Winner of Silver Award for Africa Responsible Tourism in category
"Best for Poverty Reduction" 2016

Sani Lodge provides a wide range of accommodation  deep in the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, bordering directly onto the World Heritage listed uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

Situated on the famous Sani Pass, bordering directly onto the World Heritage Site and just 16 kilometres from the border post with Lesotho, Sani Lodge is a peaceful country haven and Responsible Tourism destination with a  laid back atmosphere, where guests can simply kick off their shoes and wholly unwind. You will feel the layers of stress peeling away as you relax and immerse yourself in nature. This place restores your soul and upon departure, you will feel mentally and physically rejuvenated. We are not a ‘ party place’.

Russell and Simone Suchet started the Lodge in 1992 and are both dedicated to conservation of the environment particularly the wilderness, to wildlife , to sustainable partnerships in tourism with stakeholders therein creating self-employment and social uplifement in impoverished regions , respect and preservation of people 's cultural identities in Lesotho, Kwazulu Natal and the Khomani san in Kgalagadi transfontier park. Join Russell for a chat about the 7th edition of his book “A Backpacker’s Guide to Lesotho” over a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of our renowned chocolate cake at our restaurant on site. Relax at “One of the Best Backpackers away from the big towns in South Africa" ( SA Handbook), breathe in pure mountain air and drink mountain spring water, take a dip in our swimming pool,  soak up sunshine next to invigorating mountain pools only half an hour hike away, retire to the sunny reading nook, enjoy sundowners on our wooden deck verandah facing the awesome mountain range bordering onto Lesotho, socialise around the braai facility, enjoy wholesome meals in our restaurant and in winter, curl up in front of a log fire in the cosy common room.

As a 4 star graded Backpackers, our accommodation is simple and affordable, cosy, clean and comfortable with the personal touch of Simone's creative flair for African ethnic decor and art paintings evident in all the rooms and art gallery at the restaurant. We are often the first port of call for foreigners arriving in South Africa. Our staff will welcome you as proud members of the only Fair Trade Certified Backpackers in Kwazulu Natal and leaders in Responsible Tourism.
Please note however that if you are looking for Hotel room service, porters, private jacuzzi, champagne  on arrival and personal valet, then a Backpackers is not the place for you.

We do offer three lovely self-catering cottages which are separate to the Backpackers and also on the same property for families, couples ,and the traveller seeking more comforts with a bit more money to spend.’


You will find that SANI LODGE BACKPACKERS caters for the needs of the  “Independent Traveller  With a Conscience “, those seeking affordability and wanting to support sustainable social upliftment  ,as well as satisfy their sense of adventure through activities on offer.

Sani Lodge is at the start of the famous Giant’s Cup Trail. It is an ideal base for selfguided hikes and guided hiking, viewing Bushman Rock Art, exploring Lesotho from one to seven days, horseriding, mountain biking, swimming in mountain rivers and pools and viewing birds, animals and wildflowers unique to this area.

Sani Lodge is the base for Drakensberg Adventures, offering excellent action packed tours with knowledgeable guides and all inclusive packages for a full mountain experience.

Sani Lodge is home to the Giant's Cup Café well known for wholesome home-made goodness (see the Getaway review article here). Enjoy delicious home-cooked meals, teas, coffees and cakes while browsing our interesting craft shop supporting single entrepreneurs, organic and fair trade products, our own dairy goods or looking at local art works displayed including a variety of over 70 species of indigenous plants on sale.

FTT Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa certifies another tourism business in KwaZulu Natal!

Sani Lodge is proud to have linked up with 8 other Fair Trade accredited backpacking businesses to be part of the “Fair Trade Travel Pass." Click here to see details on this exciting new initiative.

South African Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC) is aligned to the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSETC) to represent the interests of all its members. Its objectives are to market South Africa globally as a preferred youth tourism destination and to establish a professional youth tourism industry based upon accreditation and guidelines.
Backpacking South Africa (BSA) was formed in 1998 to market South Africa as the best international backpacking destination. Its members are budget accommodation providers such as backpackers, backpacker services, lodges, student residences and small boutique hotels. It now falls under the umbrella of SAYTC.
“I'm writing to let you know that your company has been specially recommended in Rough Guides' new book - Clean Breaks: 500 New Ways to See the World - published in August 2009.  Rough Guides is one of the most successful and respected travel brands in the world, with over 300 travel guides in print. We have a reputation for good writing, accuracy and honesty.  In writing this book, the authors have highlighted 500 fantastic places across the globe which will inspire people to see the world in a new light, selecting unusual holidays and alternative ways to travel which make a real difference to the lives of local people and the planet.  Only a few companies qualify for a special recommendation of this kind, which highlights your company as one of our authors' favourites”.
-Ragini Govind -  PR & Marketing Support Coordinator Rough Guides

Fair Trade in Tourism (FTT) is a non-profit organisation that promotes sustainable tourism development.

We do this through awareness raising, research and advocacy, capacity building and by facilitating the world’s first tourism Fair Trade certification programme.

FTT awards the use of special label to qualifying businesses as a way of signifying their commitment to Fair Trade criteria including fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing, fair operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and environment.

By electing to stay at or use the services of an FTT-certified establishment, tourists are assured that their travel benefits local communities and economies, and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

FTTSA Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa certifies another tourism business in KwaZulu Natal!

Welcome to WESSA
Sani Lodge Backpackers has been awarded SILVER MEMBERSHIP in grateful acknowledgement of their support of WESSA.
WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) is a truly South African non-government organisation (NGO) with a proud history in our country. For over 85 years WESSA has proactively engaged with the challenges and opportunities presented by South Africa’s unique natural heritage and the social and economic systems that depend on it. As a membership-based organisation we have sought to encourage and generate individual and community action and to build capacity for conservation and sustainable development in a broad cross-section of South African society.

WESSA works to ensure environmental sustainability for current and future South African generations. We focus on the sustainable and equitable management of our natural resource base by building society’s environmental sensitivity and competence by calling to, and working with, communities and individuals to move from current to more sustainable action. Our mission to implement high impact environmental and conservation projects which promote public participation in caring for the Earth is expressed in the diverse and dynamic collaborative partnerships that WESSA creates to enable its work. Working within the vital sectors of water, biodiversity, energy and waste, WESSA is a preferred project implementer nationally, regionally and internationally.


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Sani Lodge | Phone +27 (0)33 7020330 | Cell +27 (0)839873071 | Fax +27 (0)86 5147915
E Mail

Sani Lodge | Phone +27 (0)33 7020330 | Cell +27 (0)839873071 | Fax +27 (0)86 5147915
E Mail