In the heart of the Mnweni Cutback lies this awesome pass which has one of the most rewarding ascents of any Drakensberg pass. It has a very steep gradient but is relatively short compared to some of the other huge passes in the area. This pass has got the best view of the impressive Mnweni Pinnacles and the overall view of the rest of the Mnweni Cutback gets better and better as you climb higher.
After ascending Rockeries Pass on the first day and overnighting in Mponjwane Cave, we spent the next day exploring, photographing and relaxing, and overnighted in Ledges Cave before descending Mnweni Pass on the third day. Walking out along the spur next to the top of Mnweni Pass, the view across the Mnweni cutback is spectacular. Manxome Pass is the long straight grassy slope on the left, Pins Pass is the gully on the right, Pins Buttress is the high point to the left, with the Mnweni Pinnacles at the centre of the photo and Black and Tan Wall at the right background.
Looking down the pass from the same point, most of the pass is visible, with the top eroded boulder strewn section, middle grass traverses and zig zags, and part of the lower bushy section visible.
The top of the pass is quite obvious with numerous trails converging into the pass.
The group near the top of the pass in the eroded, boulder strewn section. Mnweni Pass is one of a handful of passes in the ‘berg that can be done the whole way with donkeys, and that no doubt has contributed to the severe erosion.
Numerous spires and towers line the sides of Mnweni Pass, creating a wonderland surrounding, and making this one of the most scenic passes.
A view down the pass to the transition from the eroded criss cross trails to the grassier traverse and zig zag section.
The group on the upper traverse with the view back up the pass.
The grassy slope traverse, with the ever present view to Manxome and Pins Passes.
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Looking down the grass slope zig zags
A view back up the long zig zag section.
The group taking a break on the pass, fltr tonymarshall, Grandeur, Sabine, Hermann and Getapix.
Negotiating the lower section of Mnweni Pass, another transition zone between grass slope and flatter, bushier terrain.
The view down to Chichi Bush Camp, a campsite area consisting of several isolated flat spots in the river bed gravel at the confluence of the Pins stream and Mnweni River.
Lower downstream the path follows the true right side of the Mnweni river for a while, with the awesome background view of the Mnweni cutback.
Just upstream of the confluence of the Rwanqa and Mnweni Rivers, the path crosses to the true left of the Mnweni River.
Further downstream, near the next river crossing just upstream of the confluence of the Mbundini and Mnweni Rivers we had lunch, before completing the walk out back to the Mnweni Cultural Centre.