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Checkout Sani Lodge and Backpackers Watch Video

Situated right on the famous Sani Pass Road, just 16 kilometres from the South African border post with Lesotho, Sani Lodge, pioneered by Simone and Russell Suchet in 1992, is a beautiful working farm on 30 hectares of land that borders directly onto the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

There they make feta, halloumi, cheese, cream cheese, ice-cream and butter using milk from their Jersey cows; create beautiful Ceramics from locally sourced clay and paint Drakensberg landscapes and flowers displayed in the Giant’s Cup Café and Crafts Art Gallery; propagate indigenous plants for the greenhouse shop; support local rural communities via offering employment and assistance with education; and actively participate in local Wildlife and Environment initiatives.

Sani Lodge is at the start of the famous 5 day Giant’s Cup Trail. We do the bookings for self-guided hikers wanting to camp or stay in caves on behalf of KZN Wildlife as well as issuing day permits for entry into the Park.

Sani Lodge is the base for Drakensberg Adventures Tours, started by Russell and Simone in 1997, offering 23 different value-for-money action packed tours from 1-7 days in the Drakensberg and Lesotho with specialised highly qualified Guides for a full mountain experience that includes pony trekking, guided hikes to caves and Thabana Ntlenyana (highest peak south of Kilimanjaro) slack packing and rock art.

Lodge Accommodation

Accommodation at the Lodge ranges from camp sites with lawn and shade trees, to budget rooms with bunks, a self-catering house for groups of 30 people, standard rooms with shared ablutions, en-suite rooms and single rooms.

Amenities include a fully equipped self-catering kitchen, sitting rooms with an open fireplace, modern bathrooms, large central boma.

Self-Catering Cottages

Aloe cottage: mountain views and log fireplace with two bedrooms each en suite (queen bed and twin beds), lounge, dining area, fully equipped kitchen, garden with braai stand. Sleeps four people. Park across stream.

Guineafowl cottage: garden view, two bedrooms (double bed and bunk bed), bathroom, kitchenette, heaters, garden with braai stand. Sleeps four people. Park in main parking area.

Honeyguide cottage: mountain views and log fireplace, three bedrooms (one ensuite – double bed, twin beds, bunk bed), two bathrooms, kitchenette, sitting room, garden with braai stand, parking next to the cottage. Sleeps six people.

Ntshitshi cottage: log fireplace, three bedrooms (double bed, twin beds), kitchenette, sitting room, bathroom, garden with braai stand. Sleeps six people. Park in main parking area.

Amenities for guests staying at both the Lodge and cottages include an onsite restaurant, swimming pool at the Lodge, a nature trail, free WIFI, fully licensed bar, complimentary milk from our cows, table tennis barn, shop with snacks and dairy produce, crafts, art and ceramics gallery,


Relax at “One of the Best Lodges away from the big towns in South Africa” (SA Handbook); mountain bike up Sani Pass, horse ride, trail run, walk to mountain waterfalls from the doorstep, hand milk our cows, enjoy sundowners on the deck veranda with exquisite views of Lesotho mountains, join a tour with Drakensberg Adventures, and in winter curl up in front of a log fire. Join Russell for a chat about  his book “A Backpacker’s Guide to Lesotho”


  • Africa Responsible Tourism Award,
  • Internationally recognised Fair Trade in Tourism Certification since 2011,
  • Four Star grading with Tourism Grading Council South Africa since 2008,
  • Sani Lodge was selected as one of five tourism businesses in South Africa in 2023 for demonstrating Responsible Tourism – a business that assures quality and reliability, respect, transparency and consistency of service to the customer.

 These all symbolise a trusted destination with high standards, dedicated to sustainable social investment, environmental and wildlife conservation and quality service to guests

Q Do we need our own car to reach Sani Lodge? And what activities do you offer?

If you don't have a car, you can use the transport service from Durban or Kokstad. Car hire is a cheap and more flexible way to get around South Africa.
The main onsite activities include;
* self-guided hiking into the Drakensberg Park directly from your room,
* swimming in mountain pools and rivers,
* reading a book by the wifi free zone at the swimming pool,
* enjoying a sundowner as the sun sets over the mountains,
* revelling in the tranquility and beauty of the natural surrounds,
* playing table tennis in the barn,
* seeing the milky way in clear night skies,
* observing wildlife such as duiker, rhebuck and reedbuck,
* enjoying a barbeque outdoors,
* meeting people from all over the world in a relaxed environment.

Q Is there a bar and restaurant? Is there WIFI?

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (a three course meal).
Please make sure that you book dinner in advance. We cater for vegetarians and vegans.
There is free WIFI at the restaurant and bar only. There is no WIFI at the lodge.

Q Is there anything for children to do?

Simone is proud to announce that the new 'Paint on Clay' space is opening on Friday 29 March for the Easter Weekend. Fun for the whole family! Follow on;

* Instagram #giantscupcafecrafts and #simberclay and,
* Facebook Sani Pass Road Giant's Cup Cafe and Crafts and Simbergclay

BOOKINGS - 0835661997

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