Archive for Nicola Gerrard

Japan demand fuels expansion for Lesotho trout farm

The idea of Japanese consumers eating sushi exported from a tiny African country with no coastline may sound improbable, but the kingdom of Lesotho is pulling it off. Highlands Trout, based in Lesotho produces trout – or river salmon to the Japanese market – in reservoirs created by the Katse and Mohale Dams.

katse-dam-highlands-trout-farm-pen

Following a feasibility study in 2008 and mobilizing in 2009, the company now has a five-year operating license and plans to increase production volumes for exports to Japan. Read more

Lesotho: The road less cycled

The gruelling task of pushing our loaded bicycles up mountain pass after mountain pass left my cycle-virgin thighs trembling and sore. Despite the chilly autumn winds of the Mountain Kingdom, sweat dripped off my nose and chin and I feared my racing heart might beat right out of my chest. But I couldn’t stop, I was following adventurer Sean Fraenkel (Visit Sean’s Barking Mad website) and he set the pace. While I was an untrained amateur cyclist, Sean had already been cycling for over a month on the Spine of the Dragon, South Africa’s premier cross-country mountain biking route, as part of his Barking Mad campaign, an unsupported cycle across South Africa and Lesotho with his two dogs for charity. Sean had generously agreed to let me tag along for a leg in Lesotho, to learn some tricks of the cycling trade, assuming I could keep up.

Sean Fraenkel of Barking Mad

Barking Mad: a 4000km charity mountain bike tour with two Jack Russel terriers

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Red Wine and Thyme Compound Butter

A compound butter, that is a butter that you have mixed with flavoring components, is a great addition to any kitchen. There is no limit to the flavor and ingredients that you can use and are perfect on foods that don’t otherwise have a sauce, such as grilled meat, pasta or even hamburgers. Read more

Ultra SkyMarathon® continues to move steadily onto the world stage

As entries for the 2014 Lesotho Ultra Trail continue to pour in from around the world, including Spain, Belgium, Austria, England, North America and Australia, as well as continued local interest from aspirant skyrunners in Southern Africa, the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) has announced that Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon® will be recognised as one of their official World Ranking ultra races for 2014. Being one of only thirty six top global events in this category, as well as one of only two events selected from the African continent, the Lesotho Ultra Trail heads into only its second year with already some big shoes to fill.

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2013 Photo of the Month Winner Announced!

The 2013 Maliba Photo Competition has reached it’s end as Oupa Cotzee came out as a worthy winner for his time lapse of the night sky.

Congratulations Oupa!

Night Sky time lapse over Maliba

Night Sky time lapse over Maliba

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“The Forgotten Kingdom” one of 2013 Heartland’s Underrated Gems

Atang (Zenzo Ngqobe) is a young man who lives amongst the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg in South Africa. When his estranged father becomes seriously ill, he goes to visit him and by the time he arrives he learns his father has passed away. It is now his task to bury him in the remote and mountainous region of Lesotho where Atang was born and where his father had contracted HIV. Stirred by memories of his youth, Atang falls in love with his childhood friend, Dineo (Nozipho Nkelemba), now a radiant teacher. Through Dineo, Atang becomes deeply in touch with the mystical beauty of the land and people he had long ago left behind. Read more

Another bearded vulture killed by poisoning

The Maloti-Drakensberg mountain range is home to the only remaining population of southern African Bearded Vultures. Due to ongoing threats causing high death tolls, the population has been depleted to a critical level of just 350 birds.

Bearded Vulture in flight

Bearded Vulture in flight Read more

Controversial wind farm in Lesotho gets the go-ahead

The controversial wind farm proposed for Lesotho’s Maluti-Drakensberg has received the go-ahead from the Lesotho Government. Conservationists are concerned that this decision does not bode well for the future of vultures in the region or for the reputation of the fledging wind energy industry in southern Africa.

“Approval of the Letseng project is a source of great concern to BirdLife”, said Ken Mwathe, BirdLife International’s Africa Policy Programme Coordinator. “African governments must tread carefully on renewable energy projects by ensuring they do not threaten birds and biodiversity”.

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Cableway plans extended to AfriSki, Lesotho

Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensburg - Amphitheatre, one of the finest view sites in the world.Durban – Plans for a controversial 7km cable car route to the top of the Drakensberg have changed with a new proposal to extend it by another 5km to link it to the Afriski ski resort in Lesotho and indirectly to a failed golf estate near Bergville.

This follows a meeting last week between Mike Mabuyakhulu, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, and his counterparts from Lesotho and the Free State, where it was agreed that a new technical committee would be set up to discuss potential cable car partnership opportunities. Read more

The Lesotho Ultra Trail 2013 – from the Race Director

At the end of the day a race director knows more about how their event rolls out than anybody else, that is the way it should be. So much happened at the Lesotho Ultra Trail 2013 that no one person there will know everything, not even the Race Director Andrew Booth who has penned his thoughts here.

Race Director Andrew Booth

A count down from 10 and 92 runners set-off on a 50km course layed out in Northern Lesotho’s Tsehlanyane National Park. With 2500m of climbing and sanctioning by the International Skyrunning Federation and South African Skyrunning Association, it was Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon. Months of work was being put to the test, the next 12 hours would determine success, failure or mediocrity. Read more

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