Sani Pass Tours and Activities
Set at nearly 10,000 feet (2,865 meters) above sea level, Sani Pass is the gateway between KwaZulu-Natal and the landlocked mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Via 4-wheel-drive, experience the rugged dirt road cut with hairpin turns on a steep climb to the top of Sani Pass. Your reward is a bumpy adventure along with panoramic views.
While the road up Sani Pass is only 5.5 miles (9 kilometers), the challenging route requires a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and competent off-road driving skills. Taking a tour allows you to focus on the views rather than the winding road. Group tours from Durban to Lesotho include round-trip transportation. Alternately, book a private guided tour and stop where you'd like. Once past the border post, some tours visit Lesotho villages for a look at local culture.
Things to Know Before You Go
The cliffside drive is a must for adventure lovers and photographers.
Make the trip on a clear day to take advantage of the views.
Bring your passport for the border patrol checkpoint and a jacket for the cold temperatures and wind.
4-wheel-drive vehicles are required, and authorities will turn you away if your vehicle can't handle the challenging pass.
How to Get There
The easiest way to summit Sani Pass is to book a guided tour that includes round-trip transportation and a skilled driver. You can make the drive yourself if you have a 4WD vehicle. From Underberg (the closest town and a common jumping-off point for the Sani Pass drive), take Sani Road to Sani Pass Road and follow it to the top.
When to Get There
The most popular time to make the trip in summer (December through March) when you have the best chance of clear views and favorable weather. The pass is closed when conditions are poor, and it should not be attempted when the road is wet or muddy.
Visiting the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho
After the climb up the harrowing Sani Pass, make time to discover the highlights of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Completely surrounded by South Africa, the independent country has its own unique culture that you can explore on your own or on a tour. Visit a high mountain village on the other side of the pass and stop in at the Sani Mountain Lodge to enjoy a beer at the “highest pub in Africa.”