Welcome to the Sani Transfrontier MTB Epic website!
The Sani Pass Transfrontier MTB Epic is unique in many respects. It is one of the few events which takes place in a World Heritage Site (uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park) and is undoubtedly one of the hardest MTB events in Southern Africa. While there are climbs as long and as steep, none of them have the oxygen depleted altitude of Sani Pass. The 42kms event, which takes place on Saturday, 3rd December 2011, takes cyclists up the fabled Sani Pass , climbing 1674metres before turning at the top of the Pass and returning to the starting point. Riders have the privilege of riding through the unspoilt beauty of a World Heritage Site, with breathtaking views and lung busting climbs. A shorter ride is included, making a wonderful weekend for the whole family.
The events start and finish at the Sani Pass Hotel. Two rides are on offer, the Transfrontier event (42kms) which turns at the top of Sani Pass and returns to the Hotel and the Border Ride (26kms) which turns at the bottom border post before returning to the Hotel.
The Southern Drakensberg
Situated at high altitude and far removed from major development ensures that the Southern Drakensberg remains a pristine environment for the outdoor enthusiast. Besides superb trout fishing, the majestic Sani Pass and hiking, numerous other sports and activities promise a most enjoyable stay. Come to the Southern Drakensberg – the magical mountain and farmland district in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Incorporating the villages of Underberg, Himeville, Bulwer and surrounding area, the Southern Berg is a paradise for those who love active, outdoor holidays and the beauty of undisturbed nature. We offer more than 2500 beds in modern and comfortable hotels, lodges, B&B and self-catering accommodation as well as camping facilities and caves. An extensive part of the Ukahlamba Drakensberg Park falls into the Southern Drakensberg area making it a haven for hikers, lovers of wildlife and birds and wildflower enthusiasts. Enjoy mountain biking, horse riding, trout fishing and much more! Explore a wealth of San Rock Art, as well as the local arts and crafts.
The Sani Pass
The Sani Pass is one of the most spectacular mountain passes in South Africa. It climbs up through the sheer cliffs of the Drakensberg escarpment in a series of tight zig-zag curves. The route was originally used by pack animals to bring goods up from South Africa to the colonial outpost of Mokhotlong in Eastern Lesotho and the surrounding villages. It was opened to vehicle traffic by the efforts of David Alexander and his company, Mokhotlong Mountain Transport in 1955. At that time, many of the corners required 3 or more attempts to get round. Today, the road has been improved, but is nevertheless very steep and very rough. In winter, it is occasionally blocked by a heavy snowfall, and ice can be a problem. The South African border post is at the bottom of the main climb, at around 1900m. This is an international border, so passports are required. The border is open from 8am to 4pm daily. The road climbs to the summit of the pass at 2874m. Here is the Lesotho border post (visas not required for most nationalities) and the Lesotho village of Sani Top. The views from the pass and its summit are quite spectacular, sights normally reserved only for those willing to put on a backpack and hike for a couple of days. From Sani Top, the road continues on across the Sani Flats, and ascends Kotisepola Pass at over 3250m before dropping down towards the town of Mokhotlong, where the tar road from the Free State side of Lesotho ends. A trip up the pass combines amazing scenic splendour with a fascinating glimpse of the unique mountain culture of the Basotho people.