Sani Pass, Drakensberg
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The tight zig-zagging curves of Sani Pass, one of the most magnificent mountain passes in South Africa, ascend through the sheer cliffs of the Drakensberg, linking KwaZulu Natal to the independent country of Lesotho. The route is also known as the ‘roof of Africa’ and for good reason - the views from the peaks, some 3200 metres above sea level, are spectacular and usually reserved only for those willing to hike for a couple of days. A pub, renowned as the highest in the world, lies at the top of Sani - 2874 metres above sea level.
Sani Pass began as a rough mule trail along which donkeys traversed loaded with wool and mohair on the way down the pass, and blankets, clothing and maize meal on the return journey. The pass was opened to vehicle traffic by David Alexander, whose company Mokhotlong Mountain Transport was the first to operate on the pass in 1955.
About 25 minutes’ from the Lesotho border, on the road to Mokhotlong, before the saddle, along a section that hooks left before dropping into a long valley, lies a section of snow (if it snows) - the paradox being that until one reaches this valley one cannot assess the feasibility of skiing, hence only the hardened enthusiast takes to the pass.
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Sani Pass Reviews
"It was a real adventure to do the Sani Pass. Fortunately, we hired a 4 x 4 so there was no limit to where we could go and what we could do. The views along the ..." - Tony and Linda, Windhoek, Namibia
Featured Attractions in (or near) Sani Pass
Bushmans Nek can be found in the southern region of Kwazulu Natal's Drakensberg. Reedbuk, Eland, Klipspringer, Grey Rhebok and Oribi are often spotted here as are Dassie, Porcupines and Rock Hyrax. The birdlife is also abundant and if you are lucky may cast your eyes upon the Black ... more information
The beautiful Drakensberg range or Dragon Mountains, also known in Zulu as uKhahlamba or barrier of spears, is a voluminous stretch of mountains that covers over 1 000 kilometres from south-west to north-east, lying mostly in KwaZulu-Natal. Collectively this is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site... more information
Cobham is situated in the Southern part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, and is approximately 150 km from Pietermaritzburg. Dominated by Hodgson's Peaks which enclose the Giants Cup, Cobham is a 52,000 ha section of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in the southern 'berg adjacent to Himeville ... more information
You will find Coleford Nature Reserve near to the town of Underberg, south east of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Through its southern section flows the Ngwagwane River, one of its major features. But it also protects Drakensberg Foothill Moist Grassland ... more information
In the southern foothills of the Drakensberg the Gardens Area might be, but the views from here of the towering peaks of the Dragon Mountains is pretty spectacular. This is the part of the Drakensberg that benefits from all the flowing rivers that gush down the sides of the mountains, making the valleys rich with rivers... more information
Mkhomazi Wilderness refers to a large section of the southern central parts of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Centre) that is regarded as one of the few spaces in the country where you can hike for days without coming across another living ... more information
People are divided when it comes to delineating the Northern Drakensberg. There are those who speak of its borders as the Natal Drakensberg National Park in the north, down to Cathedral Peak in the south, whilst others extend its upper western reaches to include the Golden Gate... more information
Ntsikeni Nature Reserve consists of a rather inaccessible vlei lying high on a plateau between Franklin and Creighton, in a section of East Griqualand, in the southern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal. This largely unknown and not often visited reserve lies about an hour's drive south of Himeville ... more information
The Oliviershoek Pass, on the R74 from Bergville, is often used as an alternative route to Van Reenen’s Pass. This happens when Van Reenan's Pass is closed off to motorists during bad weather, but you can also use it as a scenic alternative that might appear on the face it as a ... more information
Broadly speaking, the southern parts of the Drakensberg lie between Bushman's Nek to the south-east and Kamberg to the north-west, including the Bulwer Mountain and what are often described as the 'country' towns of Underberg and Himeville. This part of the world is described as ... more information
The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of this world heritage site ... more information
Things To Do in Sani Pass
Events and/or Festivals in Sani Pass