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Drakensberg Mountains
 
 

Sani

Hand Picked Accommodation in the Sani region

 
 
 
 
 

Sani Pass was originally developed as a bridal path in 1913 and used as a route for trade between South Africa and Mokhotlong, in Lesotho. All goods were carried up and down by pack mule. The first vehicle negotiated the path in 1948 and today, this steep zigzagging pass that climbs the face of the Drakensberg escarpment is used on a daily basis. The road is only accessible to 4x4s and in winter an icy layer covering the surface makes it especially treacherous. The route, along the top, aptly called the “Roof of Africa”, claims to be the highest road in Africa and third highest in the world. It peaks at a heady height of 3200m above sea level and the summit of the pass crests within a couple of kilometres of Thabane Ntlenyana, which at 3482m is the highest peak in Southern Africa.

Sani
Sani Region

South of the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area lies the rugged beauty of Sani Pass, with its rocky road that snakes up an increasingly narrow V-shaped valley flanked by towering buttresses, and which offers the only eastern road access into Lesotho. The summit of Sani can also be reached on foot and involves a 6km walk and a 1000m gain in altitude. For the intrepid climber, the reward lies in the few remaining unconquered pinnacles. Caves are dotted throughout the escarpment, although those adorned with rock paintings are off-limits for overnight shelter.

Sani Pass
Sani Pass

For those who take the time to pause and look beyond the majestic mountain peaks of the Drakensberg, a miniature world of industrious activity is there for the viewing. Ants scurry busily along the many footpaths in their endless quest for food. Down at ground level, the sturdy dung beetle rolls a goliath ball of dung, preparing a future hatching place for her young. Butterflies whisper past in splashes of joyous colour. Colourful ladybirds skim through the sweet-smelling air. Cicadas hum a cheery chorus in the trees. This is Africa, where insects abound in all their complex, energetic beauty.


 

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