When we realised we had a bit of a break coming up we thought we’d make the most of it and go on a little adventure. Our basic plan was to drive from Durban to Underberg on the first day. On the second we would go up Sani Pass and through Lesotho (including Black Mountain and Moteng Passes), and out through Caledonspoort to Ladybrand. The third day would see us driving to Maclear via Lundean’s Nek Pass, Rhodes and Naudesnek Pass. Then back home to Durban on the fourth day…
The trip was planned well in advance, bookings were made (we camped at all of the overnight stops) and a trip journal was prepared.
There was much excitement, and finally it was time to pack everything onto and into our Defender 90 and head off to Silver Streams campsite just outside Underberg.
There we met up with our adventure companions, the Snyman family. We set up camp and spent the afternoon relaxing at this wonderful resort. There is a beautiful waterfall and swimming pond right next to the site, and when it’s that hot and you’re on holiday it’s amazing how good the beer tastes! The site has some shady stands and the ablution facilities are adequately clean and neat. The views are extraordinary!
My wife and I were driving a Land Rover Defender 90 and the Snymans were in a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 LX with a Conqueror Conquest off-road trailer in tow. Both vehicles were fully equipped with all camping equipment, food and drinks and comfort features.
The time it took the Snymans to set up their trailer camping system turned out to be very similar to the time it took us to set up our standalone system. It took about 15 to 17 minutes to get the tents up (a roof-top tent on the trailer versus our 360 Turbo-Pitch freestanding tent), kitchens open (a fridge and homemade drawer system in the back of the Defender versus a fold-out kitchen in the trailer), chairs out and drinks in hand.
The next morning we were up at 5am. We leisurely packed up, made coffee and were on our way before 6am. It’s about 50km from the campsite to the bottom of Sani Pass and we got there nice and early. There were no queues, but it was very misty indeed. This was it; finally we were going to drive up the mighty Sani Pass.
I’m sure you’ve read countless tales on this pass so I won’t bore you too much with mine. The rain had damaged the road badly and along with the thick mist it made for a nice, eerie challenge. There weren’t any parts that were “difficult” as such, but it was a slow and enjoyable ascent.