Up the Sani Pass to LesothoFebruary 16, 2020 in Lesotho ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C
Today we're leaving South Africa and heading into the mountainous country of Lesotho. To get there, we drive away from the coast and head through the Drakensberg (Dragon's Mountain) range, up to the Lesotho highlands.
Most of the way, the drive is very smooth, on new tarmacked roads which wind up into the mountains, and we soon arrive at the border. We check out of South Africa, and head into no-mans land. Here, the road stops, and it becomes a mountainous dirt road, and we need to engage the 4x4 low gear in order to make it up the last few kilometres. Our little 4x4 handles it well though, and the views are breathtaking. The mountains are reminiscent of a dragon's back, cutting a jagged silhouette against the blazing blue sky. The air gets thinner and thinner, and it takes a nervously long time to turn the engine back one once we've taken a few photos.
A couple of hours later and we reach the top. We're able to take in the wonderful vista that we've scaled, with a sense of achievement that we've made it up here by ourselves (most visitors arrive in organised 4x4 tours). The mountaintop is rugged, with a rough moorland which reminds Chris of Yorkshire. It's also very cold here, despite the blazing sun, so we wrap up in hoodies.
After setting up our tent, we head to the highest pub in Africa, just next to the border post. We have a Lesothan beer on the terrace, which is sat right on the cliff edge, affording incredible views down the pass.
Later, after the sun disappears, the temperature plummets, and we're the coldest we've been in Africa. We head up to the pub for our evening tea, which is a hearty mountainous affair, accompanied by warming red wine. We read stories on the wall about snowfalls trapping people in the pub on top of the mountain for days on end. We eye the extensive wine rack and muse that there would be worse places to be trapped.Read more