Sani Pass

Last updated: Jul 24, 2014

Located in Lesotho at a height of 2837 metres above sea level, the Sani Pub is the highest pub in Africa. The pub lies at the top of the Sani Pass, which is only accessible by a rugged, winding 4x4 trail. The scenery surrounding the pass is amazing offering beautiful views of the Lesotho Drakensberg - and the rocky road only adds to the adventure of the journey.

The route, called the 'roof of Africa', has a nerve-wracking final climb of over 800 metres in just 8 kilometres, and 4x4's are the only motor-vehicles allowed up. If you don't have your own 4x4 you can join a tour leaving from the base of the pass at 9:30 and returning at 16:30, or cycle up the pass which will take you between 2 and 3 hours.

In order to get to the top of the pass you'll have to cross the South African border and so you'll need to have a valid passport (or temporary passport) with you. You don't require a visa though, which makes it quite simple to get across.

What to do

As the snow melts after the winter, the pass gets transformed into a wonderland of flora and fauna. The pass makes for excellent bird watching, fishing, and horse rides/pony trekking allowing you to get into this beautiful area and experience the breathtaking nature around you.


Go on a hike up Thabana Ntlenyana which is the highest point in Africa south of Kilimanjaro, at a height of 3482 metres. The hike is 12 kilometres from Sani Top and takes about 8 to 9 hours. Taking a local guide is recommended and will cost R200 for the day. The route can also be completed on horseback.

Another route is to the Hodgon's Peaks, which are in view most of the time when ascending the Sani Pass. The peaks take about 5 hours to summit and stand at a height of 3200 metres.

Horse riding

One of the best ways to view the Sani Pass is to take a horse across this beautiful and rugged terrain. You can hire horses on an hourly and daily basis, with price being negotiated before you depart. A guide will take you through the mountains showing you the many spectacular viewpoints.

Cultural tours

The Basotho people who live in the Lesotho Highlands are a welcoming and hospitable people. Take a tour of their way of life, sharing local food and beer, learning about the history of the people, and visiting traditional homes.