Negotiating Sani Pass in winter

When I did the trip that became Swahili for the Broken-Hearted I called into the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

Lesotho is the only independent state in the world where the entire country sits more than 1,000 metres above sea level. At 1,400 metres, its lowest point is the highest in the world, if you get my drift.

I left Lesotho down the Sani Pass, a dirt road that snakes 1,332 vertical metres down the side of the Drakensburg mountains. It drops at a 1:3 gradient and in winter waterfalls along the route freeze. The water that normally cascades across the road turns into a giant ice rink.

By law only 4×4 are supposed to use the road but, this being Africa, that’s not always the case. I had to take my chances in this beat-up minivan crammed with day workers heading to KwaZulu-Natal below.

At least the driver insisted we got out and walked when the road got too icy.

Sani Pass in winter
Swahili For The Broken-Hearted by Peter Moore

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