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Discover your wild side driving through SA's King of Passes

Get off-the-beaten-track in the Eastern Cape and explore the R396 to Naude’s Nek Pass. This convoluted pass intersects the escarpment approximately where the Maloti, Drakensberg and Wattenberg mountains meet. As one of the highest and well known dirt roads for adventurists, the king of the passes is high on South Africa’s Best Roads favorites list. 
There’s something liberating about venturing the gradual slopes of Naude’s Nek. If adventure is the name of your game, then there is no better way to forget the crowds and get lost in all the adrenaline that comes with it. 
Not only is the road long and sweeping, a drive on this Avis Driving Ratio(ADR) rated road presents some of the tightest and sharpest bends encountered on any gravel road, locally. Opening up on 76 kilometers of mega pass and a summit of about 2.920 meters above sea level, Naude’s Nek has the most magnificent views imaginable. 
Driving this road is an adventure of note, where you get to experience the best of the Eastern Cape’s scenery while making your way through quaint little towns such as the vibrant Smithfiled and the tragic town of Barkly East. From Barkley East, all you have ahead of you is sand all the way to a little town called Rhodes. 
Due to the nature and conditions of this road, Avis advises conquering it with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Even in the most rugged of 4X4, the road presents something of a challenge, particularly in bad weather conditions which makes the road slippery and at times impassable.
There is no reason to delay booking your ultimate road trip on South Africa’s Best Roads to Drive. 
Explore South Africa’s Best Roads to Drive on www.avisbestroads.co.za.

Naudes Nek

In 1896, the Naudé brothers built a rough track across the mountains which is now the renowned Naude’s Nek. Using picks, shovels, and a horse cart they followed the age old animal trail across the mountain.

Naude’s Nek Pass is a long, slow scenic drive on twisting gravel roads, either from Maclear on the R396 or Mount Fletcher on the D8018, over the Drakensberg to the village of Rhodes. It is the second highest altitude, gravel road, publicly accessible pass in South Africa and is a much sought after personal trophy for pass ‘hunters’ to say: “I’ve driven it!”, Zig-zagging its way over the Southern Drakensberg, the pass is a long and slow drive with an average gradient of 1:16. Starting from the Rhodes side (Western side) the road follows the Bell River valley, passing some lovely farms, many of which offer B&B facilities. This is also trout fishing country. Just outside Rhodes you will pass the turnoff to Tiffendell, via the Carlisleshoeksruit Pass.  A great spot for photographers is where the Bell River curves through several U-shaped bends, whilst tumbling over small rapids. Some of the deeper pools make for excellent fishing spots.