Welcome to Sani Lodge Backpackers, owned by Russell and Simone Suchet.

We are leaders in the field of responsible and sustainable tourism with global recognition for ethical practice in environment conservation,  social upliftment via engaging stakeholders in authentic grass-roots tourism within economically poor and disadvantaged communities and business practice. It is one of the oldest backpackers in the country and has been welcoming guests for 27 years.

Set in the heart of the Southern Drakensberg, one would struggle to find a setting more stunning and conducive to a full mind and body relaxation. 

You will find that SANI LODGE BACKPACKERS caters for the needs of the  “Independent Traveller  With a Conscience “, those seeking affordability and wanting to support sustainable social upliftment  ,as well as satisfy their sense of adventure through activities on offer.


We Are Fair trade certified
We Are Fair trade certified

Southern Drakensberg On Your Doorstep

Sani Lodge Backpackers is situated at the foot of the legendary Sani Pass and 16 km from the South African border with Lesotho. 

Drakensberg Adventures is our partner tour company which operates a variety of tours ideally suited to the Backpacker’s sense of adventure, itinerary and budget.

As we border onto the Southern Drakensberg National Park our location makes us an ideal base camp for the hiking, trail running and mountain biking enthusiasts. A number of self guided hikes leave from our doorstep. However, for those seeking more we offer guided hikes as well.

Sani Lodge Backpackers and self-catering cottages resort was created in 1992 by Russell and Simone to share their love of the wilderness; animals, birds, flowers, their fascination and respect for the diverse cultures of local communities and their desire to afford others the experience of a ‘ self-sufficiency lifestyle ‘ that is in harmony with the beautiful mountain environment.

28 years later, Russell and Simone are assisted with the running of their Best Practices Fair Trade Certified in Tourism Lodge by a team of locally recruited people, trained and committed to;

 – fair and responsible tourism

– fair wages and working conditions

– fair purchasing and operations

– equitable distribution of benefits

– respect for human rights, culture and the environment.

“Our Lodge with its stunning location in the majestic mountains , bordering onto the Drakensberg World Heritage Site on the famous Sani Pass road and only 16 km from the Lesotho border, provides the perfect base for a broad spectrum of travellers / tourists seeking adventure, environmental education, cultural, pony trekking, health and wellness activities “.

– School and University groups to undertake environmental studies

– Hiking groups wishing to set off on day, overnight or week-long hikes into the Wilderness from the Lodge doorstep. This includes the well known 5 day Giants Cup Trail.

– Trail runners who can explore the mountains independently on innumerable trails or participate in several organized annual Trail Running events

– Mountain bikers who have a plethora of fantastic rides on offer including the majestic Sani Pass and Lesotho, as well as several organized annual Mtn biking events

– Religious / church groups seeking a peaceful and beautiful place to hold a retreat

– Travelers seeking guided tours in the Drakensberg mountains and in Lesotho that offer overnighting in caves / shepherd huts, pony trekking, cultural engagement, hiking to the highest peak south of Kilimanjaro or to view splendid rock art sites; all these activities are offered by our tour company Drakensberg Adventures

– volunteers offering their skills to teach English to children at the local deep rural school

– guests seeking experiences on a working farm practicing organic methods of growing vegetables and making compost, livestock management of Jersey cows and laying chickens, and utilizing their skills for fun, ongoing projects.

– Those wishing to learn about or enhance their appreciation of yoga; classes offered by qualified yoga teacher Simone

– Those keen on learning or practicing how to sketch or paint al fresco

– Photographers

– Bird specialists

– Botanists

– Those seeking pure indulgence ; range of massage therapy treatments on offer in the comfort of your room

Getting Here

Sani Lodge Backpackers is located 20 km from Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg.

We are accessible to all vehicles as there is a tar (sealed) road and are roughly a three hour drive from King Shaka International Airport and one and a half hour’s drive from the N3 highway off-ramp at Merrivale/Howick.

For detailed directions, shuttle options & useful transport tips please follow the link below.

If you have any further questions contact us.