Sani Pass

08 Feb 2018 12:36 - 09 Feb 2018 14:13 #72775 by Espee
Espee created the topic: Sani Pass
Sani Pass

It only takes a second to decide, and a lifetime full of good decisions, makes life well worth living.
A week before we left on the trip, my friend Martin told me that he had a cancellation from his other friend to come with him and his wife on a weekend trip up Sani-Pass. I quickly jumped to the opportunity and told him that I would like to come since we both drive Land Rover Defenders and we understand the travel etiquettes that goes with travelling with a fellow Defender.
Long story short, my six months pregnant wife agreed and we started the planning. For anyone looking to summit Sani-Pass, I would highly recommend "Sani Pass Backpackers Lodge". The rates are very affordable and the vibe is very friendly between the fellow hikers that overnight at the lodge. Visit their webpage and contact the office for bookings.
On the first day we started our trip around 8 the morning where we came together at Amajuba Mall in Newcastle for the last checks and a prayer as a group to our heavenly Father for protection and we thanked Him for the opportunity to be able to go on such a trip. Then we traveled from Newcastle to Ladysmith with very few traffic on the road, we had a lovely trip trough to there and stopped in Ladysmith for a quick coffee and toilet break for the ladies and refueled. We drove through Winterton , and then we drove the scenic route all the way along the Drakensberg. It rained allot and we played with our Defenders on the gravel roads. We arrived at our destination around 4 o 'clock the afternoon and settled in our rooms for the night after a "lekker" braai and chat with some people from the Netherlands.
Day 2
We started with a good morning breakfast with a lovely clear view of the eastern side view of Lesotho and Sani Pass, the weather was really nice and we started the trip up Sani's early in the morning around 7 with some prayer before we left the backpackers lodge. Now the adventure route started as we drove on the gravel road to the border post of South Africa. I could see that the road is being prepared and do not know how long it will stay a gravel road up until the border of South Africa. We saw a few baboons in the close-by hills on the way to the border post, a couple of eagles high above and not much other life other than a ostrich next to the road. The border control were very friendly at the South African side with no hassles. Quick stamp and off we go again, after a few pictures of course.
The road up is not that much of a chalange really, I think a 2x4 bakkie will be able to go up Sani-Pass but the ball-game will change as soon as it rains. The pass takes a lot of traffic especially during weekends so plan your trip properly and please be considerate and do not spin or do anything reckless. There was a vehicle that flew past us on the way up and as we approached the half way mark it flew down past us again almost pushing me into the bushes. I do not see the point in that, as there is also no prize in driving as fast as you can up and down the mountain. Take your time and enjoy the view, we stopped on one of the broader switch-backs and made a cup of coffee. What a lovely view of the valley below, that's all I can say. When we arrived at the Lesotho border control, they charge R60 per vehicle for road tax but say that you are a day visitor at the pub then you do not have to pay or that was what happened with us. I would suggest the "highest pub in Africa" to anyone, the food is lovely and if you haven't tried "Maluti" beer you should do it today if possible. Inside the pub is also a lot of history concerning the pass and how it was used by the locals and missionaries at first. There was even Sani Pass races way back when production cars couldn't drive fast even if the driver wanted to. We drove down Sanis' Pass the same day after a lovely lunch and some music from the locals. The weather changed dramatically and we made a bit quicker work of the pass on the way down as it was starting to pour down. That evening we neatened up and drove to the nearest town from the backpackers: "Himville:, but we couldn't find a place open that suited us so we drove to Underburg and ate at a place called "Lemon Tree Bistro". What a nice little place, you feel right at home as soon as you walk in. Friendly staff, good food and good service. I would suggest them to anyone.
Day 3
On the way back, we slept until late that morning after a good nights rest and so the weekend came to an end. I am glad we decided to go with my friend and I would suggest going up Sani Pass for anyone with a 4x4 vehicle. The whole experience was lovely and next time I will go for a longer period and maybe travel trough Lesotho and out at the gate close-by "Ficksburg". The road back was also quiet as it was a Sunday and we cruised a 110Km/h on the N3 as the ladies wanted a less bumpy ride on the way home. Unfortunately I can only load 10 photos of the trip but we had a blast and would highly recommend driving the gravel roads all the way to Himville and the Sani Pass area. The lower Loteni and wilderness area is a must to drive through.
Live life to the fullest, because you never know what lies next.

8/12/2017-10/12/2017

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Last Edit: 09 Feb 2018 14:13 by JonWells.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tonymarshall

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08 Feb 2018 15:27 #72777 by DesPorter
DesPorter replied to: Sani Pass
The ostrich you saw next to the road. Are you absolutely sure of the identification as they are not normally found in that area or anywhere nearby?

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12 Feb 2018 16:25 #72798 by Espee
Espee replied to: Sani Pass
Hi Des, I was driving in front and the guy behind me saw it. He sounded pretty sure over the two way radio.. maybe he was mistaken with a baboon

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