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Nuwekloof Pass                   
 
Background

There were four different passes used through the centuries to access the Tulbagh Valley or the Roodezand as it was known.

tulbagh 2.jpgEach of these passes were known as the Roodezand Pass in their time but in fact they were differently named.

The Oudekloof Pass was the first, discovered by Pieter Potter, who was sent in search of cattle to barter from the Khoisan. He discovered the Pass through the Obiqua Mountains, but had no luck in finding cattle.

The Nieuwekloof Pass was an alternate route discovered out of necessity as the Oudekloof Pass had become difficult to navigate. This route had no steep section like the other and by the 1760s superceded the original pass.

To avoid confusion, the old pass was known as the Oude Roodezand Pass and this one as the Nieuwe Roodezand Pass.

In 1805, the area known as Roodezand was renamed Tulbagh. After this the Nieuwekloof was referred to as the Tulbagh Kloof.

Thomas Bain inspected the kloof in 1855 and recommended a route on the western side along the left bank of of the Klein Berg River. The pass was built in 1859 and 1860. The Tulbagh Kloof Pass carried traffic for over a hundred years.

By this time the current formation of the pass could not handle the volume of traffic. Engineering had certainly improved enormously in those 100 years and a new route along the inside bank of the river was formed. This involved a bridge and rock cutting.

The Nuwekloof Pass was opened in 1968.

The old road is still visible from the new road. Stop and take in some of the early history of this pass.

 
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