World famous Sani Pass, is known for its breath-taking views and rough terrain, however, on a recent visit, myself and Bushwise Senior Trainer Charles, were on a mission for more than just amazing views.
The Sani Pass area itself is an immensely diverse area with a huge amount of wildlife… if you know what to look out for! Along the start of the pass, King Protea are prevalent – as are huge amount of birding specials such as Gurney’s Sugarbirds and Drakensberg Siskins. Rock Hyraxes (or Dassies) were seen at numerous rocky outcrops along the pass. (Did you know their closest living relative is the Elephant?) Several Grey Rhebok were seen at one of the first viewpoints, as well as an Oribi – exciting for the visiting ‘Lowvelders’. Further up the pass at another view point, Bearded Vultures were seen circling overhead (a special indeed!), as well as Drakensberg Cisticola in the shrubs directly below. Moral of the story – stop at every view point with a pair of bino’s, you will not only be rewarded with spectacular views the higher you go, but you will also experience the wildlife this nature reserve has to offer.
Near the Lesotho Border, where you will no doubt visit the “Highest Pub in Africa”, keep an eye out for high altitude bird specials like the colourful Drakensberg Rockjumper. Sloggert’s Ice Rats – mole-like species endemic to Lesotho - can be seen running to and from a maze of tunnels in and around the footpaths (watch out, as they tend to collapse when stood on!). Remember, wildlife is everywhere, if you take the time to notice it.
- Text & Photo by Shirell Lynch