The Story Of Katse Dam
The Katse Dam, built high in the Maluti Mountains and named after a revered man who once lived at the site, is at the heart of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This is the land of the “blanket people”, who ride their sturdy ponies, build picturesque houses and greet visitors with a dignified salute (Go Lesotho; 2014) .
All the major rivers of landlocked Lesotho are well-stocked with the finest trout, and with the exception of the Tugela, flow west into the Atlantic Ocean. (The Orange River starts as the Senqu River near Cathedral Peak). The Lesotho Highlands Water Project has changed all this, with water now being diverted north by gravity (Go Lesotho; 2014).
This past Saturday, 10 September 2011, on a beautiful sunny day, set in the highest country in the world, the Tasol Race to the Sun started at the Likileng State Secondary school in Butha Buthe.
A total of 37 cyclists form Top South African cycling teams as well as International teams, which included Tasol Solar, Bonitas, MTN Quebecka, Cyclelab Super cycling, ASG and Team UCI from Eritrea started the race at an altitude of 1673m in Butha Buthe.
The race split up soon with 6 riders going out in front.The teams that was represented was ASG, Bonitas, Tasol Solar and UCI Africa team, the group worked together until 2 of the UCI Africa members decided to go out in front on one of the steep climbs 5km before the gruelling Moteng pass. The two riders were caught on the pass and passed by Jacques van Rensburg on his way to the top of the first climb. The bunch was split dramatically over the first climb which meant that riders were to ride their own pace to get to the finish line. They then descended reaching speeds of about 100km/h, up and down towards Oxbow lodge, then just over the Malibamatso river climbing the even more gruelling Mahlasela pass started since it starts at 2500m altitude and finishes at 3267. David Maree caught one of the UCI riders which secured his second place. …
As most Lesotho adventure travelers are aware the Sani Pass is a must do on their travels around this little known country. Sani Pass is the only access from KwaZulu Natal to the Lesotho Highlands, the domain of the endangered Bearded Vulture, Basotho shepherds and their animals.
This steep zigzagging pass climbs the face of the Drakensberg escarpment to an altitude of 2874m. It’s generally not a difficult drive in any modern 4×4 vehicle and is a wonderfully scenic drive, if the weather plays its part.
I’ve been surprisingly lucky that I’ve gone six months in rural Africa without so much as a cold. But a couple of weeks ago I caught a stomach virus that was going around the peace corps volunteers. I started throwing up and couldn’t stop. It was after dark, so there wasn’t any more transportation to the nearest town or hospital. I called the lodge and they came and picked me up and drove me to the hospital, but not before I had thrown up eleven times in two hours. I’ve had food poisoning and the stomach flu before, but this seemed worse.
I am so lucky that I have a host organization like Maliba Lodge that was so easy to contact and helpful in getting me to the hospital. The hospital was in the camptown closest to my village, Butha-Buthe.
Even though it was after hours nurses were there and they gave me a charcoal drink and a shot to stop the stomach pains (though there was no alcohol swab or bandaid with the shot). I felt a lot better almost instantly, but was too weak to leave. Throughout the night I kept asking for water, and the nurses told me there was none. Finally they turned on the tap to show me that it was dry and there was no running water. …
Fishing in Lesotho is one of the more popular activities and not without good reason. As it offers plenty of excitement for the angler and can be undertaken at numerous sites around the mountain Kingdom. The areas are remote, with difficult access and very few people, as a result fishing pressure is very light and you will have unlimited kilometres of rivers all for yourself.
The trout river fishing season opens each year on the 1st of September and closes on the 31st of May. Water levels permitting, the best time to fly fish these waters is at the end of September to the end of November and then again from March to May. Trying to fish during the rainy season (December to February) is possibly the worst time to stalk the river banks, as most of the rivers are clouded with silt and the fishing is badly affected. …