Author Archive

Bikers from the US of A opt to tour Sani Pass in style

James Burnham (left) and Joel Nix (right) visited Underberg on a dark and cold evening, in search of a Sani Pass adventure and a comfortable hotel to rest their weary bodies and feed their appetite. What struck us was their inspiring spirit of adventure.

Winter International Tourists, rave about Sani Pass!

These spirited tourists from Idaho, Utah, and Arizona (above) embarked on a journey up the intrepid Sani Pass and into Lesotho! Sunny faces and exclamations of appreciation bubbled in the group as they recalled their unique Autumn day-trip experience.

They loved their visit to the Basotho village where they entered the chief’s traditional stone hut for an immersive experience from our talented tour guides. The village chief was delighted to have almost her entire range of handmade Basotho curios snapped up and bought by our American guests. This is a wonderful gesture which will be appreciated by the village during the cold and quieter months ahead.

Adventurers from Brussels ready for Sani Pass

Arnout and Jessica joined Major Adventures for their private tour up Sani Pass and into Lesotho. Such a proud and happy couple. Arnout and Jessica are from Belgium and came to South Africa for three weeks. Jessica didn’t know what Arnout had planned for her, but when they were at the beautiful Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga four days ago – Arnout went down on his knees and – presenting Jessica with a ring – asked for her hand in marriage! To Arnout’s joy and happiness, Jessica accepted his proposal and their travels through South Africa took on a very different light. Weeks before the trip to South Africa, Arnout did the right thing – and approached Jessica’s father for his blessing and permission to marry his daughter. But Jessica’s father kept Arnout on a string saying that he would “think about it”. This anxiety lasted a whole week, until Jessica’s father relented and gave Arnout his blessing.

It must have been so difficult and scary-exciting for Arnout to hold onto this secret until they arrived in South Africa and travelled to a beautiful view point in the Blyde River Canyon.

Eastern Cape family conquer Sani Pass

Six happy souls from Port Elizabeth chose Major Adventures to introduce them to the epic Sani Pass that leads up the great escarpment of the south, into Lesotho.

Colleen & Dudley Blevins tour Sani Pass. A blast from the past!

Charlie and Gardi Major of Major Adventures were thrilled to reconnect with good friends and pioneers of Sani Pass. Dudley Blevins started with Mokhotlong Mountain Transport MMT / Giants Cup Motors as an apprentice in 1974. Then did his army service and later returned.

Join us for a virtual tour up Sani Pass and into Lesotho

Travel 109 km with us in just over 3 minutes, and get a key-hole view of the unparalleled Sani Pass adventure into Lesotho. No other operator has the history that our business is fortunate to have. We are the only Sani Pass tour operator that has a living family legacy with the Sani Pass that dates back to 1956, and whose business has never changed ownership. Deep roots, extensive experience, rich knowledge and talented guides, make the Major Adventures experience of the Sani Pass into Lesotho – the best that money can buy.

The Bearded Vulture, commonly known as the Lammergeier

lammergeier, (German: “lamb vulture”) (Gypaetus barbatus), lammergeier also spelled lammergeyer or lammergeir, also called bearded vulture

Steeped in adventure, ready to be explored – the Sani Pass into Lesotho

Photo by Reese Braam / Unsplash

The name Sani Pass had no association with the San people

The history of Sani Pass in the Drakensberg Mountains is one that is steeped in adventure, danger, and excitement. It is a unique area of the world that has long captivated adventurers, both current and past.

Summer green mountains greet our tourists from the Netherlands

Another happy group of Dutch tourists give us a thumbs up for their adventure through the Summer-green mountains, and up Sani Pass into Lesotho.

Big smiles from Willem and Fieke from the Netherlands

Excitement sparkled in the eyes of Willem and Fieke who prepared themselves to buckle up for their “African massage” drive in our 4×4 Toyota Prado, and up the rocky roads and across flooded streams  and up Sani Pass into Lesotho.

Unparalleled plant, bird and wildlife species

The Sani Pass in the Southern Drakensberg Mountains is home to an astounding array of flora and fauna species.

The Veneboer family from the Netherlands enjoy Summer & Sani Pass

The Veneboer family, parented by Cor and Theresa – travelled to South Africa with their three sons and their girlfriends – to experience our great outdoors.
William accompanied Myrthe, Robbert travelled with Elien, and Lars Veneboer was with his girlfriend Lonneke.

The incredible Sani Stagger

The road of sweat and tears

In the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, outside the tiny towns of Underberg and Himeville – is the road that leads runners to the famous Sani Pass. The Sani Pass – which was once a bridal path used to carry goods from South Africa up into Lesotho on the back of donkeys – is the steep and gravel road that athletes use for the Sani Stagger. The course is an “out & back” course that runs from South Africa to Lesotho, and back! The course runs 21.1km up Sani Pass to the Lesotho border post, and then 21.1km back down the pass into South Africa.

It was an all ORANGE turnout for Sani Pass & Lesotho – for our international guests

Breathing in the fresh mountain air, our Dutch travellers took a moment to stand amongst the mountains and appreciate the view.

Niels from the Netherlands given a private tour with our guide – Allen

Niels enjoying his Maluti Beer in the highest pub in Africa

Our favourite photo of Allen on route up Sani Pass

Niels learning all about the Basotho culture

Allen Mkhize, our guide – narrating the story of the Basotho

Allen caught by the camera at the highest pub in Africa

Lesotho – journey to the Kingdom in the Sky

The Daily Maverick published a short visual essay providing travellers and tourists with a glimpse into the ‘Kingdom in the sky’.

Mike Schneider-Mrosowski from Altenkirchen Westerwald, Germany – does the Sani Pass

Mike travelled from Köln Altenkirchen Westerwald – Germany to South Africa. Part of his travels included experiencing the original 4×4 Sani Pass tour into Lesotho. Mike enjoyed the tour with a very experienced, knowledgeable and jovial guide of ours – Ellias Mofukeng.

Gifts for Mike’s grand daughters back home.

Tycho Zandbergen and his mother Lidy make the most of Sani Pass and Lesotho

Ms Lidy Uiterwijk Winkel and her 7 year old son –  Tycho Zandbergen, summited Sani Pass and travelled into Lesotho together. Lidy and Tycho are from the Netherlands.

Warren – unsung hero who helped rescue an injured tourist

Yesterday one of our guides – Warren Dlamini demonstrated a level head and quick thinking.

Cleo from Germany – Our youngest traveller today

Tiny Miss Cleo – all the way from Germany, took her parents on her first Sani Pass 4×4 tour into Lesotho today.

Basotho love from the USA

The group of Major Adventurer’s today were all the way from the US of A, and had such a good time in Lesotho and experiencing the 4×4 trip up the legendary Sani Pass. Donning Basotho blankets and headgear, they celebrated the end of the day together.

Sani Pass Birthday Celebration

Freezing fun was had by all when Sonya invited her friends to celebrate her birthday with her – in Hollywood style – with a trip up Sani Pass with Major Adventures. Everyone came in theme with their own special costumes.
Dozens of special moments and achievements were experienced by everyone, including:

The Dutch and their Spirit of Adventure

You can feel the energy and spirit of adventure when you speak to Gerrit and Margriet. They are from Holland and have been touring South Africa. Just look at the photos and you can see that this couple love life and adventure.

Misty and friends

Misty is the Major Adventure’s golden Labrador. She is only five years old, but loved by all our Sani Pass tourists and visitors.

Stranded in Casablanca for 64 days

Ted and Elsabe Jasrzebski contacted Gardi Major today for a trip up Sani Pass. This was the third time that they have come to Underberg to make take the 4×4 drive up the pass. The first visit was washed out by rain, and the second – by snow. But Ted and Elsabe persevered, and finally went up the pass today.

Tour guides celebrate after COVID lockdown

South African tour guides join Gardi Major after two years of lockdown and no business, to smile again with hope and joy.

Families exploring South Africa and Sani Pass – from the Netherlands

What a pleasure it was to meet this family this morning. We had a long chat and when I mentioned that its not often that we see families travelling together from abroad, they said that many other South Africans said the same. With the cost of travel, I suppose its easier for Europeans travelling to developing countries like ours – where their currency multiplies – buying them incredible value.

Good morning Belgium!

The Belgiums are a fascinating people. The Kingdom of Belgium is a federal monarchy in Europe. Due to its diverse communities, Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. The two main communities in Belgium are the Dutch-speaking Flemish community and the French-speaking Walloon community.

Its so great to see international tourism picking up again

Pre-COVID, South Africa enjoyed on average 162 thousand inbound travellers (excluding Africa) in the month of May each year – which was switched off and lost for two years – shattering the tourism industry around the world.

Such friendly visitors from Holland

An excited couple from Holland didn’t hesitate to jump on board our 10 seater land cruiser, in preparation for the trip up Sani Pass – where a fascinating 2 hour drive on the winding gravel road lay ahead of them.

‘The Great Lesotho Cover-up’

My first impressions of Lesotho were brown, a lot of brown, sprinkled with little specks of bright colours, like candy coated buttons on a caramel cake.

Poisoned Arrows or Flights of Fantasy?

“The San believe that rain is caused by an animal that flies across the sky, which when captured, is brought to the land requiring rain, it is then cut so that its blood can “rain” over the land. Kaggen, the mantis, it is said threw up into the air the moon which was his shoe. He also had a pet eland, his wife was a dassie (rock rabbit) and an adopted daughter was a porcupine” (it was believed that the stars were shining porcupines dotted in the sky).

No battle scars on tyres after 10 trips up Sani Pass.

Local guides and community help to repair Sani Pass Road

Water poured down the Sani Pass after heavy rains on Saturday night.  As I drove with up the Pass with Charles Major from Major Adventures, waterfalls sprayed from the side of cliffs and formed silver lines running down the sides of the mountains.

The Birth of Sani Pass

“On a good day you can see until tomorrow” is how views from the edge of the Sani Pass have been described.

Local Info and History

In October 1998 Charles & Gardi Major opened their doors and started Major Adventures in Underberg.