Chapter 10: Roof of Africa

We’re almost at the finish line! It is within reach and we can feel it. After a brief but welcome respite in Bloemfontein, we left early in the morning and made the arduous journey to, what we consider, every 4×4 enthusiast and off-roader’s Disneyland; Sani Pass.

This is, by far, the most iconic mountain in all of Southern Africa, and the most difficult so we had a difficult task ahead of us. Sani Pass is on the border between KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and Mokhotlong in Lesotho. In fact, the road served as a trade route between the two countries but now it is a tourism hub, several tour operators run tours up and down the pass and it attracts 4×4 enthusiasts from all over the world.

That’s exactly what we encountered when we got there which caused a bit of traffic and delayed our journey up the trail.

Sani Pass stands at almost three kilometres above sea level, the drive is only nine kilometres from start to finish but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The road itself is steep and twisty, which is why only 4×4 vehicles will AWD capability are allowed to travel. One wrong move could prove fatal, the pass has claimed lives before and if you drive on it for long enough, you’ll eventually see the remains of vehicles that did not succeed in navigating the trail’s steep gradient or poor traction surface.

The ascent was relatively smooth and we didn’t have any issues, all three bakkies made it to the top of the pass and we had the pleasure of gazing out at the magnificent views atop the mountain. And boy, is it something to marvel at! The vast landscape is breathtaking and we had to take a minute to take it all in. The descent was a little trickier because of the sharp turns, without proper knowledge of how to control a vehicle you could easily roll down the gravel road. The features on the Karoo Special Edition Bakkies really came out to play and proved that they take on even the most dangerous of terrain.

Once we got to the bottom, we spoke to some local tour guides who told us that there are plans in place to tar the whole road and convert it into a regular road within the next couple of years. If you haven’t visited Sani Pass yet then the time to experience this epic 4×4 trail is running out soon.

We were meant to head into Lesotho as our next destination but plans changed as we only have time for a few more stops before we finally complete our journey.

Join us in the next part of our ongoing blog series as we explore all that Southern Africa has to offer as we Unleash The Explorer in You!


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