Sani Pass Tours Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 5th September 2015

    Drakensberg and Midlands tour of KwaZulu Natal 1-2 September 2015

     

     

     

    It would be north of Durban where our Drakensberg and Midlands of KwaZulu Natal tour would begin. After meeting my clients at 6am we departed for Sani Pass and a tour over into Lesotho over the majestic Drakensberg mountain range.

     

    This day would be a very long day as it always is but this time I would have to stay at the bottom of the pass as the vehicle was full with the specialist Sani pass guide leading the adventure into Lesotho.

    I was able to get some work done before my clients returned somewhat tired but happy at after the amazing tour into Lesotho up Sani pass. They got to visit a Basotho village and taste some Basotho bread and beer! This is always a highlight on these Drakensberg day tours.

    Of course the climb up the pass into Lesotho is breathtaking and the stop for lunch at the Highest Pub in Africa at 2874 meters is amazing!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg, sani pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After my clients returned we still had what turned out to be a 3 hour drive to the Central Drakensberg as we had such bad mist I could hardly see right in front of my nose so we had to go slowly.

     

    We arrived at 7pm at Didima one of the most beautiful places in the Drakensberg and home to Cathedral peak the main peak in the area which is 3004 meters above sea level. 

     

    It was dark so we settled in for some dinner before quick  star gazing and then bed!

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Drakensberg tour 

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed a sleep in and met for breakfast at 07:30 am but the mountain was looking so beautiful we had to get some picture of it before breakfast.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View of Cathedral peak

    Drakensberg tour, View of Cathedral peak

     

     

     

     

     

    To show the perspective of the area I photographed my vehicle into the picture as well. The huts are shaped like the Eland antelope which is the San-Bushmens totem animal(the original South Africans).

     

    After breakfast we visited the Rock art center which has a museum on the bushman and has artifacts like original San-Bushmen Quiver and Arrows. This was found my J.S. Lombard in 1926 in the area of Didima. He of course felt he could make some money and tried to sell it. It now is of huge significance and part of a rare collection in the Didima valley. We also watched a very powerful 15 minute clip of the area and the Bushmen to understand them more!

     

     

    It was not time to hike to Doreen falls a lovely area in the Didima valley where the San-Bushmen used to run free before they were eradicated by Nguni, British and Dutch settlers.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Hiking in the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, Hiking in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

    When you hike in the mountains you can sense the loss of life but there is a great peace over the area and the beauty is incomparable with any other land I have visited! The Proteas, our national flower are in this belt at about 1400 meters above sea level and we eve found 2 flowers left on one tree!

    We arrived at Doreen falls and on route spotted some Baboons and many wild flowers.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Doreen falls

    Drakensberg tour, Doreen falls

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way down the mountain and headed very happily to the midlands of KwaZulu Natal where we would visit the Piggly Wiggly for an amazing lunch as well as the shops in the area before heading to the Nelson Mandela capture site!

    After visiting a couple of amazing shops we arrived and the rain had come. It was the first spring rains on the second day of Spring! Good timing!

    We stopped and I explained to my clients about the capture site of Mandela and the plaque that is here to commemorate this even in 1962.

    We then entered the Museum which is a recent additive. It is amazing and very comprehensive!

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela in arrested

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela in arrested

     

     

     

     

    On the 5th August 1962 Mandela was arrested on his way from Durban to Johannesburg where he would be having a meeting about the way forward. He was basically in hiding.

     

    Mandela had a huge influence over the changes in our rainbow nation sadly too many of the older generations feel hard done by and still have hard hearts towards the changes where now our nations is free.

     

     

    Mandela stood up to the Apartheid government and back in the days when “Blacks” needed a pass just to enter there own land the city, Mandela and many other decided to protest and burn their passes.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela burns his pass

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela burns his pass

     

     

     

     

     

    This was one of the first major events in our history which lead to more conflict as the “White” would not tolerate the lack of control over the “Native”….

     

    There were many trials against Mandela and other was in in 1956.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Treason trial 1956

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Treason trial 1956

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Nelson Mandela’s first interview after coming out of hiding


     

     

     

    Mandela managed to get away with this one and then went under cover visiting country’s like England rallying up support against the Apartheid system and to get support for the MK, the violent struggle.

     

    Mandela was a Lawyer and well educated and was wise. He would say things during trials that showed his complex mind and his ability to understand more than most could.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandelas words

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandelas words

     

     

     

     

     

    These words that Mandela spoke would be worth a read from our President now to the person on the street. South Africa is for all groups of people and not only to be dominated by one group!

     

    We had now ran out of time and although we wanted to visit Howick falls it was raining heavy so we agreed to head back to Umhanga(North of Durban). 

     

    I dropped my clients off and we were all tired but very happy. I would collect them again the following day for a Shakaland day tour.

    This had been another amazing 2 day Durban tour.

  • 10th June 2015

    Sani Pass Tour into Lesotho 10th June 2015

     

     

    I met my clients in Durban and we began the 2.5 – 3 hour drive up to Underberg where we would be ascending into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho via the Sani Pass.

    It was a very cold day and on route to Underberg we actually saw the mercury drop down to 1 degree Celsius which was quite something for South Africa and KwaZulu Natal, but it was our winter!

    As we drove I chatted about some of the interesting history but as my client we Lawyers they were keen on hearing my opinion on the state of the Nation.

     

    We arrived in Underberg and it was around 5 degrees. After fulling up the paper work it was time to get into the 4×4 vehicle and we made our way slowly up the pass climbing over 1500 meters in a couple hours. We always stop to look at the amazing view on these Sani Pass tours so we can get some great pictures.

     

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour; View up Sani Pass

    Sani Pass Tour; View up Sani Pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Drakensberg or Ukhahlamba in Zulu meaning Barrier of Spears is South Africa’s second World heritage site behind St Lucia or Isimangeliso wetland park where we would be going the following day.

    These majestic mountains cover over 250 kilometers and rise up to about 3500 meters which is the highest point south of Kilimanjaro.

    We reached the South African border post and got out at passport control and stretched the legs.

     

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour; South African border post

    Sani Pass Tour; South African border post

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then continued out Sani pass tour and arrived at the Lesotho boarder post and the temperature was 9 degrees we were all sure it was less as it was freezing.

     

    Here at the Sani Top you have the highest pub and Africa which we had lunch at and some interesting shops.

     

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour; Shop in Lesotho

    Sani Pass Tour; Shop in Lesotho

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Chinese have just finished tarring the road from the top of the pass to the nearest town which made our drive really easy to the Basotho village where we met a couple Sesotho people and entered into one of the ladies huts for a taste of her free pot bread. It was as always lovely!

     

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour; Basotho pot bread

    Sani Pass Tour; Basotho pot bread

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also got to see some pigs which sound crazy but the mother pig had babies and they were actually cute. They even started sucking while we were there and this was a sight to behold as they gorged themselves!

    Sani pass is really a lovely way to access Lesotho if you have a 4×4 and is well worth the visit. We had learned more about the Basotho people and their culture so after a final picture of the Basotho hut we made our way back to Sani top to have lunch at the highest pub in Africa situated at 2874 meters above sea level!

     

     

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour; Basotho hut

    Sani Pass Tour; Basotho hut

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The lunch was great and we enjoyed the views down the mountain and Sani pass before getting back into the vehicle and making our way down from Lesotho leaving the majestic Sani Pass behind us and re-entering South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour; View down Sani Pass

    Sani Pass Tour; View down Sani Pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The hairpin bends at the last section of Sani pass are something you have to witness to believe and they views on this Sani pass tour are amazing. Words cannot describe the area, you have to visit this amazing area on a Durban day tour.

     

    We arrived safely back down in South African and made our way back to Durban arriving home before 7am. The next day would be the St Lucia day tour. 

  • 19th June 2014

    Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban to the Sani Pass 18th June 2014

     

     

    We departed from Umhlanga outside of Durban with my clients and headed to UnderBerg where we would meet the 4×4 vehicle to begin our Durban Day Tour which would take us over into the Drakensberg/Lesotho via the Sani Pass. Sani Pass is a massive 2874 meters above sea level and has the Highest Pub in Africa at the top. Lesotho in the Drakensberg is on average over the country the Highest country in the world! This is mostly due to it being one of only a few countries which is land locked by one country(South Africa).

     

     

    The Zulu Name for this amazing mountain range is Ukhahlamba which in English mean Barrier of Spears due to the nature of the difficulty to cross these majestic mountains.

     

     

    This eastern side of Lesotho is the most baron part of Lesotho and only a handful of Hardy people live here. The Sani Pass has been used for years as a trading point for the Basotho(people of Lesotho) to Shear their sheep and goats and sell it to the South Africans.

     

     

    The Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban is only 2.5 – 3 hours away from the city of Durban and is spectacular. If you are in the Durban are you need to take this Durban day tour with Tim Brown Tours.

     

     

    Tim Brown Tours is fortunate to have won the certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for the second year in a row and is rated very highly on TripAdvisor. If in Durban and wishing to do either a Durban Day Safari/Durban overnight Safari or Durban Day Tour/Durban Overnight Tour you need to contact us! We will make sure your experience is special.

     

     

    We begun this amazing Durban Day Tour at 08:30 from Underberg and on route had some spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountains.

     

     

    We first stopped at the old Ticket station where if you are moving between Lesotho and South Africa you need to stop and put your name on the list so that the taxi knows who was there first before traversing the Sani pass into Lesotho via the Drakensberg or into South Africa.

    Ticket office at base of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Ticket office at base of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

    The next stop apart from the great views of the Drakensberg mountain was this lovely little waterfall on our Durban Day Tour.

    Waterfall when heading up Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Waterfall when heading up Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued up Sani Pass in the Drakensberg and stopped to look at the views in the mountain range the next stop being the border post into “No mans land” – the 8 Kilometers between the South African Border post and the Lesotho Border post.

    Border post on South African side of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Border post on South African side of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued up the Drakensberg and Sani Pass and reached ice corner which is so named because it is always got ice at that bend, when it snows that is a very difficult corner to traverse; even with a 4×4!

    Ice corner on our way up the Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014
    Ice corner on our way up the Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    After getting up Sani Pass and finally through the border post into Lesotho our Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban continued! We drove off to a Basotho village where we met with Me-Ilena and she was busy making the traditional Sotho pot bread. She was very welcoming and invited her into her home and we learned more on the Sotho Culture.

     

     

     

     

     

    Basotho Hut where we visit on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014
    Basotho Hut where we visit on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Basotho Women prepares home made pot bread on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Basotho Women prepares home made pot bread on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

    After we said goodbye to Me-Ilena and her lovely children we made our way back to Sani Top Pub the Highest pub in Africa at 2874 meters above sea level.

    We met some Basotho boys who played some music for us but it was so cold up there with a gale force wind blowing that we couldnt enjoy it for very long before heading inside to have a coffee and some warm food. This Durban Day Tour was warming up.

     

     

     

     

     

    Basotho Boys playing home made instruments at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Basotho Boys playing home made instruments at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    Lunch at the highest Pub in Africa was amazing and at that altitude I must say I got a headache the wind chill factor didnt help as it reduced the temperature close to zero.

    Highest Pub in Africa at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Highest Pub in Africa at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    We left the Highest Pub in Africa in the Drakensberg/Lesotho and made our way back down the mountain the views were amazing and we were all very content with how the Durban Day Tour to the Drakensberg had panned out.

     

     

     

     

    View of highest Pub in Africa heading back out of Lesotho down Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    View of highest Pub in Africa heading back out of Lesotho down Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014
    View down the pass from the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

    View down the pass from the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour from Durban into the Drakensberg are so special and you have to experience it to believe it! I do my best thinking in the mountains and even had my fathers ashes scattered in the Drakensberg in 2009. It is a truly special place.

    I would like to dedicate this blog post to my clients who did 3 Durban Day Tours with me but also to my Brother and his wife who had there first child this morning – To you “Jonah Lex Maber” may your life be as blessed and for-filled as mine!

  • 23rd May 2014

    Drakensberg/Lesotho – Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We departed from Hillcrest West of Durban with my clients and headed to UnderBerg where we would meet the 4×4 vehicle which would take us over into Lesotho via the Sani Pass. Sani Pass is a massive 2874 meters above sea level and has the Highest Pub in Africa at the top. Lesotho is on average over the country the Highest country in the world! This is mostly due to it being one of only a few countries which is land locked by one country(South Africa).

    This eastern side of Lesotho is the most baron part of Lesotho and only a handful of Hardy people live here. The Sani Pass has been used for years as a trading point for the Basotho(people of Lesotho) to Shear their sheep and goats and sell it to the South Africans.

    Sani Pass Sign in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Sani Pass Sign in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    As we began our Journey over the pass you immediately have brilliant views of the Drakensberg Mountain which is South Africas first world heritage Site and also the second in KwaZulu-Natal!

    The view before accending the Pass on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The view before accending the Pass on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    As we kept on heading up the dirt gravel road it got bumpier than ever but the views got more spectacular on the Durban Day Tour into Lesotho. The Drakensberg is one of the oldest volcanic rock formations in the World and is more than worth visiting! As we continued we spotted some Eland from a view spot. The Eland in the Totem animal for the SAN people who were the original South Africans more commonly known as the Bushmen. The hunted the Eland only for food and used every part of the body including the Fat which they mixed with blood, Ocre, Ostrich egg etc to make paint. The Drakensberg Mountains are littered with the Bushman paintings the only thing left of a race that was killed and the few remaining absorbed into the Zulu Nation.

    Eland the Bushmans Totom Animal on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Eland the Bushmans Totom Animal on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    After the Eland it was time to stamp our passports and exit South Africa for Lesotho.

    Border post as we left South Africa into no mans land between Lesotho and South Africa on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    Border post as we left South Africa into no mans land between Lesotho and South Africa on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Once through the border post we had 8 more Kilometers of great views before we would stamp our Passports into Lesotho and visit the Highest Pub in Africa. Durban Day Tours to Lesotho are a brilliant way to see this majestic Drakensberg Mountain.

    Small Waterfall as we ascended into Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    Small Waterfall as we ascended into Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We were almost at the Top a massive 2874 meters above sea level! We had already had great views and seen Eland, Mountain Rheebok and White Backed Vultures.

    View from the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    View from the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    What a place to stop in the Drakensberg for a drink and a rest. This really is a beautiful place to be and such a short way from Durban to take a Day Tour too.

    Me in the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Me in the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Even I had to have my photo taken in the Highest Pub in Africa and were a jersey as it was so cold. Below 10 Celsius.

    Basotho Boys play music for us outside the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We carried on deeper into Lesotho to visit a Basotho village and see how these people really live. We got to enter into a Basotho hut but before this we passed some interesting buildings on our Durban Day Tour to Lesotho.

    The Local Tavern and Public Phone in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The Local Tavern and Public Phone in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    A bit further up the road we passed the local Catholic church now due to the missionaries the Basotho people converted to Christianity over a 100 years ago as there King decided it was the right thing to do. Yes, Lesotho is a Kingdom just like England but the King is only Symbolic and not active in the running of the Country.

    The local Catholic Church in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    The local Catholic Church in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We finally got closer to the  Basotho Village but we spotted this Jackal Buzzard which looked straight past us and spotted a mouse and flew off and caught is. It was smothering it and we then decided to continue on.

    Jackal Buzzard takes off and catches a mouse in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    Jackal Buzzard takes off and catches a mouse in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Finally on our Durban Day Tour we entered the Hut!

    The Sotho hut we entered in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The Sotho hut we entered in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The floor base is Rocks which like in Zulu Culture is covered with Termite sand and Cow Dung to polish. At the center was the fire and this heats the stones in the floor so inside it is very nice and warm. The thatching grass covers the roof and the toilet is always outside.

    Basotho Bread freshly made in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Basotho Bread freshly made in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    After the Lady of the house Me Ileena had given us some bread and beer to taste and we had learned a bit more on the culture we had a chance to buy the bread and some crafts that she and her husband make.

    Inside the hut was also a few chickens and 2 cats all running around the place.

    We were done in the hut and heading to a place to have lunch before we began descending the beautiful Drakensberg Mountain from the Lesotho side.

    View as we descended the Pass from Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    View as we descended the Pass from Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    As we made our way down we bumped into this man who I see every time I come up Sani Pass into Lesotho. He never says a word or greets in anyway, it is hard just to get a nod from him but he is amazing. Every day he walks down the pass looking for dry wood and carries it up the mountain to sell for a few Maluti the local currency. What a guy!

    This always makes a Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass that much more special.

    The man that collects wood daily in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    The man that collects wood daily in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    If you wish to experience the same when you come to Durban join me Tim Brown Tours on a Durban Day Tour or Durban Day Safari Tour.