, alive with orange gazania, red pelargonium and yellow grielum during the spring season.
The road to Soebatsfontein and Wallekraal is one of the most popular flower routes, travelling past a series of flower farms – Grootvlei, Skilpad, Bokskraal, Horees and Baksteenhoek.