As I decided I might as well swing by Lesotho once in the “neighbourhood”, I was so lucky there was a day trip possibility from Durban that included a drive up the Sani Pass. I had wanted to visit this pass, but realised it would be a detour as Durban was not on my initial itinerary. But when you can kill two birds with one stone, you add Durban to your plan. And I am so happy that I changed my mind! The Sani Pass was one of the most memorable things on this vacation. The Drakensberg scenery are nothing short of stunning, no matter from what direction. And the getting up and down the 1300 meter high pass was an adventure in itself, whether you walk, bike or go by SUV (4×4 vehicles mandatory). One of the guys biking said: Someone said it was a good idea… It was a very hot day, so kudos to them! And also to the two women hiking. That it is more likely I would have done, just that you have to walk back down to the car left at the South African border post… Needless to say I was pretty happy with my mode of transportation 🙂 But it was still a challenge though. The mountain road is pretty narrow with hairpin bends in steep terrain. They call it a gravel road, and it is definitely unpaved, but I’d say it is more like climbing rocks, in a car. I guess the closest feeling of driving up there, would be experiencing heavy turbulence in an airplane. Cool, but take it slow! It took us about an hour one way. On the way down I got to see the South African’s concern for wildlife. One car had hit (as in squashed) the half of a 15 cm lizard, it was still squirming when we passed, and three SUVs stopped to figure out what/if there was something they could do. Bless them!
Sani Pass was part of a Lesotho day trip with daytours KNZ (daytourskzn.co.za). When I researched online to figure out how to go about this trip, I realised there are a bunch of companies that offer to take you into Lesotho, but in most cases you are brought to Underberg (South Africa), and once there, handed over to another tour company which take you further, in a group with others. As it was hard to find a company who already had bookings with a Durban departure, going with any of them would mean that I had to pay for two people, even though it was just me, as they all had a 2 person minimum requirement. Even though it is a bit more expensive going with daytours KNZ, it means you are on a private, personalised tour, and therefore I was able to do tweaks, meaning I was able to not stop at the Lesotho villages for souvenirs, but instead head over to the highest point in Lesotho. On the way to the Sani Pass, where our adventure started, we stopped a couple of times for refreshments, and a late breakfast in Underberg. The drive from Durban was around 4 hours one way, but with a great and knowledgeable guide/driver, time passes by pretty quickly 🙂
Other things to do: Sani Pass tips