Your Guide to the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands

Sani Pass Hotel - South Africa's premier Drakensberg Resort

Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort is nestled in the beautiful Mkhomazana valley at the foot of Sani Pass and is famous for its warm hospitality, breathtaking views of the Drakensberg, and personal service. The Satour-approved, 3-star status Hotel can accommodate up to 200 guests. Sani Pass Hotel has an extensive range of facilities which ensures non-stop fun for all guests. Tours up the famous Sani Pass depart daily from the hotel. The Sani Pass Hotel caters for conferences and sporting or other interest groups.Enjoy the beauty of the Berg in comfort, at this premier Drakensberg resort.

Sani Pass Hotel - Drakensberg Resort at the foot of the Sani PassSani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort is situated directly at the base of the magnificent Sani Pass- gateway to the Roof of Africa. Make the very exciting trip either in your own 4x4 or by joining the daily tours that will take you right into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. From the rocky foothills of the Sani Valley the rugged Sani Pass climbs a further 1000m high into the Drakensberg. It crosses the border into Lesotho at 2873m above sea level. Close by lies the highest peak south of Kilamanjaro- Thabana Ntlenyana. Tours will explain the history of the Pass, reveal the unique montane flora and rare birds of this area such as the Orangebreasted Rockjumper, take you past refreshing waterfalls (frozen in winter) and visit a traditional Basotho village, sampling the life of villagers who survive on these windswept mountain slopes. The adventure is unforgettable and the views over the top of the escarpment down into KwaZulu-Natal, magnificent.

Accommodation in the Sani Pass Hotel Garden Cottages

Sani Pass Hotel - Drakensberg Resort at the foot of the Sani PassThatched cottages in the beautiful hotel gardens accommodate guests in single and double rooms all with en-suite bathrooms or showers. For families, Sani Pass Hotel have interleading cottages and large family rondavels. Front facing double rooms have en-suite bathrooms, TV and patios overlooking the bowling greens.

Accommodation in the Sani Pass Hotel Main Building

In the main Sani Pass Hotel building, choose between standard doubles, spacious luxury doubles, or executive/honeymoon rooms. Standard doubles all have an en-suite bathroom and/or shower, and T.V. The luxury doubles enjoy magnificent north-facing views across the golf course. These are large en-suite rooms with T.V, bath and shower. The executive/honeymoon rooms are individually decorated luxury rooms with the best views. They have en-suite bathrooms, T.V. and lounge area.

Meals at Sani Pass Hotel

The Hotel offers a quality continental and local style cuisine, with candlelight dinners and a dinner dance on Saturday nights. Our wine list features a selection of fine wines from our country's vineyards to suit all palettes. All rates include full board. A bounteous breakfast buffet including fresh fruit, yoghurt and cereals, your choice of hot English Breakfast items, freshly baked pastries and jams, and a selection of cold meats and cheeses, rounded off with tea or coffee. It is served from 7.30am-9.30am. Mid morning and Afternoon tea is served on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Sani Valley. Light meals can also be ordered throughout the day, or enjoy our poolside al fresco restaurant and bar.

Sani Pass Hotel Conference facilities

Business is a pleasure at the Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort and three venues cater for conferences of between 20 and 150 delegates. We arrange theme evenings, team-building adventure activities, and a variety of sporting tournaments to suit any size of conference or social group.

The Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort is the ideal setting for a variety of functions including weddings, birthday celebrations, reunions and company group socials. Our banqueting facilities can cater for up to 150 guests and with personal attention and careful coordination with our experienced team, we will do our utmost to accommodate all special requirements. You can be confident that your special occasion becomes a memorable event.

Activities at Sani Pass Hotel

Sani Pass Hotel - Drakensberg Resort at the foot of the Sani Pass Sani Pass Hotel offers a fantastic range of sporting facilities on its 800ha property. We have two full-size bowling greens that are available for competition or just for a fun game. There is a badminton court situated close to the pool. Two floodlit, all-weather tennis courts, squash court- for a good workout- volleyball courts and two outdoor pools adjacent to the outdoor terrace where the whole family can enjoy a fun-filled day. For the children, there is a gigantic play area with trampolines, swings, slides and a paddling pool with fountain.

Golf

Our 9-hole (18 tee) golf course is laid out along the meandering Mkhomazana River, with many scenic river crossings on swing bridges, and a backdrop of blue mountain peaks. It presents a pleasant challenge for any golfer. The tranquility and magnificence of the surrounding scenery are ample compensation when faced with some of the tricky river crossings and dauntingly narrow fairways of this high altitude course. Golf is free of charge for all hotel residents. Clubs are available for hire.

Horse Riding

Our excellent trail-riding horses take guests out onto the rolling grasslands. Rides cater for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders, and our horses are well schooled and cared for.

Fly-fishing

Fly-fishermen can cast a line in our stocked dam or take on the challenge of hooking a wild river Rainbow or Brown Trout. Rods and tackle are available for hire.

Hiking

The hotel enjoys direct access to the bordering Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, now a World Heritage Site. Explore this paradise of cascading waterfalls, walking trails, Trout-filled streams and some of the finest San Rock Art in the country. Several walking trails are marked, leading to waterfalls, Bushman Paintings (only with a guide) and enchanting bathing spots. These vary in length from 1 hour to full-day walks.

Rock Art

The San Bushmen were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa for many thousands of years. They were the creators of Africa's deep cultural past. Their only surviving monument to this achievement is their rock art, which is to be found in great variety in the Drakensberg.
They existed as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Their Shamanistic (medicine man) approach enabled them to survive in this harsh environment. They lived close to nature, were generous and hospitable people and killed only for their own survival.
With the arrival of both the Zulu and the European settlers, these small, innocent people were driven deep into the Drakensberg. As a result of disputes and cultural differences, they were partially exterminated and absorbed by the surrounding tribes.
Bushman or San Rock Art can be found in the sandstone shelters of the Southern Drakensberg (of which there are over 200 sites) and represent some of the finest in the world.
The Ikanti paintings, which are situated on a scenic walk not far from the Hotel, have been identified by Natal Museum and Conservation Services as being of great cultural importance. They can be visited with an accredited guide. The nearby Cobham Nature Reserve has some of the best sites south of the Didima Valley and it is possible to hire a guide to visit a selection of them.
These Bushman Paintings are part of our national heritage help us to preserve them.
Do not deface them nor chip pieces off the rock formations. In fact, do not even touch them. Should you wish to point something out on the paintings, use a twig or a grass stick as these will do less harm. Under no circumstance should fires be lit in or near these natural shelters as smoke and soot can do irreversible damage to the paintings.

Birding, Botany and Wildlife

Bordering on the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and at the base of the Sani Pass, our Hotel is ideally situated to discover the unique flora and birds of this region. The area is home to the Wattled Crane, a moist grassland special of which just over 200 breeding pairs remain. Spot the attractive Bush Blackcap and the Gurney's Sugarbird which feeds from the Protea flowers. Three bird species are endemic to this area: the Drakensberg Pipit, the Orangebreasted Rockjumper, and a relic population of the once widespread Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier.

From spring through to autumn, you will enjoy a passing array of wild flowers. The Drakensberg boasts over 2 000 species of plants. The grasslands are richly sprinkled with a variety of Grass Orchids, Lilies, Irises and Compositae that bloom variously between spring and autumn. The Pass will take you through colonies of various Protea species, including the furry-leafed Protea Roupelliae and Protea Caffra which grow to up to three metres in height. Much loved are the splendid blooms of the Kniphofia or Red Hot Poker and Wild Irises which you will find scattered along stream banks. In the Sub-Alpine belt, Fynbos grows in protected river valleys. Ontop of the Berg the harsh climate is survived only by a unique collection of alpine plants making up a heath exclusively of Heather and Helichrysums.

The grounds of the Hotel and surrounding parkland are home to the renowned Eland, Mountain Reedbuck, Lesser Reedbuck and Duiker. The valleys and cliffs support troops of Baboon and colonies of Rock Rabbit. Snakes are also common- look out for the Berg Adder which is specific to this area.

Other places of interest near to the Sani Pass Hotel

The proximity of Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort to the twin country villages of Himeville and Underberg gives you the added diversions of tea gardens, shopping, a museum, animal farms and several restaurants. For garden lovers, there are the Glencairn Daffodils to view in spring, Dragon Mount Iris Nursery sells bulbs in early summer, and Kenmo Lake gives a legendary display of coloured trees each autumn. Those with a spirit of adventure can try whitewater rafting, microliting and hang-gliding, or go on a farm tour or fossil tour. Hikers or picnickers will also enjoy nearby Cobham Nature Reserve. This is a wonderful district for mountain biking, and bikes can be hired in Underberg.

 

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