Sani Lodge Backpackers


The Heart of the Southern Drakensberg

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Nestled in the heart of the majestic Southern Drakensberg, on 30 hectares of land bordering the World Heritage Site, Sani Lodge offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, hearty meals, and well deserved relaxation. Family run since opening our doors in 1992, we have built up a loyal following of guests who return year after year. The Southern Drakensberg stands proudly as one of the favourite holiday and adventure destinations in the country. This pristine wilderness area is renowned for its popular hiking routes that attract thousands of visitors every year. With its towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and ancient rock art sites, the Drakensberg stands as an impressive year-round destination, captivating visitors from near and far.


Our cosy common room area with a log fireplace, provides a laid-back, sociable environment in which to connect with fellow adventurers. It has been the starting point of many a great story, berg exploration and friendship. Whether you'd rather catch a tan next to the pool, enjoy a cocktail at our restaurant before a 3 course dinner created with locally sourced, quality ingredients or simply sip a cold beer by the braai whilst the sun sets on another stunning African day, Sani Lodge Backpackers is the perfect setting. For those seeking private, self-contained units, we have lovely cottages which are perfect for a family getaway or group of friends.


Sani Lodge is situated at the foot of the legendary Sani Pass. This places us a mere 16 km from the South African border post at the foot of the Sani Pass from where the tortuous 4x4 track proceeds 8 kilometres up to the Lesotho border post. Drakensberg Adventures is our on site Fair Trade Tourism partner tour company which operates a variety of day and multi-day tours ideally suited to the backpacker's sense of adventure, itinerary, budget and desire to be a Responsible Traveller. Our various tours include experiencing the unique Basotho culture, superb views, hiking and pony trekking. Each tour supports individual Basotho stakeholders: craftspeople, shepherds, homestay and meal providers, pony owners, mountain guides, schools and sheep shearers, empowering them to create their own sustainable futures.


Our fantastic location on the border of the Drakensberg World Heritage Site National Park means there is no shortage of outdoor activities on your doorstep. Some of the favourites are self guided hikes to crystal clear mountain waterfalls, overnighting in caves, yoga by the pool with a view, horse riding nearby, hand-milking our cows, picking fruit in summer, learning to bake bread. After all that exertion, why not treat yourself to a well deserved massage from a certified massage therapist in the comfort of your room.


Our on site restaurant offers a variety of affordable meals baked and cooked using quality ingredients, whilst placing an emphasis on our own organic dairy produce and preserves, as well as local produce from ethical sources. We offer comprehensive breakfast options, a daytime menu and a three course set menu dinner each night. For in between, our own lovingly baked Dutch apple pie and baked cheesecake make the ideal accompaniment to a Cappuccino made with Fair Trade coffee and our own Jersey cow milk.


Sani Lodge is located 20 km from Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg. We are accessible to all vehicles by a tar / sealed road. Shuttle services are available from Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Kokstad.


We are certified members of Fair Trade Tourism, part of Global Sustainable Tourism Council and were the Silver Award Winner of African Responsible Tourism Award for Poverty Reduction 2016. Our tour company has been recognised for Best Practice by Lesotho Development Tourism Council, for sustainable tourism initiatives that have empowered rural communities and schools. "Sani Lodge and Drakensberg Adventures in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa has made a major contribution to local livelihoods and poverty reduction over many years. By involving Basotho stakeholders, they have created opportunities for communities to proudly showcase their unique cultural practices, engaging with guests in an authentic manner, thereby earning their respect. They are the future of tourism in Africa". ~ Judges We have recently been the subject of an article by Mark Heywood, editor at the Daily Maverick Citizen, who lauded our leading approach to fair, responsible tourism and the contribution we have made to the communities we operate in.

"Sani Lodge is a jewel right in the Drakensberg Mountains. The owners put a lot of love and effort into building this little oasis".
Martin Hain
Google review


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Call our reception on +27 83 987 3071. Someone will be available between 7am and 7pm everyday. South African time is GMT+2. This number can also be used for WhatsApp messages and calls.

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