About Barkly Pass

Barkly Pass is the only one of the eight passes in the Eastern Cape that is tarred. It is also the one you can expect to close around the beginning of winter when the first snowfalls begin, overnight as they tend to do, making the road that links Barkly East village and Elliot more than a little hazardous.

Did you know? Barkly Pass is the only tarred road on the 8 passes circuit, but is still not to be underestimated as it can be extremely slippery in wet or icy weather. The sandstone buttresses and rock formations are magnificent. See if you can spot the tortoise (or is it a snail?) at the top of the pass.

Despite its tarring it is also one of those passes that is one thing on the way down, and another thing on the way up, particularly if you are pulling a trailer or caravan. But the views will get you every time.

Mountains here have that typical rolled effect, as you pass by Loskop and Vaalkop, that one expects to find in the Transkei - green grass all the way to the summit and the crown a series of obelisk columns like giants perched on the edge of a hill.

Even with the tar it gets slippery up on the pass, but back when it was a gravel road, things were a lot more tricky. It is not only the scenery though that will warm the heart. This part of the Eastern Cape is the type of place where you can lose your wallet on assignment and have a couple of employees of Telkom phone you to give it back, money intact, as travel writer Chris Marais discovered on an assignment that took him over the Barkly Pass.

No, you might not need to take Barkly Pass en route to where it is you are going, but you might want to do a detour (particularly as it's tarred) to drink in the views and breathe in what it is to be alive in South Africa.

Need to Know

WhereBarkly Pass, R58 between Elliot and Barkly East, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Barkly East Accommodation, Eastern Cape


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Barkly East

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Barkly Pass

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Eastern Cape Accommodation / Eastern Cape Highlands Accommodation / Barkly East Accommodation

Barkly East as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Barkly East property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay

SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.