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Discovering KZN: Places to see in Sani Pass

The winding gravel road to the summit of Sani Pass in the southern Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg.

The winding gravel road to the summit of Sani Pass in the southern Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg.

Published Jul 1, 2022

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South Africa has so much diversity when it comes to our beautiful provinces. There’s a little bit of everything everywhere, and Sani Pass happens to be one of them.

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Sani Pass is situated in the west of KwaZulu-Natal, on the road between Underberg and Mokhotlong, Lesotho. It is a well-known mountain pass, with breath taking views.

Because it’s such a popular pass, it’s a major tourist attraction, and cars and 4x4s drive on the route, also known as the “roof of Africa”, almost every day. Here are five places you can explore in Sani Pass.

Thabana Ntlenyana

Thabana Ntlenyana, which literally means "Beautiful little mountain" in seSotho, is the highest point in Lesotho and the highest mountain in southern Africa.

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It is situated on the Mohlesi ridge of the Drakensberg/Maloti Mountains. It stands at 3 482 metres high.

Many visitors enjoy hiking up this mountain and soaking up the glories of the Beautiful little mountain. On the regular, the peak is also climbed from Sani Top Chalet or from Vergelegen Nature Reserve.

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Sani Mountain Lodge

With all that travelling and hiking, a drink is surely in order - why not enjoy your favourite beer or drink of choice at the highest pub in Africa. The Sani Mountain Lodge, previously known as Sani Pass Chalets, is filled with history, culture and grafitti. Here you can also enjoy a meal, and if you’re feeling particularly cozy, they offer overnight accommodation.

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Castleburn Lake

This masterpiece of tranquility is situated in the southern Drakensberg, a home to eland, reedbuck and 100 species of bird that flock to the re-established wetlands.

There are a number of activities you can enjoy in Castleburn including rowing, canoeing, sailing, hiking and many more.

Sani Pass MTB trial

If riding up Sani Pass with your mountain bike is one of your burning goals, then this is the perfect challenge for you. But beware, the pass is only for hard-core riders, as the air is thin up there and it takes about five hours, according to Mountain Biking Trails of South Africa.

The Whistling Goat

Of course, filling your roaring belly with cozy delicious meals is a must! The Whistling Goat was opened by Chefs Paul and Charisse, giving guests a little country cafe vibe in The Stonehouse.

Pastas and homemade bread are just some of the hearty treats on offer at this cafe.

One of the best things to do when visiting a new place is to try out the foods and satisfy your tastebuds with the restaurant’s favourites, such as Chef Paul’s walnut tart packed to the brim.

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