Humans have probably always felt the need to shorten their routes by crossing rivers and ravines. What may have begun as a sturdy log stretching across the obstacle has grown into the science of pontitecture, using materials ranging from wood, vines, stone, iron, and wire to concrete and steel.
Here are a few examples – all of which bring home to me the need to stop more on our travels to take much better pictures of bridges!
A simple wooden bridge over a stream at the Royal Natal National Park in the Drakensberg.
The railways require bridges to cross rivers and this well-known one over the Sabie River at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park dates from 1912 and probably features in the photographic collections of visitors from all over the world.
This lattice girder bridge over the Great Kei River was completed in 1879.
For road users, low-level bridges such as this one crossing the Fish River in the Great Fish Reserve can be found all over South Africa.
The iconic metal Alice Bridge crossing the Bushman’s River at Estcourt is one of several built to this design.
Crossing the Kat River at Fort Beaufort is the beautiful Victoria Bridge, the first multiple-arch stone bridge built in South Africa.
Lastly, is a small section of the Paul Sauer suspension bridge that crosses the Storms River.