Things To Do in Sani PassDrakensberg Grand Traverse
Where? Start at the Sentinel and finish at Bushman's Nek, Drakensberg.
How much? Price on request
Start: the Sentinel
Finish: Bushman's Nek
Duration: 200 km; anything from 12 to 15 days (average is 14)
Fitness: above average fitness; it's tough, possibly the toughest hike in southern Africa
Our tip: choose your hiking partner/s wisely
Regarded as one of the epic hikes in South Africa, the Drakensberg Grand Traverse hike reaches total elevations that exceed that of Everest (the elevation gain across the whole hike is in excess of 9000 metres), and runs along the edge of the escarpment at high altitudes,frequently crisscrossing the border between South Africa and Lesotho as the route endures over 34 ridges and their accompanying valleys.
Up on the ridge the only human interaction will be with your hiking partners and the odd blanket-clad Basotho shepherd with his sheep, cows, goats or horses. But the views from the escarpment and the experience of pitting yourself against the elements make this endurance hike an unparallelled experience.
Your first night before starting the hike you can spend at Witsieshoek, close to the Sentinel car park. And the initial part of the trek zigzags past the Sentinel Peak to a series of chain ladders with which you gain vantage to the escarpment.
From there you are free to choose your own route. The Grand Traverse is not a pre-determined route.
To have planned your route ahead is a pre-requisite. As well as any possible escape routes off the escarpment (plan for the eventuality, or endure an emergency rescue). A good GPS and navigation skills are also essential. A GPS training course is not a bad idea.
There are tour operators who will arrange the hike for you, including porters. It is up to you how you choose to tackle the Dragon.