Infamously treacherous roads that lead to Sani Pass are the gateway to life beyond the clouds. Sani Pass Adventures will leave you appreciating the art that God has created.
Sani Pass is located in the West of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on the road between Underberg and Mokhotlong in Lesotho. The road dangerously snakes up the Drakensberg mountains, into The Kingdom of Lesotho.
The iconic mountain Pass climbing 1 332 vertical meters to an altitude of 2 876m at the top is a popoular route for tourism and local travel.
Seeing as we were holidaying in the Southern Drakensberg in December 2019, we decided to venture up Sani Pass. Aside from wanting to experience the much talked about pass, it was an awesome opportunity to get our passports stamped and visit a neighbouring country.
We opted for a full day tour with a local tour company. To make your way up the pass you need a 4 x 4, nerves of steel and loads of experience. Using a tour company was an awesome idea as we truly got to experience Sani Pass in all its glory.
It was a wintry morning with the mist rolling over the Drakensberg mountains, despite it being the middle of summer. The tour company collected us from the hotel after breakfast and excitedly climbed onto the 4×4 . It was time for our Sani Pass Adventure.
World Heritage Site
We made our way past the local farmlands and into the foothills of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park located in a World Heritage Site.
After the South African Border post formalities were completed we began climbing the Sani Pass switchbacks until we summited at the Lesotho Border. We made several stops to take in the sheer and utter beauty we were surrounded by. Needless to say I have countless photos on my camera.
Living Basotho Village
Upon arrival in Lesotho, we visited a traditional Basotho Village. Our guide told us the story of Lesotho and its people as we huddled around a pot of traditional bread baking on the fire. We learnt about the local peoples traditions and ways of life. Situated high in the mountains, the secluded village is home to the Basotho people. We tasted a Maluti (local beer) and the bread. As we left the hut the tiny community sang traditional songs and danced for us
The community has made a conscious effort to maintain their traditional lifestyle and culture. As we departed the village we saw shepherds returning home with their flocks of sheep. It was a educational and humbling experience for my children.
Highest Pub in Africa
We worked up an appetite making our way up the mountain and visiting the Basotho Village. Our next stop was the Sani Pass Mountain Lodge where we had lunch at the Highest Pub in Africa. There was an exceptionally long wait between ordering our lunch and it arriving at our table. I must admit I didn’t mind the long wait as we got to enjoy the most remarkable views that made time stop. As we stood above the clouds and gazed we found a new appreciation for the finer things in life.
We had to definitely brace ourselves for the return trip back down Sani Pass. The experience was intense and exhilarating. We stopped again for photo opportunities and a few more tales about the pass.
Things You Will Need
For a drive up Sani Pass make sure to take warm clothing (it’s best to layer), sunscreen, binoculars, cameras, water and snacks.
A Truly Incredible Adventure
Elias was a walking talking encyclopedia. He divulged the history and local traditions. His jokes kept us entertained and made for a fabulous day out. Ashton and Skylar states that our Sani Pass Adventures were the highlight of our adventure.