DRIVING FROM SANI-PASS TO MOTEBONG LODGE

The drive from Sani-Top to Motebong Lodge, like others most in Lesotho, is best measured in driving time as opposed distance – approximately 4hrs. During winter months the latest time to leave Sani Top should be 13.00Hrs.

Secondly, the advice for off-road driving with manual transmission cars; proper gears selection and timely changing of gears is everything!

Thirdly, as a common courtesy on the tight mountain roads, vehicles going up a slope have right of way.

Starting the climb up Sani-Pass.

Starting the climb up Sani-Pass.

A view of the top of the Pass

A view of the top of the Pass

The hair-pin bends closer to the top of Sani Pass – much friendlier off late!

The hair-pin bends closer to the top of Sani Pass – much friendlier off late!

The A3 Sani-Pass to Mokhotlong at Thaba Phatsoa – one of the finest roads in the country.

The A3 Sani-Pass to Mokhotlong at Thaba Phatsoa – one of the finest roads in the country.

The recommended route is A3 (Tarred) from Sani-Pass to Mokhotlong, then A1 (Tarred) from Mokhotlong to the Kao Diamond Mine/Ha Lejone turn-off into B804 which is 3Km past Letseng Diamond Mine and 1Km before Tlaaeng Pass – and this is the last 60kms of the route!

The first 36Km of the B804 is a reasonable gravel road, servicing the Kao and Liqhobong Diamond mines. This road deteriorates sharply after the turn-off to Liqhobong just past Kao mine, where there is currently no maintenance the last 19Km with the drive to Motebong Lodge being a about 1hour.

This last section of the route providing a medium of-road challenge – if Sani-pass left you looking for more. While a 4×2 vehicle with a reasonable clearance can be suitable for the route, a 4×4, AWD or front-wheel vehicle is desirable during rains and light snow. In heavy snow only a heavy 4×4 is recommended.

As the pictures below will confirm, driving the B804 after sunset might not be a clever idea!

A taxi crossing the Malibamatso river on the B804 some 18Km from Motebong.

A taxi crossing the Malibamatso river on the B804 some 18Km from Motebong.

The B804 after the Malibamatso river crossing.

The B804 after the Malibamatso river crossing.

A muddy patch on the B804 just drying-up.

A muddy patch on the B804 just drying-up.

A taxi starting the last major descent a few kms. from Motebong.

A taxi starting the last major descent a few kms. from Motebong.

The alternative route is to proceed on the A1 past Butha Buthe, turning left into the B25 at Leribe and leading to Ha Lejone/Katse Dam. Motebong Lodge – signs will be visible from just outside Hlotse and when entering Ha Lejone village. This route adds 130Km to the trip but is all tarred.

  • Sani Mountain lodge (www.sanimountainlodge.co.za) with majestic views of Sani Pass is the ideal venue for a rest after ascending the pass and for staging a trip into Lesotho or to experience the warmth of friendly Lesotho for the last time before departing down Sani Pass.

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