Named after the little Town of Van Reenen, which seems to stand guard at the top of this majestic Pass which winds its way through the Drakensberg Mountains between Ladysmith and Harrismith along the N3 between Durban and Johannesburg. Unfortunately, the only record that the pass can lay claim to is that of the most dangerous Pass in Africa! Despite this, the long pass provides beautiful scenery as it descends towards Ladysmith in the KZN Midlands from the Free State.

Durban - Most people just cruise over the Drakensberg Mountain passes on trips between Durban and Johannesburg but many are unaware of the History of these access Ways.

Durban-born and bred septuagenarian, Gillis van Schalkwyk, has spent much of his life exploring them and their History, and wrapped his knowledge into a self-published book, Drakensberg Passes, that came out this year, his research funded by the 'N3TC' toll company. Van Schalkwyk challenges some versions of History in his books, such as that “General” Frans van Reenen after whom the Pass was named. He was a miserable fellow, that he was to steal his son’s fiancée – was neither a general nor did he introduce the apartheid-era law which prohibited Indians from staying overnight in the Orange Free State. “His great grandson Dirk van Reenen claims Frans introduced the notorious law… Further investigation showed this was incorrect. That proclamation was drawn up and implemented in 1888,” writes Van Schalkwyk. “This law was infamous for Indians in general, but more problematic for the local Indians of Van Reenen, where portions of the village were in KwaZulu-Natal Province and portions in the Free State Province.

That meant they had to close up business at 6 pm, when the proclamation took effect each night, and retreat back to Natal just a few metres away.” The Town of Van Reenen has a History steeped in the Anglo-Boer War, and a lookout point, called ' Windy Corner', about 3 kilometres out of Town with views over the Mountains and lower lying Regions - virtually all that there is to the Town’s credit, apart from the Llandaff Oratory - a small chapel with only eight seats built by a father in memory of his son, and ostensibly the smallest Roman Catholic Church in the World.

-28° 23' 27.6", 29° 23' 13.2"