Sani Pass Road Repairs
As those who use the Sani Pass on a regular basis will know, the road has suffered severe damage in the past year or so, so much so that, in the past, local tour operators and others concerned brought in stone/soil themselves to fill some of the wash-away just to keep it traversable.
At a meeting held in the afternoon of Monday 15th April, at the Underberg Inn between the SDCTO, local Tour Operators and the Dept of Transport consultants, Royal HaskoningDHV, the following information concerning Sani Pass was announced.
A few weeks ago the Department of Transport (DoT) contacted the Consultants for the Sani Pass Upgrade Project and requested them to investigate doing EMERGENCY REPAIRS at two (2) sections of the upper reaches of the Sani Pass. DoT was worried that these two road sections were threatened in the event of a big storm.
The Consultants investigated as request and per the recommendation, DoT has decided that emergency repair work will be carried out over the next five (5) weeks, aiming to be completed by the end of May 2013, work intended to start about next week, Monday 22nd April 2013.
Essentially this emergency repair work involves widening the road and inserting adequate drainage under the road to divert water accordingly on the sections targeted. This will involve controlled blasting and clearing each day, ensuring that the road remains open most of the time.
It will however mean that the sections being worked on will be closed at times for the actual blasting and clearing. It was agreed that the controlled blasting and clearing will take place from 11h00 to 15h00 every day, weather permitting.
It is IMPORTANT for the Public and Tour Operators to take note that the road will be closed for the hour or so whilst the actual blasting takes place, and the immediate clearing of small quantities of rock and debris off the road in order to make the road passable again.
It was emphasised at the meeting that whilst these emergency repairs is NOT part of the Sani Pass Upgrade Project, the work being done will tie into the design of the future project.
Take note that the Sani Pass Upgrade Project has not yet been put out to tender and it seems likely that the main work on the Sani Pass might only begin later this year or even into 2014.
Accommodation establishments especially to kindly advise their guests and clients about the above disruptions to the access of the Sani Pass road for the next few weeks.
Any further enquiries should be directed to the Contractors' Mr. Dave Basner [Royal HaskoningDHV] on 082-856-8883 or our or the Tourism Info Office in Underberg.
Last Updated (Monday, 22 April 2013 14:49)
X Berg Challenge
Mankind has forever been searching for more interesting and novel ways to compete. Colin Powell, retired 4 star US General and former US Secretary of State thought : "The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting in above average effort. "
The most formidable opponent, apart from one's self, has always been that which nature offers. In this context, the mighty uKhahlamba Drakensberg in South Africa has few rivals on the planet for its challenges combined with natural spectacle, more often that not requiring such 'above average effort' from those who take up its challenge.
To brighten the brew, throw in a mixture of seemingly disparate multi-sports disciplines, paragliding, mountain biking and cross-country running over a 5-day 180km course, and you have all the makings of an event of epic prospect.
Whereas the X-Alps concept only caters for those paragliding/hiking, the X-Berg Challenge pits the skill and endurance of all three these disciplines in contest.
The 180km course from Oliviershoek Pass in the Northern Berg to Underberg in the Southern Berg, is such that whatever sporting discipline one enters in, prevailing conditions on any specific day will dictate how much more/less distance will be covered hiking than in one's chosen sport.
Click here to download the X-Berg Challenge brochure (385kB) in PDF format
With 21 March 2013 being a RSA Public Holiday [Human Rights Day] makes it ideal to follow the competitors or bring the family and make a long weekend away of it to watch the finish at the Underberg Country Club.
There is plenty of accommodation in Underberg/Himeville and much more to see and do.
Just another reason why we say : "Shouldn't you be here ...?"
Notties Himeville 100
As the sun rises later and later, noticeable by the week, a golden tint also starts to show on the surrounding fields . This is not because of the sunlight, but the maturing of plant life as we start to approach the end of Summer.
Maize fields are topped with golden tassels while in the veld, grass seed-heads are full and ripe, much to the delight of the many seed-eating birds like common sparrows, red-billed queleas, finches and wydahs, as well as a variety of other species.
This stunning colour contrast emerging gives one a deeper appreciation for the roots of our national teams donning the "Green and Gold" when they step out onto the sports field.
The slowly changing season brings with it the next wave of events to the Southern Berg, more suited to prevailing local weather conditions. Conditions are still favourable for the outdoors, with often extremely hot sunny days bringing cooler nights; not forgetting that Jan/Feb is generally the height of our very wet rainy season, with falls in excess of 200mm a month being normal.
We move on from having hosted several river events held in high summer, the cycling fraternity stepping up to the plate to fully exploit the very scenic Southern Berg's often cooler mornings for their activities.
First in the annual line-up is the Notties-Himeville 100. Later the Joberg2C passes through the region a fortnight before the three Sani2C races that start in Underberg in mid May 2013
Claimed by the organisers as arguably "SA's Most Scenic Race", the Notties-Himeville 100 is a mountain bike race over 100km along the district road between Nottingham Road and Himeville.