The Sani Pass of S–South Africa to Lesotho – –monitored—ltigend schön!
The Sani Pass is one of the most breathtaking mountain passes in the world. After the border Pass transition in South Africa winds along a steep gravel road up to 2874 m in height. Up in Lesotho, the: a gigantic panoramic views of the Drakensberg mountains.
Ein a new stamp in the passport. Shortly after passing the border crossing we are in the middle of Nowhere between South Africa and Lesotho. We are out of state, but in any new country. Where we are, we know not yet exactly. What we do know is that we ride the steepest mountain pass in South Africa high. We continue, however, not for yourself, but are happy to Tour, because for this distance it is required according to the law, an all-terrain vehicle with all-wheel drive.
The paved road is coming to an end and we continue on a gravel road that meanders in front of us in an infinite way in the mountains. The romance of clouds, because the third steepest Pass in the world has its pitfalls that you should know. Almost every day, and our driver drives this route. Whether or not it will eventually get boring, I ask him. “Never, this route is different every day.” he replies.
High up to 2874 m
The path winds, now from the valley, after we passed the border post of South Africa, through many switchbacks up to Lesotho. The rocky road is full of potholes and to the left and to the right we have mountains with a view on the dreamlike mountain scenery of the Drakensberg. Again and again we stop, take photos, and not come out of Amazement. The higher we go, the more breathtaking the view on the valley in South Africa. The all-terrain vehicles winds its way up the steep mountain pass to climb, waterfalls cascade over the cliffs and carve their way over the dirt road tracks. Also the air is getting thinner and, above all, cooler.
The Sani Pass – beautiful, untouched & exciting
The mountain pass is one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world and he is also the highest in South Africa. It connects in the middle of the magnificent Drakensberg in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, more specifically the place under the mountain, with the independent country and Kingdom of Lesotho.
The approximately 8 km long Pass winds its way on a dirt road up to 2874 meters in height, and of many curves and switchbacks criss-crossed. The imposing Drakensberg mountains extend to a distance of about 100 kilometers. Lesotho is to a large part on this mountain and the average height of this land is located at 2,500 meters above sea level.
The Pass is the only road connection from the Eastern border of Lesotho to South Africa. Once this path has been used for local trade between Mokhotlong (Lesotho) and South Africa. That was in 1913, and then pack donkeys were the preferred mode of transportation. Today, old bridges and ruins still remind of the old way of at the time. Over 40 years later, in 1948, was driven on this route in a military jeep, in order to make advertising for the all-terrain ability of these cars. Seven years later, then founded a company that developed the pass to transport for the villages to handle. This society still exists today and offers under the name of Sani Pass Tours and trips for travelers.
The highest Pub in Africa
Once at the top, waiting for us to the highest Pub on Africa, with a breathtaking view. From here one has a panoramic view of the seemingly endless expanse of valley, the mountains of Drakensberg and the gravel road that winds down into the valley. You can enjoy a drink or a lunch menu. I'll pass on that – much too boring, I think it's just to sit up here and explore better the area.
Also you can watch from up here, a spectacle of nature. Regularly, a Storm is brewing up here, and huge lightning bolts are discharged directly in front of a mountain slope.
From the highest Pub in Africa has this prospect...
Sani Pass – to 2874 m the sky very close
It's finally here, the new, long-awaited stamp in the passport. Up in Lesotho, there are the stamp at the border crossing, because then you are traveling officially in this Kingdom. For us, it is only now with the car more to a local family that lives in Lesotho, a typical mud huts. We're waiting eagerly, and in one of their huts, invited. The family has baked for us, in-house bread á la Lesotho – very tasty!
They live completely without electricity and almost without money. The little money you will get from the tourists who come here – close to the border crossing – often times over. You are always welcome! These families were never “down” in South Africa and here in Lesotho without a television, Radio or other means of communication from the outside world at all, no idea, told us our driver. This is perhaps even more so, he adds....
Sani Pass to yourself?
Who wants to drive the Sani Pass itself, requires an all-terrain vehicle with all-wheel drive. Those who drive without him there, in violation of the law, which pretends to be the for the about 8 km long route. The route should not be underestimated and there are always accidents on the partly very steep and narrow Paths. Better and also West deliberately relaxed it is, a Sani Pass Tour to join. These are small groups of two to four people, with a very experienced driver.
Sani Pass – good to know
- Anyone who has a car with all-wheel drive, you should join a journey, because it is a violation against the law. This States that you are allowed to ride the 8 km long track with such a car.
- Travel time: from the border crossing down in South Africa to the top to Lesotho, it takes about 2.5 hours (incl. Stops). The Tour starts in the morning at 9 o'clock and at 16 o'clock back.
- Cost: about 50 Euro per Person
- For this Tour, Leave the country at the border crossing from South Africa (departure stamp in passport) and the Enter the above in Lesotho (new stamp in the passport) is necessary. On the way back, the same procedure then the other way around.
- Warm clothes (Thick sweater or jacket) to take, as it is up there, pretty cold can be.