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Sani Pass is a
mountain pass A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. The ...
located in the West of
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal (, also referred to as KZN and known as "the garden province"; zu, iKwaZulu-Natali; xh, KwaZulu-Natala; af, KwaZoeloe-Natal) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu people, ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most populous nation a ...
on the road between Underberg,
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal (, also referred to as KZN and known as "the garden province"; zu, iKwaZulu-Natali; xh, KwaZulu-Natala; af, KwaZoeloe-Natal) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu people, ...
and Mokhotlong, Lesotho.


Route

The route up Sani Pass starts at 1544 m, and climbs 1332 vertical metres to an altitude of 2876 m. The road is a steep gravel road with gradients up to 1:3, which can be difficult to drive in bad weather and may be covered with snow and ice in winter. By South African law only 4x4 vehicles are allowed on the road.Several tour operators
run guided tours up and down the pass. The pass lies between the border controls of both countries and is approximately 9 km in length. Caution must be exercised and motorists must be alert while navigating the pass as it has claimed many lives. Occasionally the remains of vehicles that did not succeed in navigating the pass's steep gradients and poor traction surfaces can be seen.


Road upgrades

The Sani Pass dirt road will be upgraded in two phases; phase 1 extending for 14 km from the P318 (Sani Pass) turnoff and finishing at the old Good Hope Trading Post, and phase 2 extending from kilometer 14 to kilometer 33, the summit of Sani Pass. Construction work for the first phase commenced in December 2006 and was completed in September 2012. An economic impact study for phase 2 was compiled in August 2011. and its environmental impact assessment was compiled in October 2011. On 2 July 2013 the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism approved the execution of phase 2 of the project, with the ultimate objective to re-gravel the final 5 km of the pass. The department also authorized plans to upgrade the storm-water drainage system and retaining walls along the route to reduce sand and gravel erosion. On 21 May 2014 the South African Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa, approved the execution of phase 2. Tarring was planned to start within five months following the announcement and would bring the total cost of the project to R887-million. In July 2015 it was stated that phase 2 shall be completed in 2019.


Border regulations

While South African emigration at the bottom of the pass prohibits vehicles deemed unsuitable for the journey, the Lesotho border agents at the summit generally allow vehicles of all types to attempt the descent. The pass is often closed due to adverse weather conditions, especially during winter. The respective border control stations open at 6:00 and close at 18:00.DHA Webpage - South African Ports of entry
/ref> The South African/Lesotho border is at the summit of the pass and not at the South African border control point. Sani Pass therefore lies entirely within South Africa.


Television appearances

*''Perilous Journeys'' episode, "The Roof of Africa". *Top Gear, Series 23, Episode 2 *Extreme Frontiers - South Africa


Gallery

Sani Pass 003.jpg, Sign board Sani pass.jpg, The mountains of the Sani Pass View down into South Africa from top of Sani Pass in Lesotho.jpg, View down into South Africa A vehicle on Sani Pass.jpg, A vehicle traversing the pass


See also

*Mountain passes of South Africa *KwaZulu Natal Passes *Hela Hela Pass *Swartberg Pass


References


External links

{{Sister project links , wikt=no , q=no , b=no , n=no , s=no , v=no , voy=no , species=no , d=Q127968, display=Sani Pass *http://www.roofofafricatours.com/tours/sani-pass-tour/ *http://www.southafrica.info/africa/sanipass-190706.htm *http://www.sanipasshotel.co.za/sani-pass-activities/ *http://www.kznwildlife.com/site/conservation_planning/planning/Sani_Pass_Border_Post_Redevelopment/index.html *https://sanipassprivatetours.com/ Lesotho–South Africa border crossings Mountain passes of KwaZulu-Natal Mountain passes of South Africa