The Ultimate Mountain Retreat!
Sani Mountain Lodge offers accommodation at the top of Sani Pass in Lesotho and is home to The Highest Pub in Africa.
The Lodge is situated on the border between South Africa and Lesotho, sitting 2874m above sea level. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is by far one of the best-kept secrets in Africa. Although the trek to get to us is tricky as only 4×4’s are able to navigate the famous Sani Mountain Pass, you will be sure to feel like you’ve arrived in heaven above the clouds when you get to us. The views are breathtaking! From warm sunshine to blustery cold and snowfall in a matter of 24 hours, you never know what the weather may hold for us. Be sure to request a weather report from us to prepare yourself for an adventure of a lifetime and to pack in something for every eventuality! Join us in the ‘Highest Pub in Africa’ for a hearty meal and a friendly drink. You will be in awe of the views with top service and tasty treats to top it off! Renowned adventurers, stargazers, thrill seekers, holidaymakers, geoscientists and honeymooners alike! We have welcomed thousands of guests over the past years and look forward to welcoming you to the top of the world!
- No matter the time of year, it can get quite cold at the top of the mountain so pack your winter clothes as well as for other seasons.
- Booking is essential.
- Great Deal
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The ‘mountains of the dragon’. The ‘barrier of spears’. Such are the types of names that the mighty Drakensberg range has inspired humans to remember it by. This range which forms the western boundary of KwaZulu Natal is the breeding ground of storms in summer and snow-covered peaks in winter. It has proved to be impenetrable by many of man’s traverse attempts.
While there are various routes across the soaring peaks which can be used on foot, there is only one place where a road has successfully reached the top – the Sani Pass.
Most Lesotho adventure travelers are aware that the Sani Pass is a must do on their travels around this country. Sani Pass is the only access from Kwa-Zulu Natal to the Lesotho Highlands, the domain of the endangered Bearded Vulture, Basotho shepherds and their animals. This steep zigzagging pass climbs the face of the Drakensberg escarpment to an altitude of 2874m.
It’s generally not a difficult drive in any modern 4×4 vehicle and is a wonderfully scenic drive if the weather plays its part.
Sani Pass was originally developed as a bridal path in 1913 which was primarily used as a trade route between South Africa and Mokhotlong.
All goods were carried by pack mule. The drivers usually had spare mules on hand to replace any that they’d push over the edge after shifting their loads to the reserves.
In those early days, Sani was easily identifiable from afar because of the vultures and Lammergeiers that circled above awaiting their next meal. The Sani Pass was opened in 1948 by an ex-Spitfire pilot called Godfrey Edmonds, who on the 26 October 1948, aided by laborers armed with ropes and assorted blocks and tackle, manhandled a war-surplus Jeep up the path in an exercise that took about six hours.
In 1955, David Alexander and friends began constructing a road for their Land Rovers so they could create a trade route between Himeville in KwaZulu-Natal and Mokhotlong in Lesotho. So the Mokhotlong Mountain Transport Company was created, and the Pass which it made famous.
Sani Pass had at last been conquered by the wheel, and five years later the Mokhotlong Mountain Transport Company began running eight-ton 4×4 freight trucks up and down the pass, which was nowhere near as user-friendly as it is today.
A simple inn was built at the top to give shelter to travelers. You were treated to warm beds, good food and the option to drink in “The Highest Pub in Southern Africa“.
In 1994, when the access road from Mokhotlong to Butha-Buthe was tarred, the heavy traffic stopped using the pass altogether.