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.
Mountain bikers love the end-of-year holidays. First, Christmas gives riders the excuse to buy themselves a glut of gizmos to bling out their bikes – and maybe that 13th cheque can even stretch to buy a new ultra-light, carbon-fibre, dual-suspension 650B with the latest 1×11 gearing system.
But more important, December also means a chance to take annual leave, which any self-respecting cycling fanatic knows translates to some time for a relatively guilt-free opportunity to head out on the trails. …
There is however one similarity when trekking the remote wilderness of Lesotho and the streets of Amsterdam, and that is the local’s choice in tobacco products. This however is where the similarities end. If the altitude in Lesotho was not enough to get you ‘high’ so to speak, then the world class sight fishing would definitely push you over the edge. It most certainly did for me. …
In a series of events which can only described as an epic adventure, Nissan’s X-Trail has conquered a mammoth driving route around the Lesotho border in two tough and exciting days – the Nissan X-Trail Epic Adventure: Once Around Lesotho.
Excellent fuel economy achieved
With two vastly different driving teams taking care of the two X-Trail 2.0 dCi XE 4×2 six-speed manual models prepared for the Epic, the compact SUV’s fuel efficiency was put to the ultimate test under real world conditions – ranging from smooth sailing on national roads to muddy mountain passes which fell victim to excessive snowfall in the Eastern Cape earlier in August.
Winter is in full swing at Afriski. In spite of a unusually late start to winter the Afriski snowmakers have been hard at work and have made lots of snow using the recently upgraded snow making system which means that the ski slopes are open and the snow fun has begun. To date the Maluti highlands have enjoyed one good snowfall on the 9th and 24thof June. To ensure that everyone gets the most out of their ski or snowboard experience, Afriski have also added a new button lift and extended the intermediate slope guaranteeing skiing even during high winds and heavy snowfalls. …
Get Lost in Lesotho..
‘We need to promote Lesotho as a whole – as its own destination.’ These were the words of my wife who is the marketing manager for Maliba Mountain Lodge, a 5 star lodge in the mountains of Lesotho. She was referring to the fact that Lesotho is one of the lesser known destinations on the tourism map – even for us South Africans. It is generally seen as a country which is hard to get to – as a place more suited to those looking for a hard core adventure with their rugged off road vehicles.
We therefore decided to set out on a road trip ourselves, to see the highlights of the country, and to determine the accessibility of this small, mountainous kingdom. To gain first-hand experience – as a group of young South Africans, with little time between work days for travelling– of the people and their cultures, the landscape and perhaps to learn a bit about the country and its history. At the same time, to film the entire adventure to try and capture some of the spirit and culture of the country and its people.
The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is a land of vast treasures, ranging from picturesque views, diamonds, fauna and flora, the friendliness of its people and last but not least, water!
Indeed Lesotho has an abundance of water many countries in Africa could only dream of, which has made it not only famous but provided it with much needed revenue. Pristine mountain streams home to wild trout, tumble and gurgle their way into rivers and a number of man-made dams before flowing down into South Africa. Lesotho’s many beautiful rivers, dams and tourism infrastructure associated with the Lesotho Highlands Water Project present opportunities for water activities such as fresh-water fishing, white water rapids boating, kayaking, canoeing and small boat sailing which only adds to the variety of sports / activities available in Lesotho.