About Colling's Pass

Colling's Pass (often called Collin's Pass) is one of several mountain passes in the mountains where KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State meet. This area is peppered with mountain passes: Verkykerskop, De Beers Pass, Colling's Pass, Normandien Pass, Muller's Pass. What this translates into is about 600 km of dirt road for bikers and the 4x4 community.

Did you know? The pass is subject to heavy snowfalls in winter and violent thunderstorms in summer, but generally-speaking is in a good condition.

Colling's Pass lies off the beaten track, on the border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal in the Drakensberg. It connects the farming community of Harrismith with Newcastle and Dundee. It lies high in the mountains making it vulnerable to extreme weather like snow in winter, and electric thunderstorms during the hotter months.

Were the pass tarred, using it during inclement weather would not be quite the task it is. All things considered an ordinary sedan is fine, if you do not mind the heat and the dust when the sun is shining, but you may consider an off-road vehicle at the first signs of a storm or snow. Ladysmith is the closest town. And it's a good 60 km away, depending where on the pass you find yourself.

That said, the altitude gain is nominal; only 163 metres. It is the snow that can turn the roads to ice. Then the pass becomes almost as slippery as Normandien Pass. But if you have a 4x4, why opt for the routine Van Reenen's Pass, when Colling's is such an adventurous (and arguably less dangerous) alternative.

From the summit, views of Spitskop and Carbutt's Kop are impressive. And the rolling green hills of the area give new meaning to 'green are the hills of Natal'.

There is also a geocache up here. Somewhere (under the long flat rock. It is difficult to get to). From Colling's Pass extends the Biggarsberg range of mountains. Years and years ago, during the South African War (Anglo Boer War), the Boer line of defence extended along this range.

Consequently Elandslaagte, just off the N11 near Nambiti, has several grave sites and memorials to the heroes on both sides of the war, and is on the Battle Route.

Need to Know

WhereColling's Pass, Ladysmith, Battlefields, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours

OvernightStay in Ladysmith Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


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