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Sani Pass

Nature & Adventure

Our most recommended Sani Pass Nature & Adventure

Sani Pass Day Tour

1. Sani Pass Day Tour

Depart Underberg in the morning and take in stunning views of the KwaZulu-Natal landscape as you make your way along the Sani Pass mountain road that connects to Mokhotlong in Lesotho. Stop to get breathtaking views from different locations, and at the South African Border Control and Lesotho Border Control posts. Climb to an altitude of 2,874 meters above sea level to enjoy lunch at the Sani Mountain Lodge – the highest pub in Africa. Continue to a village of the ethnic Basotho people and learn about Lesotho and its people from your experienced mountain guide. Try some traditional beer and homemade bread before you brave the drive back down the Sani Pass. Look for wildlife along the road before you arrive back in Underberg in the afternoon.

From Underberg: Sani Pass Day Tour

2. From Underberg: Sani Pass Day Tour

The Sani Pass is regarded by some as having the most spectacular views in South Africa. Originally a bridle path, it has become a ‘bucket list’ experience that is not to be missed. Walls of sandstone, cascading rivers, and hair-raising bends are just some of the highlights as your 4x4 vehicle takes you through the Barrier of Spears and into the Kingdom of Lesotho.  Visit a living Basotho village and meet its people for a true cultural experience. The highest pub in Africa welcomes you with a hearty lunch and refreshments before your journey back down the pass to Underberg. 

Sani Pass and Mokhotlong in Two Days

3. Sani Pass and Mokhotlong in Two Days

Day One:  Depart from Underberg, or be collected along the route, in a 4x4 vehicle and travel via the Sani Pass, with a stop for early tea at Sani Top Chalet. Travel up Black Mountain Pass for a short walk to a vantage point to view Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest peak in Southern Africa at 3482 meters. Continue on to Mokhotlong via the stunningly beautiful Sehonghong Valley and stop at 10 Riverside for an ethnic Basotho experience, including a visit to the Ngaka, a traditional healer, and the artifact house. Afterward, go to Mokhotlong for dinner and your overnight stay. Day Two:  After breakfast, drive through Mokhotlong, which was once billed as the most remote village in the British Empire. Stop for a short walk down the main road to view the rare Spiral Aloe, the National plant of Lesotho. Travel to St James Mission to see the fascinating ceiling of their church. Drive back up the Sehonghong Valley, looking for the rare Bearded Vulture on the route. Reach Sani Top and go for lunch at the Sani Top Chalet before descending the Sani Pass back to Underberg.

Underberg: Overnight Lesotho Highlands Tour

4. Underberg: Overnight Lesotho Highlands Tour

Throughout this tour, you will enjoy all that the Sani Pass has to offer, including a trip to Makhapung, which is a small Basotho village deep in the highlands of Lesotho. This is your chance to experience the Sani Pass, Lesotho highlands, Basotho cultures and a visit to the remote trading town of Mokhotlong. You will overnight at the Principal Chief of Motkhotlong’s house, which is home to the Queen Regent ‘Mants’ebo Amelia Seeiso, the first and only woman to ever rule Lesotho. The "kingdom in the sky" provides spectacular mountain scenery, and a chance to experience the simplicity of a civilization of mountain people. This is an opportunity to explore nature still little changed by man, and unspoiled by crowds of tourists.

Sani Pass Private Tour

5. Sani Pass Private Tour

The day begins with an early morning collection in a 4×4 vehicle and travels towards the Sani Pass. Enjoy the luxury of having your own private vehicle, which allows for more space and comfort as you travel along the bumpy roads, and the freedom to decide where you’d like to go. As the altitude increases, the road becomes narrower and more treacherous, and all signs of human habitation disappear, leaving you alone in the glory of the majestic mountains. Stop and take photos at your leisure, and enjoy a selection of hot and cold beverages and freshly baked snacks as you absorb the breathtaking views. Nearing the top of the pass at 2876 m, head through border control and towards the desolate Lesotho Highlands. Visit a private homestead and immerse yourself in the local community. Learn about the culture and lifestyle of this small family. Then take a walk to learn the stories of the shepherds within their own stone dwellings. Finally, enjoy a refreshing beer at the highest pub in Southern Africa on the return journey before relaxing in the 4×4 as you marvel at more stunning scenic views.

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

6. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

From Durban: Sani Pass, Lesotho and Basotho Village Day Trip

7. From Durban: Sani Pass, Lesotho and Basotho Village Day Trip

Pack your passport and head up into the Mountain Kingdom for the day. At 3,240 meters (10,630 feet) above sea level, Lesotho can get a tad icy so wrap yourself up in an authentic Basotho blanket, which is yours for the day. You'll be taught how the blanket is tied and worn. After pickup from Durban or other available locations in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, make your first stop at Himeville, at the base of the mountains. Here, climb into a rugged 4x4 and meet your specialist Basotho guide who knows the Sani Pass like the back of his hand. Then, embark on the steep climb up the scenic and daunting Sani Pass as you make your way towards Lesotho. Get your passport stamped at the border and head into no-mans-land which connects South Africa to Lesotho. Keep your camera on standby as you don’t want to miss a chance to capture these dramatic vistas. If you’re lucky, you may even score an eland sighting. Elands are believed to be mystical animals that were revered by the SAN or bushman people of Southern Africa. Once you enter Lesotho, your guide will introduce you to a Basotho village where you have the opportunity to try traditional bread and beer. Tip: the bread goes wonderfully well with the soup of the day at the pub nearby. Tick another thing off your bucket list by enjoying lunch at Africa’s highest pub (own cost). Later, it'll be time to head back the mountain for your drive back to eThekwini/Durban for drop-off at your accommodation.

Sani Pass: Day Tour from Durban

8. Sani Pass: Day Tour from Durban

Beginning early at 6:00AM from the coastal city of Durban, your professional driver will collect you from your hotel in a well maintained vehicle, before you head out of the city towards the mountains. After passing the historical city of Pietermaritsburg, your tour will turn towards the Southern Drakensberg Mountain Range. For the next hour you will pass through mountains and valleys, which are dotted with small rural villages steeped in traditions. At approximately 9:00AM, you will arrive at the tiny mountain town of Underberg, which lies at the base of the Sani Pass. Here you will transfer to a comfortable 4-wheel-drive vehicle. Without a doubt, the Sani Pass is one of the most spectacular and scenic mountain passes in Africa. It lies between the Southern Drakensburg Mountains and the landlocked country of Lesotho, and your highly experienced and professional guide will take you through the South African border control. For the next 8 kilometers, the gravel road winds steeply up the pass towards the summit of the Drakensberg to the Lesotho border post. The sharp bends and panoramic mountains make this a photographer's paradise, in an area which has been described as "Southern Africa's Switzerland". Once there you will visit a local living Basotho village where you can learn about their customs and traditions. This village was originally built to care for the shepherds in the mountains, who tend flocks the year round, you may even be lucky to catch a glimpse of these tough blanket-clad men. Following this you will head towards the "highest pub in Africa" for some well earned refreshments, and perhaps even a taste of the local Maluti Beer if so inclined. Following your adventure is a gentle drive back to Durban, which will will see you at your destination at approximately 6:30PM depending on weather and traffic conditions.

From Durban: Sani Pass Trail Day Tour

9. From Durban: Sani Pass Trail Day Tour

From the bustling City of Durban, Tour to Lesotho – “Kingdom in the Sky” The Sani Pass tour into Lesotho from Durban gives you the opportunity to experience an adventure of a lifetime – a comfortable and exciting journey up this famous pass. Starting off in Durban, our tour heads up through the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, to the picturesque town of Underberg, where the real adventure begins. Our luxury Sani Pass tour snakes up the mountain and takes you through a scenic valley along a crystal clear river, making for a breath-taking experience. Your personal Tour Guide will fill you in on all you can learn about the history of the pass and the surrounding area. Feast your eyes on the natural landscape that is dotted with many species of wildflowers, creating splashes of vibrant colors. The road itself is rough which is why only 4×4 vehicles are allowed to traverse it, but because of this and the hairpin bends, you are in for a fun and heart-racing trip. Once you reach the top your senses will be filled beyond your wildest dreams – breathe in the fresh mountain air, drink in the sweeping vistas that are nothing short of majestic, and enjoy this unique African experience in Lesotho – ‘Kingdom of the Sky’.

Sani Pass: Cultural and Heritage Tour

10. Sani Pass: Cultural and Heritage Tour

On this tour, you will experience all that a standard Sani Pass tour offers plus the trip to Makhapung, a small Basotho village deep in the highlands of Lesotho. From Sani Top, cross the Sani Plateau before climbing the Black Mountain Pass (3240 meters). From here you can see Thabana Ntlenyana (the highest point in Southern Africa). Then head down the Sehonghong Valley, past Highland Basotho villages and on to Makhapung. The Makhapung living village is untainted and retains all its cultures and traditions. This trip offers a real insight into the lives of the Basotho nation. Have a completely unique experience and support this sustainable tourism project. Visit the resident traditional healer, observe a unique song and dance routine, and a secret ceremonial dance. Interact and have lunch with the villagers. 

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What people are saying about Sani Pass

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 27 reviews

Overall, the tour over the Sani Pass to a mountain village in Lesotho was a very interesting tour. Unfortunately, we were unlucky with the weather when driving over the Sani Pass, it rained at times and it was foggy. Sometimes we couldn't even see the next hairpin bend. But our guide was a very safe driver! We were very happy that we decided to do the big tour. Because that's how we drove to a mountain village in Lesotho via a newly developed road and were warmly welcomed by the villagers and were able to learn a lot about how the people there live without electricity. In winter they sometimes have -14 degrees and they heat their huts with fire. We were very impressed!

Great tour with wonderful guides! The landscape of the area is fantastically beautiful, the trip over the Sani Pass brings the necessary portion of action. The tour was well organized and the guides gave interesting insights and valuable tips about the tour but also about all other topics. It was a very long day with a lot of time in the car, not a typical trip where you drive to a destination, but more "the journey is the destination" but highly recommended.

The best experience ever. Mr. Sotiri was amazing. He shared a lot of history throughout the tour. He stopped at all the best places and took a lot of beautiful photos. I enjoyed every bit of the tour. If I was to do it again, will definitely be with him. Such a kind and charming person.

What an amazing experience with this well-informed guide, Peter who took us safely up Sani Pass into Lesotho to see the snow and to the Highest Pub in Africa. All on my bucket list including the village visit in Lesotho. Emile was also most helpful. Well worth the money spent.

Ride on the Sanipass in persistent rain. From 2300 m transition to snowfall. On arrival at the pass about 15 cm of snow. Unfortunately no view on the pass, below the clouds imposing topography.