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Barkly Pass – Elliot to Barkly East, Eastern Cape

Barkly Pass, Eastern Cape HighlandsBarkly Pass is the only tarred road on the 8 passes circuit, but is still not to be underestimated as it can be extremely slippery in wet or icy weather. The sand­stone buttresses and rock formations are magnificent. The area was originally inhabited by San Bushmen hunter-gatherers and is therefore home to many fine examples of well-preserved rock and cave paintings. Watch out for Skilpad Rock, an outcrop shaped like a tortoise, near the top of the pass.

Mountain Shadows Hotel at the top of Barkly Pass serves hearty country meals and their pub is a cosy refuge in winter. Intaba Lodge at the foot of Barkly Pass is famous for its Sunday lunches. 

There are no picnic spots provided on the pass and unfortunately there are few places where it is safe to pull over and enjoy the stunning views. In the valley below is Elliot, a small, country town serving the local farming community. The pass is only 13kms, but allow time to get to your destination.

From the top of the pass, you can take the route to Ugie via the challenging 4×4 Bastervoetpad Pass which offers up magnificent scenery with some adrenalin driving.

Barkly Pass Map, Eastern Cape Highlands

More info on the town of Barkly East More info on the N. Ukhahlamba area