Indwe Poort

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

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsIndwe Poort

Where? +/- 12km outside Indwe, R396, Karoo Heartland. Eastern Cape

Overnight? Accommodation in Indwe, in Eastern Cape

Indwe lies between the Eastern Cape towns of Dordrecht and Elliot, on the R56. It is a tiny town with little going for it other than a beautiful, small Reformed Church.

It is named after the river that flows on its eastern perimeter, Indwe, meaning blue crane in Xhosa - this area was once home to great numbers of these birds. The riverís course has, over the years, forged a steep sided poort through the mountains south of town, and the R396 follows the river until it intersects with the R410. This passage through the mountains, alongside the river, is known as Indwe Poort.

The R396 leaves town in a south easterly direction with only occasional sightings of the river until about halfway along, when it begins to gently follow alongside the course of the river.

It is not a difficult drive. Only the odd sharp corner distracts one from a gentle passage down the R396. However, one needs to be constantly vigilant as cattle, goats and sheep wander indiscriminately across the road and feed on its verges. Although the road is regularly graded, it can be corrugated, which makes for a bumpy ride.

The poort proper begins about 10 km south of Indwe. The dirt road is a pretty one, the mountains and hills off in the near distance and farm orchards and fields on either side. Roughly 3 km in, after an almost 70 degree bend in the road, the R396 comes alongside the Indwe river.

This portion of the drive is best taken slowly as there are further bends as you approach Ceyana, a smattering of houses that make up a village to your right. The road comes even closer to the river after the village and the scenery becomes really pretty.

Not long after this the poort heads through the mountains proper and youíll catch glimpses of the river on your left. Ahead of you the next valley begins to open out and another village, Morase, marks the end of the poort.

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