Due to the extreme road conditions, the Sani Pass cannot be done in a Mazda 323 heavily loaded with luggage. The Pass, which is a steep route including 22 hair-pin bends into Eastern Lesotho, the highest pass in SA, is said to be one of the most scenic parts of the Drakensberg mountain range. Not wanting to miss out, we decided to join a 'day tour' from our backpackers.
The drive up the pass was fun particularly when meeting a 14 seater minibus taxi with 21 people in it coming the other way! The route also gave us more of an insight into the burning of the burning of the grass and bush in SA which is done to prevent unexpected bush fires during the heat of the summer months. They use a chemical on the ground to create a fire break to control the burnt areas except we could see where the fire had jumped the break and apparently got scarily close to the hotel in it's path!
At the top of the pass the views were disappointing but we did get to visit a Besotho lady in her house, learn a little about life here and to taste some 'joala' (sorghum beer) which to be honest was bloody disgusting!
Given the choice of walking a few hundred metres up to the highest point you could get to or going to the Sani Top Chalet to the bar, it was no surprise we were ordering beer and chocolate within minutes, after which time was getting on and it was time to head back down.
That part of the Drakensberg was a let down though meeting the Bosotho lady at least gave us an experience we otherwise would not have had, so the trip has not been put under the 'waste of time' category as it otherwise might have been.