About Messelpad Pass

Messelpad Pass lies on the 104 km gravel road between Springbok and Hondeklip Bay in the Northern Cape, one of two passes through the Tigerkloof. These passes (the other is Wildeperdehoek Pass) are geographically linked and thus driven as one (you can't do the one without the other).

Whilst Messelpad is not much to write home about in terms of ascent (it does not reach great altitudes), it is exceptionally beautiful to drive for its dramatic scenery; accompanying the almost always dry bed of the Buffels River for much of its route, alongside imposing sandstone cliffs and, in spring, wild flowers that are nothing short of sensational (locals regard the pass as one of the best places to see flowers during the season).

To reach Messelpad Pass leave the N7 south of Springbok travelling in a westerly direction (following signs to Hondeklip Bay). The road is rough and best suited to 4X4 vehicles because of the corrugation, washouts and potholes.

Messelpad dates back to the late 1860s during the copper boom, when copper was the Cape's second biggest export. Discovered in Okiep, copper needed transport to the harbour at Hondeklip Bay. Incredibly this took six days by ox wagon (bearing in mind that the wagon and its wooden wheels had to engineer two passes through the mountain).

Messelpad was built as a result. The name of the pass, when translated from Afrikaans, means 'masonry road' - called such after the carefully engineered stone embankments that form the support for the road as it descends into the Buffels River valley.

Interestingly, around the time that the convict crew responsible for building Messelpad, under the direction of road engineer Patrick Fletcher, began additional work on Wildpaardehoek Pass (early 1871) the harbour was moved to Port Nolloth.

Messelpad Pass starts roughly 32 km from Springbok just beyond Luiskraal farm. The road follows the course of the Buffels River, crossing to the opposite bank over a little concrete bridge.

A climb follows before the road makes a sudden turn, levelling off to follow the natural mountain contours at an even altitude. One further ravine later and it begins following a tributary of the Buffels River before ending.

Only a few kilometres later the Wildeperdehoek Pass follows.

Need to Know

WhereMesselpad Pass, Nearest town is Springbok, 35 km away, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Springbok Accommodation, Northern Cape

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Springbok

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Messelpad Pass

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Northern Cape Accommodation / Namaqualand Accommodation / Springbok Accommodation

Springbok as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Dates

When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Springbok property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.