Volstruispoort Pass

Mountain Passes in or near Vosburg, Upper Karoo in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsVolstruispoort Pass

Where? On the newly tarred R384, a regional road linking Carnarvon to Vosburg, Northern Cape

Overnight? Stay in Vosburg, in Northern Cape

The Volstruispoort Pass (Ostrich Pass) is on the newly tarred R384, a regional road linking Carnarvon to Vosburg in the Groot Karoo. It is one of two passes on the road through the Kareeberge. The other is the Kareebospoort Pass, closer to Carnarvon.

The Kareebospoort (named after the Karee bush and tree, an endemic to South Africa that is typical of the harsh climate of the Northern Cape) is less of a pass and more of a gentle rise that cuts through a hillside, roughly 18 km outside of Carnarvon, whilst the Volstruispoort Pass rises more noticeably, although its rise too is only about 29 metres.

The Volstruispoort Pass is named after the largest, flightless bird; not surprising given that they thrive in the very countryside through which the R384 passes. It would not be unusual to sight these birds from your window, if the farms on either side were ostrich farmers. This area is of the busiest farming centres in the region.

The Volstruispoort pass is not a major one, rising from the R384 to pass gently between two peaks, Gifkop to the left (if Carnarvon is behind you) and a smaller, unnamed peak to the right. The newly tarred road runs just east of the former gravel road, which bikers can still use if they prefer.

The pass, after moving between the two rises, curves slightly east and ends at a crossing of a small stream opposite the farm, Brandewynskuil.

Between the Kareespoort and Volstruispoort passes, on the R384 fairly close to the start of Volstruispoort Pass, you might catch sight of a neglected corbelled house. These fascinating buildings are a feature of this part of the Northern Cape, found only around the towns of Fraserburg, Carnarvon and Williston.

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