About Sani Pass

Sani Pass is situated in Drakensberg, in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Show on Map

KwaZulu Natal DestinationsSani Pass, Drakensberg

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.

The pass can be journeyed today in your own car, although a 4X4 vehicle is recommended as it is both steep and rough, but in the initial days many of the corners took at least three attempts. In winter one risks snow on the roads and often ice can be a problem. And passports are essential as one passes through an international border at around 1900 metres.

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.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in Sani Pass

Premier Hotel Sani Pass


Premier Hotel Sani Pass

Premier Hotel Sani Pass offers accommodation at the foot of the pass on the banks of the Mkhomazana River. This famous ... more

Amazian Mountain River Lodge


Amazian Mountain River Lodge

Amazian Mountain River Lodge situated in the Southern Drakensberg just outside Underberg and only 18km away from the Sani ... more

Sani Valley Lodge

Game Lodge / Bed & Breakfast / Self Catering

Sani Valley Lodge

Sani Valley Lodge is a unique blend of nature, activity and luxury accommodation (a mix between an upmarket Bed & ... more

Reviews of Sani Pass

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...

Tony and Linda, Windhoek, Namibia

SA-Venues.com Travellers' Rating

Great place

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