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Natal Midlands

Sani Pass – Majestic Gateway to the Mountains

The dramatic Sani Pass is a renowned mountain road providing access from the Natal Drakensberg Park into magical Lesotho. Boasting stunning scenery galore, this scenic route is enjoyed by many visitors to the region. Many tourists make their way up the crest of spectacular Sani Pass to enjoy a meal at Southern Africa's highest pub. When visiting the Natal Midlands, be sure to drive along the gorgeous scenic trail of Sani Pass and enjoy the many activities offered in the area.

Back in 1913 Sani Pass was established as a picturesque bridal path. The fascinating zigzag path makes its way up the impressive Drakensberg up to an height of 2 874 m. It became a well-used mule trail where traders could travel from the Basutoland Eastern Highlands to Natal. Donkeys and mules would be driven down Sani Pass with wool and mohair which was bartered for maize, clothing and blankets. The very first vehicle rode up the stony Sani Pass donkey track in 1948. David Alexander created a company in 1955 that would use 4-wheel drive vehicles to carry people up and down the scenic pass. This company in Sani Pass remains in operation to today.

Sani Pass is the only access point into the Lesotho Highlands from KwaZulu Natal. On reaching the apex you are greeted by a fantastic panorama dotted with Basotho shepherds and their droves and perhaps a Bearded Vulture flying overhead. Nearby the summit of Sani Pass is Southern Africa’s tallest peak, namely Thabane Ntlenyana, measuring some 3,482 m in height. There are many activities in the Sani Pass area which can be enjoyed by the entire family. These activities include abseiling, horse riding, mountain climbing, paragliding, swimming, river tubing, fishing and 4×4 driving. In fact, it is best to make use of a 4×4 when traveling Sani Pass, particularly in poor weather. Bird watching is also popular with over 100 species residing in and around the pass. A wide selection of accommodation is also available in the Sani Pass region. Choose from chalets, bed and breakfasts, camping and more.

Sani Pass provides an amazing perspective of the Natal Drakensberg as well as the Lesotho mountains. You will not want to miss this geographic spectacle when vacationing in the Natal Midlands.