About Kraai River Pass

The Kraai River Pass is a tarred road through the mountains on the R58 linking Barkly East and Lady Grey, in the Eastern Cape Highlands.

Did you know? It is not a difficult pass to drive with easy, sweeping curves and bends, except if there is ice or snow on the road during winter, in which case it is best to drive a 4x4.

It is called the Kraai River Pass because it crosses the Kraai River (Crow River) - a fast-flowing harbinger of fish (rainbow trout, smallmouth yellowfish and brown trout). What few people know is that further upstream is a beautiful arched stone bridge, one of many historic stone arch bridges in hidden country locales around the Eastern Cape, and one of several in the area.

For bridge spotters: The Langkloof Bridge, over the Langkloof River just south of where it meets the Kraai River, lies close to Barkly East. The bridge, one of about 80 bridges built by the engineer Joseph Newey, is a stone arch bridge built over 100 years ago from locally quarried sandstone.

A railway bridge lies across the Kraai River close to the remains of the Old Tierkrans railway station. You can catch a glimpse of it from the road between Wartrail and New England. And from this same road, you can cross the beautiful stone Loch Bridge, an arched bridge near Lady Grey. Sauer Bridge lies about 10 km outside of Aliwal North on the road between Lady Grey and Aliwal North.

It is not surprising to find bridges over the river. Its serpentine bends through the landscape are particularly idiosyncratic.

To get there, drive the pass either from Lady Grey, or from Barkly East. Taking it from Lady Grey is particularly scenic and unusual as one approaches the pass from the summit, at 1793 metres above sea level, descending slowly around the generous curves of the road through the mountains.

Need to Know

WhereKraai River Pass is a tarred road on the R58 linking Barkly East and Lady Grey, Eastern Cape Highlands, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Barkly East Accommodation, Eastern Cape


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