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“Lesotho and Sani Pass”
Review of Sani Pass Tours

Sani Pass Tours
Ranked #3 of 18 things to do in Underberg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Once, the Sani Pass was a rough mule trail descending the Eastern Highlands of old Basutoland into Natal. Tough drovers brought wool and mohair down the Pass on donkeys and mules to be exchanged for blankets, clothing and maize meal, the essentials for life in a remote, impoverished country. And a young man had a dream of operating a motor vehicle service up this fantastic Pass, using the 4-wheel drive vehicles he had seen on service in World War II. His name was David Alexander and he founded this Company in 1955. It has operated on the Sani Pass ever since.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Lesotho and Sani Pass”
Reviewed July 1, 2014

It is a wonderful ride up a very steep escarpment on an unbelievably rocky and bumpy road- so it's slow- great views down the valley. Arriving on to a high level plateau (over 2,000 metres), very un-populated apart from a few locals playing some simple instruments and a few grazing animals spread over many miles. But you can get a a short visit to a herders village with its round huts and take a lunch and pint of beer at the highest pub in Africa. Well worth the trip of about 5 hours or so in total. You can easily appreciate why the great Zulu warriors could never defeat this "Kingdom in the Sky"- the defenders would simply roll rocks down at that them as they tried to fight their way up the slope.
You can easily arrange the trip from Underberg.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank RobWoodbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cape Town
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Journey to the top”
Reviewed June 13, 2014

We went with Sani Pass Tours on a 4 by 4 trip up and down this spectacular pass which takes you into Lesotho, our driver was Wilson, don't accept any other, he was great and very knowledgable, we went to a typical hut where the occupant had cooked delicious bread in her oven over the hot fire coals. You get a chance to buy some local handiwork and the children danced and sang for us.
We had lunch in the highest pub in Africa before the hair raising trip down. Saw lots of wildlife and birds. All in all the highlight of our time in Himeville.
What is the greatest shame is that the government of South Africa are planning to tar this road so as an adventure it will be lost for ever but the Chinese are building a dam in Lesotho and need to get their huge construction vehicles to the top, such a pity but we understood that local campaigns to prevent this have failed so go while you can or you will never be able to again.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Whitlingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good and Bad”
Reviewed May 10, 2014

We booked with Sani Pass Tours for 4 adults and a toddler. We opted for day tour with them and found a great guide who was friendly and accommodating. It costs R650 per adult and R500 per child.

The company, however, left a bad taste to our experience. The vehicle we were taken in was in a bad condition. I did even request for a change of vehicle as i saw a group leaving in a Fortuner few minutes prior to us leaving. Our guide and driver phoned the owner who refused to accommodate us. Having paid R3100, i expected a better arrangement. The seats had lost most of the foam. Seat belts were missing. Seat covers were torn from places and out peeped dirty leftover fillings. I wish we had booked with another tour operator.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank MSiddiqui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
586 reviews
253 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 383 helpful votes
“Kingdom in the Sky”
Reviewed May 8, 2014

It takes a good 4x4 vehicle and an even better driver to undergo this dangerous steep old mule track of a road with numerous switchbacks and hairpin turns. The Drakensberg Mountains are the highest in South Africa and this area is a World Heritage Site. Coming to the border of Lesotho at 9,429 ft is the highest pub in Africa and the local beer is Maluti. We visited a Basotho Village of circular huts with thatched roofs. In this high treeless landscape, seeing men on horseback wearing wool blanket shawls, it's the way I envision Mongolia to look. Elena served us hot backed bread from a dutch oven in her hut fueled by burning cow dung. I had Elmar at Gibela Backpackers in Durban arrange my transport to Underberg and then went with Thaba Tours up the Sani Pass so it was a long day starting at 5am and getting back about 6pm but I thought it was definitely worth it.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank vagabondginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ashleymartabano
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastic guides and experience”
Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

Sani tours offers two options: a day tour up and back with lunch at the sani mountain lodge, or an overnight at the lodge. I opted for the overnight. They made all the arrangements and even helped with a b&b suggestion for my night before the tour. The operator was very helpful. The tour itself was wonderful. I was with two people who loved birds and our guide, Wilson, accommodated them enormously, stopping for any sized bird and doing an incredible job spotting things! He was patient and helpful and I was so glad that I got to ride back with him the next day. He helped me with booking the horse back ride I did and with any other questions I had. He was knowledgable and friendly. The vehicles I rode in were well kept with solid brakes (I'd heard that another participant had had a bad, brakeless ride years ago with another company which is why I mention it). The whole ride up I kept thinking how happy I was to have made the decision to take a tour instead of tackling it myself. This is a wonderful thing to experience in Lesotho and I highly recommend the overnight to get a chance to really relax and soak in the atmosphere.

Helpful?
1 Thank ashleymartabano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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