Van Reenen's Pass

Driving the paved Van Reenen's Pass in South Africa

Van Reenen's Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.777m (5,830ft) above the sea level, located in the northeastern part of South Africa. This pass produces a fair portion of South Africa’s trucking accidents.

In which province is Van Reenens pass?

Set high in the Drakensberg mountains, the pass is located on the border of the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called N3. It’s the main route from Durban to Johannesburg.

How long is the Van Reenen's Pass?

The pass is 52.3 km (32.49 miles) long running from Harrismith (in the Free State province) to Sand River Valley (in Kwa Zulu-Natal province). The steepest sections of the road are around 1:20. Traffic is heavy, and trucks use the pass unceasingly.

Is Van Reenen's pass closed?

Access to the pass is typically open all year round, with the occasional closure in winters due to dangerous weather conditions. When bad weather arrives, things can get nasty with heavy snowfalls occurring during the winter cycle. The pass will be temporarily closed to traffic at times. The often wet, misty weather conditions have given this pass the reputation of being perilously slippery, with decreased visibility.

Why is it called Van Reenen's pass?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 40 and 50 minutes. The pass, named after Frans van Reenen, provides beautiful scenery as it descends to Ladysmith. The first road through the pass was planned in 1856.



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