Country & Coastal Touring

Sani Pass Tour

It has to be done. If you’re visiting the Drakensberg area, you really have to join a Sani Pass Tour. Of course you could drive it yourself, but you’d need a 4 x 4 and nerves of steel!

The friendly people of Lesotho
The friendly people of Lesotho

Lesotho

Lesotho is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world, once you’re on top of the plateau (also called the Lesotho flatlands) it’s easy to understand why; looking about, the landscape is so desolate! On the day we visited, the temperature was a brisk 16 degrees Celsius at the bottom of the pass, and according to the locals, by the the time we reached the top we could expect the temperature to drop by 10 degrees! This was bad enough, but the howling gale that was blowing on the flatlands had to have dropped the temperature into the negative numbers!

Frozen waterfall near the top of the pass
Frozen small waterfall near the top of the pass.

The views as we crept up the pass in the 4×4 vehicle were just amazing, although there were clouds when we started, the sun managed to break through and we were rewarded with beautiful photographic opportunities the whole way up.

I could understand the need for 4×4 vehicles on the Sani Pass, the road is gravel, and extremely rough. In parts it’s so steep our driver had to come to a complete stop in order to change into 1st and start again.

And yet, every now and again, we actually passed minibus taxi’s traveling both up and down the pass, both empty and full! Kinda of puts our 4×4 vehicle to shame.

Besotho People

At the top of the pass we visited a small village where we were introduced to a very friendly local inhabitants, the Besotho people, who shared some home cooked bread with us. Amazing that people still live in such a remote and pretty harsh place!

After our visit to the village we had lunch at the highest pub in Africa, personally I wanted to explore the top of the pass much more but the ice cold wind was making it impossible! So we settled for some obligatory pics at the pub, and bundled ourselves back into the vehicle for the short drive back.

Sani Pass Tour

Lesotho flag at the top of Sani Pass
Lesotho flag at the top of the pass.

Although the pass is still a dirt road at the moment, our guide up the pass told us about the plans to tar the entire road. Naturally the 4×4 enthusiasts are not thrilled about the idea, but for the people who use that road every single day, I think for them it’s a fantastic idea. Some worry that the pass will lose some of it’s mystic, but I don’t think so, it’ll still be frightening and steep, and I think perhaps even more dangerous since there’ll definitely be more ice on the tar roads than the dirt.

Either which way, a Sani Pass Tour is  a fantastic day out!

 

 


For more information about this tour, or for other tours we offer, please contact us today!


 

 

Sani Pass stretching out into the distance
Sani Pass stretching out into the distance
The Lesotho Flatlands
The Lesotho Flatlands

 

Shelldon at the highest pub in Africa
Shelldon at the highest pub in Africa