About Tlaeng Pass

The Tlaeng Pass lies over the South African border in Lesotho - the highest road pass in Southern Africa, and Africa's highest drivable pass. The summit of Tlaeng Pass lies 3251 metres above sea level, a desolate landscape known as the Roof of Africa. From up here mountains look like mere hillocks, the clouds close enough for it to be heaven.

Did you know? Tlaeng lies south of the Moteng Pass, if you access it from Fouriesburg in the Free State.

At the altitude of Tlaeng Pass there are virtually no trees; they probably would not grow here even if planted, for the weather is extreme and the air thin enough to warrant taking shorter breaths.

Instead rocks and tufts of grass grow here, with the odd bush agreeable to the climate. And there are waterfalls where the Motetsi River rushes to meet the ground thousands of metres below.

Despite the dramatic appeal of this pass as the highest in the land, and the accompanying excitement one would expect from the drive up this pass, it is disappointing.

Most of the adventure, the elation of driving the curves and bends of a pass, occur on Moteng, which lies at 2820 metres. With Moteng as your yardstick, Tlaeng tends to pale; the heights already scaled; the few metres more not much of an accomplishment.

You can also reach Tlaeng from the other side of Lesotho, entering via the Ramatseliso border post 50 km north east of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape. Follow the route via Sehlabathebe National Park, Mashai, Thaba-Tseka, Katse Dam and Lejone. The entire route is a series of twists and turns as it follows one mountain pass after another.

It is a far longer route, however, and the roads are not all navigable.

Need to Know

WhereTlaeng Pass, One accesses the pass from Fouriesburg in the Free State, 106 km away.

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Fouriesburg Accommodation, Free State


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