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Activities

The Sani Pass

The legendary Sani Pass provides the only road link between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho, and is the only road crossing the summit of the high Drakensberg.

Originally a mule track, it is still a tortuous, hair-raising road today. At 2873m you enter the land of the hardy “people of the blanket”, a place that time has forgotten.

The views from this altitude are nothing less than awe-inspiring, with snow and frozen waterfalls in winter, and a blaze of flower blooms in summer.

Take your own 4×4 or let a recognised Tour Operator drive you.

Valid passports are essential for each person and some require a visa. Enquire with the Tour operators.

Sani Pass Tour OperatorsMore about the Sani Pass

Hiking

The Southern Drakensberg offers superb hiking opportunities to all, young and old, fit and unfit. From short rambles to overnight hiking, experience the views, the peace and swims in mountain streams. Fit hikers might tackle a strenuous trip up the Rhino or bag Hodgson’s Peaks and Thabana Ntlenyana (the highest point in Africa south of Kilimanjaro).

Most of the walks are in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, administered by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. All hikers on KZN Wildlife land must purchase an entry permit first. Always take a waterproof jacket with you when hiking - the weather can change very quickly in the berg! Also pack energy food, a water bottle, sunscreen and a cap.

More about Hiking in the Southern Drakensberg

Fishing

The Southern Drakensberg area affords more fly-fishing opportunities than any other district in South Africa!

A traveler cruising the N3 on a clear day may see far off to the west the snow clad peaks of the high Drakensberg. As the highway snakes coastward the high Berg twists away to the East and it is here, at the kink in the spine of the mountain that the finest of South Africa’s trout fishing is found. For here flow the mighty Umzimkulu, the lyric Ngagwana, Umzimkulwana, Ndwana, Pholela and Mkomozana.

More about Fishing in the Southern Drakensberg

Horse Riding

Horse riding is always a favourite Berg activity, with numerous hotels and farm getaways offering outrides. Horse riding tours into Lesotho are a favourite and so are day or hourly rides for all levels of ability.

Polo and Polocrosse are very popular within the district with active clubs.

The backbone of the South African team has often been farmers in our district.

Horse Riding ProvidersAbsolute Polo School

Flora & Fauna

The Southern Drakensberg forms part of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, declared a World Heritage Site for both its precious cultural and natural resources. The spectacular escarpment of the Drakensberg hosts a rich biological diversity of endemic and rare plant and animal species including unique high altitude Alpine vegetation.

The summer months see the mountainside transformed into a mass of colourful flowers, not to be missed. Nowhere is this abundant floral splendour more evident than in the Southern Drakensberg, because the Sani Pass makes rapid access to even alpine flora very easy. Birdwatchers come here to see rare and uncommon cranes, endemic raptors like the mighty Bearded Vulture (Lammergeyer), and mountain grassland species like the Drakensberg Siskin and the Orange breasted Rockjumper.

Birding Providers

Mountain Biking

The Southern Drakensberg is fast growing into one of the premier mountain biking destinations in South Africa. Some of the most popular MTB races in the country such as Sani2C and Joberg2C use trails in the Underberg area.

Drak MTB Club hosts two MTB events each year, the Riverlea Drak MTB Xperience and the Sani Transfrontier Epic.

Excellent riding trails are maintained on a commercial basis by Sani Spoors – starting from the Olde Duck Coffeeshop (about 2kms on Route T7 road). These trails offer some of the best forest, river and cattle single track riding in the country.

The numerous district roads in the Underberg area provide endless scenic riding routes with varying distance and climbing requirements. Sani Pass offers a strenuous and technical 42km ride up/down the pass. Passports are necessary for this ride. A shorter (28km) non technical but very scenic ride is also available to the SA border post and back.

All private farms in the area are unfortunately not available to visiting cyclists. Strictly by arrangement, riding on certain farms only, is restricted to Drak MTB Club members only. 

Sani Spoors

Golfing

There are 3 golf courses in the district. Underberg Country Club has an active golf section with regular tournaments. Sani Pass Hotel has a picturesque nine hole course while Drakensberg gardens Hotel has an 18 hole course as part of the Drakensberg gardens Golf Club, complete with clubhouse and restaurant overlooking the course which is deep in the mountains.

Golf Courses

Canoeing & Tubing

The Southern Drakensberg of South Africa is home to some of the most beautiful and pristine rivers, perfect for canoeing and tubing adventures. Feel the rush of the rapids as you navigate through breathtakingly scenery. Don't miss out on the opportunity to connect with nature and have an unforgettable river adventure in the Southern Drakensberg.

OperatorsDrak Challenge Canoe Race

Local Events

The Southern Drakensberg is known for its vibrant local events scene. From internationally-renowned music festivals such as Splashy Fen to thrilling outdoor pursuits such as the Drak Challenge Canoe Race, Sani2C mountain bike race, and Ultra Trail Drakensberg, there is never a dull moment. Whether you're a sports enthusiast or a music lover, the Southern Drakensberg has something for everyone.

All Local Events

Rock Art

The discovery of 70,000-year-old art in Blombos Cave, Western Cape, suggests southern Africa as the origin of modern humans, with the Bushmen leaving a rich legacy of rock art in the Drakensberg for over 10,000 years.

With over 600 sites and 35,000 images, the Drakensberg hosts one of the world's largest art galleries, offering insights into Bushmen society. Pat Vinnicombe's groundbreaking research in the 1960s and 70s reshaped understanding of rock art in the region, emphasizing its cultural significance. Managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and AMAFA, strict preservation measures ensure the protection of these ancient artworks, highlighting their importance for future generations.

Rock Art Guided Hikes