Pretties, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to share the truly amazing trip I took up Sani Pass a few weeks ago with 1st Zulu Safaris.
I was packing up at the office late one afternoon when the marvelous Malvalite Lauren Wallet called. Any phone call from her usually ends in adventure, and this was no different! I was issued an invitation for a trip up Sani Pass with her and three other lovely ladies - Nicole Ashe, Nadia van der Mescht, and Pippa Rowney. The only conditions? A valid passport and something in leopard print, to go with the theme: “Girls on Safari.”
With nothing leopard in my closet and only half an hour before the shops closed, I went on the speediest buying trip ever, eventually settling on a gorgeous leopard print scarf. I didn’t know it yet, but that scarf and I would become very close the next day! (Note: It gets cold up there. So so cold. Be prepared!)
I arrived at uShaka bright and early the next morning, and was greeted by a sunrise the way only Durban can do them. We met our tour guide for the day, Sortiris - what a honey! He could probably have taken us to the nearest Wimpy and we would have felt lucky to be there.
We made a quick pitstop for cappuccinos, and once the caffeine kicked in there was no stopping us - poor Sortiris handled the outpouring of skinner remarkably well! We made a several Instagram stops, including a small store that sold the most amazing Basotho blankets, that were so warm and soft that you just want to dive face first into them. It’s no surprise that Thabo Makhetha, one of our super talented sellers, uses these beautiful textiles to create amazing structured coats.
A brief PSA about the SA/Lesotho border crossing - there’s a bathroom there. Use it. Even if you don’t think you need to. The bumpy ride you have ahead of you will shake loose liquids you didn’t know you had. (Also, ladies, I’d recommend a sports bra. Seriously.)
We passed our time in“no-mans-land” between the South African border and the Lesotho border by plotting all sorts of elaborate crimes free from legal repercussion (nothing serious, promise). We also came across a frozen waterfall, which of course had to be photographed immediately!
After going through the ropes at the border post we entered Lesotho to be greeted by welcoming locals spilling from their huts. They all seemed to know Sortiris and were excited to see him. We were given slices of warm, fresh bread the size of our faces (mmm, delicious carbs) and greeted with singing, while tiny children wrapped in their basotho blankets danced around us. (Should you ever have old clothes or extra dry food stuffs, Sortiris is the person to give them to - he takes them all to the village on his trips up the pass).
We reached The Highest Pub In The World in high spirits, and immediately ordered wine to celebrate our girly day out (and in the attempt to try warm ourselves up from the inside). Many of the people at the bar couldn’t help but remark that there must be a worldwide shortage of leopard print fabric, since we were wearing all of it! Over a delicious lunch with the most incredible views, Sortiris regaled us with tales of the road. Wherever we went, people seemed to know and love him, and his general knowledge is amazing.
Thoroughly spent after an amazing day, we took off into the sunset back towards Durban, cocooned in Sortiris’ personal stash of Basotho blankets. I’m going to admit that I may have had a bit of a nap, thanks to my full stomach and the rhythm of Sortiris’ expert handling of the 4X4 as we made our way down the pass.
It was a truly phenomenal outing, and I’m so grateful to Lauren and 1st Zulu Safaris for including me. I’m giving them two huge HP thumbs up (and not just because Sortiris bought me lunch!). 1st Zulu Safaris do city tours and traditional tours, which all sound absolutely amazing. There’s nothing like being a tourist in your own country, especially when your country looks like this.