The Ecca Pass is a mountain rise of the regional road R 67 at a west- east running survey north of Grahamstown. It is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.


The pass is at an altitude of about 470 meters above sea level. The road from the north, at Fort Brown over on the eastern side of a narrow Taleinschnittes along and reached its highest point of a curve.


The mountains on the Ecca Pass consists of layers of the Collingham Formation with calcareous shales, solidified volcanic ash with pelitic units and parallel laminated silt and sandstones, which are interpreted as part of Bouma sequences.

After the Ecca Pass and because of its importance for the understanding of the geological conditions in the Karoo, the Ecca Group is appointed within the Karoo Supergroup. The sedimentary strata occurring here were formed million years ago, about 288-255 in an inland sea.

History and paleontology

The geological features of the Ecca Pass today were discovered during the construction of a military road by Andrew Geddes Bain. This was an engineer and incidentally interested in paleontology. After an unsuccessful attempt at a farm he used his technical talent to act as a surveyor in road construction. One of his early tasks in this area was in 1837 the construction of the military road (Queen 's Road ) from Grahamstown to Fort Beaufort. The work he fell in the area of ​​Ecca Pass numerous fossils in the hands that caught his strong interest. Among them were petrified wood and skull bones of reptiles. Andrew Geddes Bain was later involved in many road construction in South Africa's landscapes and parallel a dedicated fossil collectors. Some exhibits from its collection activities are now in the Museum of Fort Beaufort. He is one of the most important representatives of South African paleontology in the 19th century. To honor his achievements, a monument to the Ecca Pass was erected on September 7, 1964. We call him today as the father of South African paleontology.