Naudé's Nek Pass

Naudé's Nek lies in the southern end of the Drakensberg in the Eastern Cape, and connects the towns of Maclear and Rhodes

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Naudé's Nek Pass

Naudé's Nek lies in the southern end of the Drakensberg in the Eastern Cape, and connects the towns of Maclear and Rhodes. It is probably most well known as the highest dirt road in South Africa, with a summit of 2.920 metres.

Where? Connects the towns of Maclear and Rhodes, Eastern Cape

When? Best during daylight hours

How much? Free

Overnight? See Rhodes accommodation, in Eastern Cape

Naudé's Nek pass is also famous for its public telephone in the middle of nowhere. Even if it doesn't make a call, it serves as a great photo moment. The views from Naudes Nek pass, at no matter what time of year, are superb and worth the effort.

However, be warned. This is off-the-beaten-track kind of driving. Even in a 4X4 the road presents something of a challenge, particularly in winter when, because of its height, snowfalls are common and make the roads slippery. And the roads are not in good shape, although there are those who advocate that in an ordinary car with high clearance, you can manage the summit.

If you consider that the road's existence is thanks to the brothers Naudé, who in the late 1890s made it their task to find a way out of the isolated valley to reach cattle markets, with only a pick and shovel for help, its significance is rather awe-inspiring. Today there is a brass plaque at a picnic site just below the climb to the summit of the pass, that tells their story.

For all of the above reasons, Naudé's Nek Pass is regarded as the king of passes. It is full of hairpin bends, with a very good chance of mist. The Maclear side of the pass is particularly beaten and there are sharp stones that in an ordinary vehicle could prove rather daunting.

The approach from Rhodes is a lot more exiting, so try to do the pass from Rhodes to Maclear, and not the other way around.

Popular Activities in or near Naudé's Nek Pass

Woodcliffe Cave Trails

This 1 000 hectare cattle farm gives hikers direct access to the upper slopes of the southern Drakensberg. Any kind of hike is possible here. If you simply want a stroll, to do a series of slackpacker hikes using the farmhouse as your base...

More info and contact details: Woodcliffe Cave Trails

Flyfishing in Rhodes

Opportunities range from Lilliputian streams high up near the escarpment to the mighty Kraai River formed at the confluenc of the Sterkspruit and the Bell River at Moshesh's Ford. Wild rainbow trout and smallmouth yellowfish provide great...

More info and contact details: Flyfishing in Rhodes

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