Barkerís Nek Pass

Landmarks / Mountain Passes in or near Indwe, Karoo Heartland in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsBarkerís Nek Pass

Where? On the R396 just northeast of Indwe in the Karoo Heartland, Eastern Cape

Overnight? Stay in Indwe, in Eastern Cape

Barkerís Nek is a beautiful high altitude gravel pass on the R396 just northeast of the little Eastern Cape town of Indwe.

Today Indwe is subdued, merely driven through by visitors to the region. But back in 1876 it was almost selected by the bishop of Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth as the place to build a Trappist monastery, in similar vein to Mariannhill just outside Durban. Today only a little stone church, that is all but abandoned, draws any attention in Indwe.

To reach Barkerís Pass from Indwe leave town briefly on the tarred R56 before taking a left onto the R396, and roughly 9 km later, as you cross a little stream with the aid of a shallow concrete bridge, one begins to climb the pass.

Barkerís Nek is one of numerous passes in the area. From here one can access Otto du Plessis, Greylings, Heuningneskloof, Kraai River, Bottelnek, Baster Voetslaan and Barkly passes - most of them wonderful gravel roads, a couple of them tarred.

The pass is a constant series of twists and turns, as is the way of mountain passes, but none of them is an excessive hairpin bend and the road is manageable, except during winters when it can snow on the pass and become more than a little dangerous. A 4x4 is then requisite as this is a remote part of the world and recovery will take time to reach you.

The pass is not busy and it is doubtful that you will even meet traffic in either direction, which gives one the opportunity to drink in the scenery, of which there is much that is beautiful - particularly the expansive views out over the valley floor below. One does need to watch oneís speed, however. This is a sedate drive, as most mountain passes are, particularly given the high number of steep drops without the benefit of guard rails.

As one ascends the nek so the mountain views open out. Up here is sheep farming country, with pastures on either side of the nek.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in Karoo Heartland

Baviaanskloof Lodge

Guest House in Patensie

Baviaanskloof Lodge

Baviaanskloof Lodge offers comfortable accommodation in Baviaanskloof. All rooms are offered on a dinner, bed & ... more

Sanctuary Guest & Adventure Farm

Self Catering in Cradock

Sanctuary Guest & Adventure Farm

Sanctuary Guest & Adventure Farm is located on the Great Fish River bank. There are shared braai facilities, tea / ... more

Garden Cottage

Self Catering in Graaff Reinet

Garden Cottage

The Garden Cottage can be found on a quiet street in Graaff Reinet just a street away from the shops, museums and ... more


Please let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies. Click here to send us feedback if this is your attraction.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © 1999-2018. All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap