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Sani Lodge on the famous Sani Pass, was started in 1992 and has been owner run by Russell and Simone ever since. The lodge provides a wide range of clean, comfortable budget accommodation deep in the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa and is situated on Stromness farm on the Sani Pass, the gateway to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and just 16km from the South African border post.
The farm borders directly onto the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site, giving guests direct access to the Park for hiking purposes. Sani Lodge is a peaceful country haven, offering rural charm, superb views, fresh farm milk from the Jersey cows, farm cheese and trout, legendary chocolate cake and home-cooked meals topped by a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere.
Sani Lodge, Honeyguide, Guineafowl and Aloe cottages’ eco-friendly gardens have been planted with indigenous shrubs, trees and flowering plants in order to attract prolific birdlife and butterflies and provide shelter for resident duiker and reedbuck. You can gaze at the mountains by day, and arm yourselves with binoculars for some surprisingly good bird watching and then cast your eyes upwards at the starry heavens by night, whilst listening to the whistle of the reedbuck or snort of the grey rhebok. Our policy of no pets being allowed, no quad bikes on the property, and no television, is in keeping with the credence of nature preservation and tranquillity here. Rediscover the lost art of stimulating conversation too! All rooms serviced daily.
Sani Lodge Backpackers offers a wide range of budget accommodation. Guests have full use of modern fully equipped self-catering kitchens (stove, fridges, microwave, kettle, toaster, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans), central cosy communal sitting room with open fireplace and reading room, braai area, sundowner verandah facing the sun setting over the mountains of Lesotho- the meeting place for friendly international chatter, clean, spacious ablutions with hot showers, and an outdoor shower with unforgettable mountain views.
Ideal for small tents or campervans. Not suitable for caravans. No power points. Basic ablutions and kitchen.
Duiker / Rhebok/ Oribi / Eland; each room sleeps four people on bunk beds. Bedding provided including feather duvets.
Wydah / Lourie / Sunbird / Nightjar / Ibis; each room sleeps two people on either double or twin beds. Bedding provided including feather duvets.
En suite heated thatch rondavels:
Francolin / Woodpecker / Kingfisher / Hoopoe; each private rondavel sleeps two people on either double or twin beds. Bedding including feather duvets, towels, heater and tea / coffee with kettle provided. Contains a shower, toilet and handbasin in each.
Double storey stone clad building with 4 bedrooms sleeping a total of 25 people. Ideal for large groups. Two bathrooms, large equipped self-catering kitchen (chest freezer, fridge, stove, kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans), dining area, lounge with fireplace, outside garden with braai. Bedding is provided.
There are three self catering cottages on site.
Honeyguide Self Catering Cottage:
Honeyguide is a charming private stone clad cottage with cypress flooring and pine ceilings throughout, set in an indigenous garden and suited to families of four people or honeymoon couples. It has magnificent views of Hodgson's Peaks (The Giant's Cup) which forms part of the escarpment separating Lesotho from South Africa, which can be seen from the main bedroom, cosy lounge with open fireplace, verandah and with braai. There is a small second bedroom with twin beds and mountain views, an open plan kitchenette equipped with stove, fridge, microwave, cutlery, crockery, pots, pans and breakfast nook, and a bathroom. All linen, feather duvets, blankets, bath towels, soap are provided. A child's camp cot is available if required. Parking next to cottage. Firewood is available. The cottage is serviced daily. All meals available on request. Dinner needs to be booked in advance.
Aloe Self-Catering Cottage:
Aloe Cottage is a cosy, private cottage on the Sani Pass road, nestling at the base of the little ‘Berg on the 75 acre Stromness Farm , which borders onto the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park world heritage site. The cottage is set in indigenous gardens beside a gurgling stream which provides pure drinking water and also has uninterrupted views of Hodgson’s Peaks ( The Giant’s Cup) and the escarpment bordering onto Lesotho. This peaceful country haven is owner-run by Simone and Russell Suchet, who have been involved with many aspects of tourism for several years.
Aloe Cottage is larger than Honeyguide. It has two bedrooms both with two single beds and each bedroom has an en suite bathroom ( one has a shower and the other a bath from which you can recline with a view of the mountains). A child's camp cot is available on request. The kitchen is fully equipped with large fridge, gas stove, cutlery, crockery, kettle, microwave, pots and pans. There is a cosy lounge with open fireplace (firewood is provided) and dining table with four chairs. Cypress floors and pine ceilings add to the charm. All linen including feather down duvets, bath towels and soap is provided. The cottage has basic daily servicing detailed in the guest information file. Laundry service available at set rates. You may park your vehicle right next to the cottage. The garden has a braai facility and is a birder’s haven with bird bath and feeder. Tame duiker visit from autumn through winter. Please note that the swimming pool in the owner’s garden nearby is strictly out of bounds for guests – there is a fresh water dam you may swim in just a short walk from the cottage.
Guineafowl Self Catering Cottage:
Guineafowl self catering thatched cottage is set in an indigenous garden and suited to families of five people. There are two bedrooms, one with double bed and the second with bunk bed. The fifth person may sleep on a sleeper couch in the lounge. All linen, feather duvets, blankets, bath towels, soap are provided. A child's camp cot is available if required. The open plan kitchenette has a stove, microwave, fridge, cutlery, crockery, pots, pans and table with stools. Wall heaters provide heating in winter. The bathroom has a shower, toilet and hand basin. Braai in garden. The cottage is serviced daily. Parking in main lodge car park.All meals available on request. Dinner needs to be booked in advance.
The buildings and verandahs of Sani Lodge, the cottages and group facility are all strictly non-smoking establishments. No pets allowed.
Drakensberg Adventures booking office is on site. Tours offered include Lesotho tours from a one day Standard Sani Pass tour, to two, three, four, five and six day tours. Tours include cultural, hiking, pony trekking and sightseeing activities. Guided rock art walks, horseriding and specialised guided mountain hiking also offered. An on site travel and tour booking office is open daily. Internet access and laundry service available.
A restaurant on the property called "The Giant's Cup" is open daily for breakfasts, savoury and sweet pancakes, toasted sandwiches, homemade legendary chocolate cake or scones with homemade jams and farm cream, farmhouse cheese, trout, teas, good filter coffee, milkshakes and lots more. The craft shop offers a range of African crafts, Fair Trade products, foodstuffs, books, maps, woollen wear, snacks, soft drinks.
Dinner must be ordered in advance along with accommodation booking. Dinner is only prepared for guests making confirmed advance bookings and is served at 6pm promptly. If you plan to arrive later than 6pm, please let us know so that your meal will be dished up for you and you can reheat it in the lodge / group facility / cottage kitchen.
The lodge is child friendly, has a camp cot available for small children, offers children portions for dinners, and has a playground for children. The family guided nature trail is fun for all. Children pay half rates in cottages and for camping only. Dorm beds, standard rooms and rondavels are normal price.
This is an ideal place for a healthy family holiday, as there are plenty of activities and tours which can be arranged including hiking, Sani Pass tours into Lesotho, horseriding and Bushman paintings. The tours run by Russell and Simone's company called Drakensberg Adventures, are designed for the intrepid explorer and are led by experienced, highly qualified guides.
There is something for the whole family; trout/bass fishing on nearby dams, mountain biking up the challenging Sani Pass or playing golf at the hotel 1km up the road,birdwatching( there is a bird list in the cottage file showing 19 endemic species on our property and 92 species in total), macro-photographing or painting the plethora of flowers in spring and summer and inhaling pure mountain air, or simply relaxing in the tranquil, indigenous gardens enjoying the magnificent view. River rafting for all levels is available in the district in summer.
Children can play on swings at the tea garden 100m away from the cottages, enjoy milkshakes and pancakes in the restaurant, play a game of table tennis and watch our Jersey cows being hand milked twice daily. The whole family can enjoy the 2.5km nature trail with illustrated booklet as a guide and there is a small fresh water dam on the trail which guests may swim in. The craft shop and farm stall is definitely worth a visit as we directly support small suppliers of unique handcrafts, stock organic Fair Trade products (coffee, tea, chocolate) and make our own ice-cream, cultured yoghurt and butter from our dear Jersey cows’ milk plus a wide range of homemade jams and preserves from our own fruit trees. Free WIFI available at the restaurant for order of pancake or toasted sandwich each.
Once you are here, you need not step back into your vehicle, as the cottages are perfectly situated for exploring the Drakensberg Mountains on foot. The 5 day Giant's Cup Trail may be started from here, as well as numerous day hikes, where you can dip in crystal clear streams and idyllic mountain pools, see reedbuck, eland, duiker, rhebok, baboon, rock hyrax, bearded and Cape vulture, or capture the plethora of wild flowers on film or sketchpad. This is an area poets and artists dream of.
Sani Lodge Backpackers is certified with Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, Tourism Grading Council (four star) and a member of SAYTC. The lodge has silver membership of WESSA.