Lesotho discovery adventure tour
- South Africa
If you love mountains and adventures in close contact with nature, you'll surely love this trip to Lesotho, the Switzerland of Africa! Lesotho ("the kingdom in the sky") is in fact a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa and is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges including the 3,482m-high peak of Thabana Ntlenyana. On the Thaba Bosiu plateau, near Lesotho's capital, Maseru, are ruins dating from the 19th-century reign of King Moshoeshoe. Thaba Bosiu overlooks iconic Mt. Qiloane, an enduring symbol of the nation’s Basotho people.Read more
If you love mountains and adventures in close contact with nature, you'll surely love this trip to Lesotho, the Switzerland of Africa! Lesotho ("the kingdom in the sky") is in fact a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa and is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges including the 3,482m-high peak of Thabana Ntlenyana. On the Thaba Bosiu plateau, near Lesotho's capital, Maseru, are ruins dating from the 19th-century reign of King Moshoeshoe. Thaba Bosiu overlooks iconic Mt. Qiloane, an enduring symbol of the nation’s Basotho people.
This tailormade vacation and tour will make you discover this small country boasting fantastic mountain scenery, a proud traditional people, hiking trails, adventures galore and exploration on Basotho ponies. The whole country lies above 1000 metres above sea level, which makes it the country with the highest lowest point in the world.
Your holiday and tailormade tour includes:
All guests meet at Hatfield Gautrain Station in Pretoria at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. After we have made sure everyone has signed indemnity forms, loaded their luggage and have received a complimentary bottle of water, we head South in the direction of Clarens.
We reach Clarens in the south-eastern Free State of Lesotho in time for lunch at the Clarens Craft Brewery. Feel free to taste one of their wonderful craft beers with your lunch (lunch own expense). From Clarens we will drive the short distance to Fouriesburg and enter Lesotho through the Caledonspoort Border Post and then continue via Botha-Bothe and the 2 800 metre above sea level Moteng Pass to the lodge, set among some wonderful mountain scenery on the Malibamat’so River with a cosy bar and restaurant.
On arrival check into the rooms and relax. You can choose to join the guide on a hike up the valley to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty or to try your hand at trout fishing (bring own rods – fishing also available at Semonkong Lodge). Dinner tonight is served at the lodge. The evening is spent getting to know each other. (Total distance: 500 km; Approx. travel time: 8 hours). Dinner included.
After a rich breakfast at the lodge, we depart and quickly gain altitude driving some of the highest mountain passes in the world. The Pass of Guns is at 3 240 metre above sea level. The countryside we traverse is mostly isolated with some small settlements and farmers that we encounter along the way. The Tlaeeng Pass is next and at 3 255 m it is the highest pass in Africa.
We reach the top of Sani Pass (the well-known pass that cuts through the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg mountains) in the afternoon after enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Walk out to the front of the lodge to enjoy the magnificent views of KwaZulu-Natal far below. After settling in, we take a short walk to the edge of the escarpment to enjoy the fresh mountain air. Back at the lodge enjoy a drink in one of the hightest pubs in Africa before settling down to dinner. (Total distance: 150 km; Approx. travel time: 5 hours). All meals included.
After an early start and breakfast we depart on our 24 km round trip hike to the highest mountain south of Kilimandjaro, Thabana Ntlenyana, at 3 482 m - there is no technical climbing involved. The hike will take 9 hours to complete. Enjoy packed lunch along the way. A local guide will accompany us all the way. For those not wanting to do the strenious hike to Thabana Ntlenyana, easier walks can be done to Hodgson’s Peak where one can see into Sehlabathebe National Park and KwaZulu-Natal. All meals included.
Today we leave the lodge and head back inland to Mokhotlong. From here we turn south-west to Thaba Tseka and the Katse Dam built in 1997 by a consortium made up of Italian, French, South African, German and British contractors. Katse Dam is the foundation of the Lesotho Highlands Water project. This spectacular man made attraction is the catchment for the Malibamatso River.
The Katse Dam boasts the highest dam wall in Africa at 185m. The Lesotho Highlands Water Projects supplies water to Gauteng. Lunch is taken at our overnight accommodation and at 14:00 we take a guided tour of the spectacular dam wall and visit the dam viewpoint. This area is also home to the beautiful spiral aloe Aloe Polyphylla. (Total distance: 203 km; Total travel time: 6 hours). All meals included.
Today we tackle a tough day of driving. The road from Katse back to Thaba Tseka is a dream compared to the rest of the way. Depending on prevailing weather conditions, we might take a shorter route via Seng or otherwise the safer option via Roma and Ramabanta. Lunch will be taken along the way. The area around Semonkong (southern Lesotho) is less developed. Arrive in the late afternoon to your lodge.
The mighty Maletsunyane Falls is one of the highest single dropping Falls in Africa, creating a haze of smoke as the water plummets with savage splendour 186m down into a spectacular gorge. This is how Semonkong, The Place of Smoke, got its name.
Hiding away in the magnificent Maluti Mountains, you will discover the gem that is Semonkong Lodge, built on the banks of the Maletsunyane River After a great dinner and drinks in the cozy Duck and Donkey Tavern, we go to bed with anticipation of the next day’s adventures. All meals included.
After breakfast, the group has time free to do any of the folllowing optional activities: trout fishing, pony trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horse riding. After lunch in the afternoon, we will start our training for the following day’s abseil of the Maletsunayne Falls. At 204 metres it's the highest commercially operated abseil in the world and the highlight of the tour.
After breakfas we depart with a 4x4 vehicle to the falls for this once in a lifetime experience. Be sure to bring an extra set of clothes as the chances are good that you will get wet. Set on the edge of the spectacular Maletsunyane Falls, this abseil descends 204m non–stop to the bottom of the gorge were few people dare to tread. The abseil itself is an extremely exposed straight drop where at times you are suspended in mid-air with the spray of the waterfall upon you and the birds of the cliffs flying around you. This is not for the faint-hearted.
Use the afternoon to enjoy some of Lesotho’s cultural highlights (optional): Semonkong town tour, traditional blanket presentation, donkey pub crawl, indigenous flower tour (summer only). (Total distance:300 km, Total travel time:8 hours). All meals included.
Depart from Semonkong and leave Lesotho on the way back to Pretoria. Our scenic drive takes us through the Lowlands of Lesotho and its capital Maseru. From here we head through southern Free State in the direction of Kroonstad where we hit the N1 North. Arrive in Pretoria in the late afternoon, early evening. Lunch at your own expense along the way. (Total distance: 600 km; Total travel time: 9 hours). Only breakfast included.
You will be travelling through an area/s with low to high risk of malaria. Please consult your doctor for advice. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended. We also recommend to bring:
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