Sani Pass, Lesotho

The Sani Pass is an iconic mountain pass located between South Africa and Lesotho. The view from the summit of the Sani Pass is world famous – and one of the most picturesque sights seen on Planet Earth. The summit of the Pass reaches almost 9,500ft. The road to the Pass is well-renowned as one of the most dangerous in the world, yet this doesn’t deter many from attempting to reach the Pass. In this article, we take a look at this popular tourist attraction, and provide useful information on a stunning pass.



As mentioned, the Pass lies between Lesotho and South Africa, and is part of the Drakensburg Mountain Range. The road to the Sani Pass was built in the 1950s. The route begins at 1544m above sea level, and rises a further 1,332 metres! The road to the Pass is profoundly dangerous. It is steep and treacherous. South African law dictates only 4×4 vehicles are permitted to attempt the route. However, those approaching from Lesotho are – somewhat controversially – allowed to attempt to scale the Pass in any vehicle they choose.




A slew of remains from vehicles that unsuccessfully navigated the route can be seen on the approach to the pass – a reminder of the treachery of the road. Unsurprisingly, efforts are being made to modernise and improve the safety of the road. However these efforts take years to fully implement, and further work is continuing. Tentative predictions state that by summer 2019 that the road will have been improved fully. But for those who do reach the pass – the view is stunning, as seen in a selection of photos below.



It should be noted that inclement weather regularly causes the Pass to be closed – unsurprisingly. The route to the Pass is tough for even experienced drivers. Those that do make it to the summit however have incredible views – and can access the highest pub in Africa! The views are stunning, and the Pass is fondly known as the ‘Roof of Africa’ – impressively! Anyone that does reach the summit can attest to that nickname – especially given that visitors are 9,500ft above sea level!




The Sani Pass is a popular tourist attraction – and judging by the pictures seen, it isn’t hard to see why. The Pass lies conveniently between Lesotho and South Africa. Such is their closeness, that border posts for both nations are actually visible throughout the route. There are many tour operators that operate in the local area, who can happily arrange tours – they too will be experienced in scaling the road. Overall, the Sani Pass is well worth visiting! For more information on Lesotho, check out our travel guide on the nation here. Happy travelling!





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