Vehicles & Guides


VEHICLES

At Drakensberg Adventures, we run our tours in a fleet of 5 Landrovers. Our Landrovers can carry up to 9 passengers in each. The configuration is two on a bench seat in front with the driver, three in the middle seat and four in the back on two small, inwardly facing seats. We have chosen to use Landrovers for a number of reasons:

  1. Landrovers are the toughest and safest vehicle to drive on the rough roads of the Sani Pass. They hold the road well, have a very high clearance, are very strong in low gears and do fairly well in slippery icy conditions. If conditions are dangerous due especially to ice, our guides are instructed to use their discretion and park before any obstacle. There is no pressure on them to “get up at any cost” – safety is the number 1 concern in such circumstances.

  2. Landrovers are historically the Sani Pass vehicle. For many years, they were the main if not only vehicle using this route and they have a very unique and distinct ambience. We have found that our clients really enjoy a day in a “Landy”. If we park the Landy and the Toyota in the car park, guests invariably crowd the Landrover!

  3. Landrovers are the only vehicles which can carry up to 9 passengers. By being able to carry larger numbers, this allows us to keep our prices lower than other operators. Our tours depart earlier, go deeper into Lesotho, offer a wider range of experiences and return later than other operators. In addition, our company is the only one who includes a packed lunch in the tour price. We also include contributions to the lady who’s house we visit in Skiring village, to the Shepherds and to the Shearing Shed (in season) – see our Community Tourism page. Using larger capacity vehicles allows us to do this. Our tours, we believe, offer a far superior service at a cheaper price, and using Landrovers allows us to do this. If comfort is your main priority, then maybe our tours are not for you.

NOTE THAT OUR TOURS INVOLVE A LOT OF SHORT DRIVES BETWEEN LOTS OF STOPS WHERE YOU GET OUT THE VEHICLE TO LOOK AT VARIOUS THINGS, SO YOU ARE IN AND OUT THE VEHICLE ALL DAY. WE ALSO ENCOURAGE CLIENTS TO MOVE AROUND THE VEHICLE DURING THE DAY SO EVERYONE GETS A CHANCE IN DIFFERENT SEATS.

GUIDES

Drakensberg Adventures are fortunate to be able to call on the services of a wonderful group of freelance guides. All the guides who work for us are specialists in some way, all are experienced on the Sani Pass and all are passionate about what they do. We have always believed in the principle “pay peanuts – get monkeys” and as such, we pay our guides far better than other operators. In return, we expect the highest of standards from our guides in terms of guiding and driving. All guides are expected to buy into our vision of community tourism and our environmental ethos. Using larger capacity vehicles allows us to pay more for better guides and still keep our prices to the client lower than other operators.



Philip Grant was born in England in 1953, but moved to Africa at an early age with his parents and has lived in Africa for most of his life, first in West Africa, and then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he was educated.

While at school Philip completed a three week Outward Bound course in the Chimanimani Mountains, which made a lasting impression on him.

Once settled and married in South Africa, many special holidays were spent hiking and backpacking in the Drakensberg Mountains. After moving to the Boston area near Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal in 1993, Philip discovered many beautiful walks and hikes in the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg and the surrounding areas. He enjoyed introducing them to others and sharing his love of the outdoors.

In December 2005 Philip qualified as a Drakensberg Mountain Walking Guide, founded Southern Secrets Hiking and Backpacking, and registered with all the relevant authorities.
In 2010 he upgraded his qualifications to National Mountain Walking Guide.



Christeen Grant is a qualified Drakensberg Mountain Walking Guide (high-altitude, overnight and off-trail) as well as a KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg and Midlands Nature and Culture Guide,

Christeen is a regular free-lance driver / guide of 4x4, day and multi-day hiking, cultural and pony trekking trips into Lesotho via Sani Pass, and San Rock Art walks for Drakensberg Adventures since 2008.

Wilderness and Mountains, including Flora and Fauna are passions and interests; these, combined with being a prolific photographer, illustrator and fine artist complement and enhance the potential experience of clients.

Philip Grant, (her husband), and Christeen are Southern Secrets Hiking and Backpacking www.southernsecrets.co.za



Aldo Berruti He loves nothing more than to show and share the Drakensberg Mountains, Sani Pass and Lesotho with visitors to this spectacular part of Southern Africa, from its human heritage (including Bushman rock art) to the natural world, from the climate and geology to plants and animals (especially birds). Before choosing to live in Underberg, he was a professional research scientist and conservationist. He also headed up Birdlife South Africa.

OUR ETHOS:

These extracts for our guides’ Local Operating procedures give a flavour of our ethos:

  • The guide is to at all times act with courtesy and respect to the local people, be they border officials, shepherds, shearers or village dwellers. Our ethos is to show Basotho culture and the unique lifestyle of the mountains in a positive light, and to show respect for the people and their practices. This ethos should come across in all our interactions with local people.

  • The guide is to at all times show respect for the environment. Our ethos is “minimum impact touring”, meaning that under no circumstances are guides to drives vehicles offroad, all litter from lunch to be collected and brought home, environmentally sensitive toilet practice, guests prevented from littering anywhere, hiking practice to attempt to minimize erosion and sensitivity shown to all living things. This means no removal of any plant or flower, and nothing beyond observation when it comes to birds or animals.

  • The guide is to at all times show respect for the client. The tour is for his/her benefit, and within the parameters of other operating procedures, ethics of the tour guide, time and conditions, the guide should do all he/she can to ensure that the client gets to see and do what he/she wants to. The guide should act in an open, courteous and friendly manner, and never belittle the client’s nationality, occupation, interests or any other factor. The guide should always act with humility and remember that we can all learn from each other.

  • The guide should always aspire to upgrade him/herself. Drakensberg Adventures expects guides to have a passion for the product, to have a hunger for new knowledge, to constantly try to strive for improvement in their performance, to have respect for Lesotho – its people, culture and history, to see the tours as a joint venture between Drakensberg Adventures and the various entities in Lesotho. We should aim to emphasize the positive, and to challenge stereotypes and presuppositions which clients may hold about Africa and Africans.


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Sani Lodge | Phone +27 (0)33 7020330 | Cell +27 (0)839873071 | Fax +27 (0)86 5147915
E Mail info@sanilodge.co.za

Sani Lodge | Phone +27 (0)33 7020330 | Cell +27 (0)839873071 | Fax +27 (0)86 5147915
E Mail info@sanilodge.co.za

SANI LODGE BACKPACKERS DOES NOT HAVE A 24 HOUR RECEPTION. RECEPTION OPENING HOURS ARE 7AM TO 9PM. GUESTS PLANNING TO ARRIVE LATER THAN 9PM, WILL NEED TO MAKE SPECIAL PRIOR ARRANGEMENTS.