Sani Pass

For all the 4x4 enthusiasts that want to visit the highest pub in Africa, taking a drive up Sani Pass is a mountain pass not to be missed. The route from South Africa to Lesotho is a thrilling adventure experience with steep hairpin turns and incredible views. If you haven't done it I would plan your trip today!

Pen Line drawing of Sani Pass by Diane Shearer | Art From Adventures

Sani Pass is the mother of all South African mountain passes. Statistically and in every sense, it out-distances, out climbs, and outperforms all its competitors with consummate ease to have become the most iconic gravel pass in SA.

In 2019 I was planning on running up and down Sani Pass which has an altitude gain of 1332m in about 29km. A few weeks before that I broke my wrist and was unable to run, so instead, we took a drive up which my legs were grateful for. I had never been to Sani pass before and did not quite understand what a hell of a climb it is. My eyes popped out of my head as I followed the road up into the sky and sat comfortably in the car as it used all its power to get up.

Driving up the Sani Pass was a wild experience! The road is a narrow dirt road only wide enough for one car to pass along the edge of the mountain. It winds all the way up with sharp hairpin turns and no railing adding to the thrill. The road leads you to Lesotho; The Kingdom in the Sky and also Africa’s highest pub at 2874m where you can enjoy a cold Maluti beer and look at the incredible view.

Sani Pass is a mountain pass located in the West of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on the road between Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal and Mokhotlong, Lesotho

Fun Facts about Sani Pass

  • The route up Sani Pass starts at 1,544m, and climbs 1,332m to an altitude of 2,876m

  • The road is a steep gravel road with gradients up to 1:3

  • Sani Pass is the only road that reaches the top of the Drakensberg range

  • Sani Pass opened as a trade route in 1913

Things to do in Sani Pass

  • Hike the Drakensberg- Giants cup, Giants Castle, Langalibalele Pass

  • Drakensberg canopy tour

  • Visit the highest pub in Africa - Sani Mountain lodge

  • Visit the Underberg Cheesery

  • Visit the Pucketty Farm

  • Visit Castleburn Lake

Buy an art print of Sani Pass

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