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Lesotho - an amazing place.

South Africa
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Lesotho - an amazing place.

Lesotho highland are a truly amazing place, of unbelievable rural remote beauty.

Sani Pass - recorded as the 3rd steepest pass in the world between Kzn Natal and Lesotho, should be a must do on any itinery.

Irrespective of what information is available on the internet, this pass cannot be negotiated either up or down, by normal car without serious consequences.

This is well signposted on the South African side of the border post, but has no warning signs or restrictions approaching from Lesotho. A fact that has become the very worst nightmare for some travellers!.

Unless you are touring in a substantial 4 wheel drive vehicle, and have above average rough terrian driving skills, it is recommended that you use one of the several well equiped and experienced tour operators in Kzn Natal, who can make this a memorable and safe experience for you.

Petersfield, United...
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1. Re: Lesotho - an amazing place.

We're really interested in doing this from the South African side up into Lesotho. We will have a Nissan X-trail or equivalent class rental car. How does the Sani Pass compare in difficulty to the Swartberg pass in the Karoo? We did this last year in a Honda CRV without any difficulty at all and would be up for something more challenging.

South Africa
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2. Re: Lesotho - an amazing place.

Provided the x trail is 4 x 4 preferably with suitable off road tyres and not the 2 wheel drive version it would be adequate.

There has been ongoing debate about tarring Sani Pass, during which time very little if any maintenance on the pass has taken place. Up to the old "Hopewell" trading store ruins not far from the Sani Pass Hotel the road is in the process of being prepared for tar, with some maintenance having been done between here and the SA Border Post. From here on up - about 7 kms - is a challenging drive. The road in parts is in extremely poor condition, badly eroded with loose rocks, currently a perfect "white knuckle" experience.

The last time we did Sani was in July this year - this after recent snow falls in Lesotho. All water on the South facing areas of the escarpment was frozen - including 2 steep and sharp corners on the pass, some travellers gave up at these points!!. I would not suggest as a "first time up" that you attempt this in these conditions. It was on this trip that we encountered a 1,4 Citi Golf in serious trouble trying to descend the pass, which prompted my comments in this forum!!.

When you do the trip do not miss Thabana Inhlenyana about 10kms from the top into Lesotho. This is the highest point south of Kilimanjaro in Africa, and has been recorded as the 2nd highest road in the world.

Also bear in mind that many of the roads in Lesotho are "rough" - our average speed between Mohotlong and Maseru was about 60kms/hr, make timing provision for this if you are travelling further than the top of Sani into Lesotho.

We "do" Sani on average every 6 weeks. I am certainly no expert, but will be happy to offer any further information if I can, should you require this.

Above all - enjoy the experience.

3. Re: Lesotho - an amazing place.

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