About Bottleneck Pass

The Eastern Cape highlands at the tail of the Drakensberg chain of mountains, roughly between Lady Grey and Barkly East, are awash with spectacular gravel passes - eight of them part of what has become known as the 8 Passes Challenge - fourteen in total.

Did you know? Bottleneck Pass gets its name from the Bottelnekspruit, a little river that runs through the valley alongside the gravel road into which you take a right from the R58, some 18 km after the intersection with the R393.

One of these is the Bottleneck Pass, a short pass that cuts over a saddle to intersect with the Dr LAPA Munnik Pass, or Baster Voetslaan Pass.

It lies remotely – 25 km north of Elliot - in amongst the fantastical rock formations and the myriad mountains and hills that make this part of the Eastern Cape so incredibly beautiful.

The area is dominated by hulking mountains and vast, open skies. It is a space for adventure lovers, and outdoor fanatics in all guises. Even during summer the nights get chilly, and during the colder months all is a winter wonderland with snow on most of the mountain peaks.

This gravel pass is also steep. It snows regularly on Bottleneck during winter, usually between May and August, making any pass treacherous. Even without snow the traction on Bottleneck for vehicles is not particularly good.

To reach the pass from the town of Elliot take the R58 towards the Barkly Pass. Bottleneck Pass is not an entity on its own. To reach it you need first to ascend Barkly Pass, after which there is an intersection with the R393.

Once you reach Singleton farm you know you are at the foot of the Bottleneck Pass. A river crossing leads you to the start of the ascent, a beautiful climb to the summit where the Bottleneckspruit is again in evidence.

The views from the summit are superb.

Need to Know

WhereBottleneck Pass is a short pass that cuts over a saddle to intersect with the Dr LAPA Munnik Pass, or Baster Voetslaan Pass, Near Barkly East, Northern Ukhlamba, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Barkly East Accommodation, Eastern Cape


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