Lesotho

KINGDOM IN THE SKY

PONY PATHS, BIG SKIES AND WIDE VISTAS

Lesotho can be one of the most unforgiving places in southern Africa, especially in the winter months. Sections of the country are up to 3 000m above sea level, leaving the higher reaches treacherous and impassable for parts of the year.

But in summer, after the rains, there’s no place more beautiful in the region.

For hundreds of years, most of the high-lying areas were only accessible to herdsmen on their ponies. In recent years, however, a number of the time-etched pony trails have been upgraded to good quality gravel roads, allowing us access to the best and wildest parts of the country.

Join Dryland Ride on a guided mountain bike tour to the Mountain Kingdom, for the greenest spaces and widest blue skies this side of childhood.

ACCOMMODATION

The accommodation for this trip entails a combination of guest houses and lodges.

THE TEAM

Dryland Ride is a joint venture offering uniquely blended adventures, featuring MTB stage racing and 4×4 touring. It teams the talents of Dryland Events, SA’s leading MTB and cross-country running stage race organiser, with those of Bhejane 4X4 Adventures, which guides families on unforgettable self-drive 4X4 experiences in the region.

Between them, they have over 30 years’ experience in logistical support and planning to give you and your families the ride of a lifetime.

Due to the nature of the roads, our transfer vehicles for this trip will be 4-wheel drive double-cab bakkies. They will be put to frequent use to take you, your loved ones and your bicycles to the most beautiful areas, where accessibility or exertion may become an issue.

Day 1: We meet late in the afternoon on a guest farm in the eastern Free State town of Clarence, an easy half-day drive from Johannesburg or Durban. For guests flying into Johannesburg, we can arrange a transfer service to Clarence for a small fee.

There will be safe parking for anyone driving to Clarence, where the trip starts and ends.

Proceedings start with everyone getting to know each other and the guides giving a run-down of the trip over a glass of wine and a wholesome home-cooked meal.

Day 2: After a big breakfast, it’s off to an early start. We load our vehicles, kit and bikes onto the 4-wheel drives and enter Lesotho through the nearby Caledonspoort border post. We transfer you over the top of Moteng Pass and onto an excellent gravel road that meanders along the top of the Malutis at 3 200m above sea level.

Then we drop down into the Malimabatsu Valley and follow a contour road to the transfer pick-up point. The 4-wheel drives will be with us all the time, for those who do not wish to pedal the total distance.

Lunch and water stops are spread out at frequent intervals en route.

Next, we make a short transfer to the Katse Dam Lodge in the heart of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The lodge will be our home for the next two nights, giving you a chance to experience one of the favourites of this establishment – its excellent trout.

Day 3: Today we have the opportunity to pedal around sections of the Katse Dam on roads that are hardly used. This magnificent body of water makes one realise how important Lesotho is to our fresh water supply in South Africa.

Throughout, your guides will be able to inform you about the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. We even get to pedal over the dam wall – 185m high!

We then head back to the lodge for another wonderful and well-earned dinner.

Day 4: After another excellent breakfast, we head out on a contour gravel road above the river exiting Katse Dam, where the scenery is breath-taking. At a certain point we board the transfer vehicles and we start heading south. You will get to descend mountain passes with names like, Bushmans Pass, Pass of Guns and God help me pass.

These are all good quality tar roads with almost no traffic and amazing Scenery.  Out destination for the day and home for the next two nights is the lodge at Mohale Dam the sister dam to Katse.

Day 5: Once we have been spoilt with the lodges wonderful cuisine it is time to head out for a scenic days peddling around Mohale dam and the surrounds.  Before heading back to the lodge we enjoy a picnic lunch on route.

Day 6: It is time to start heading home, however we still have some wonderful scenic safe descents ahead of as we drop down into the lowlands of Lesotho.  We leave the mountain kingdom just after lunch at the Peka Border post with a short transfer to our guest house where it all started.

Here we spend our last evening together, no doubt swapping stories about our experiences and the incredible beauty, grandeur and sheer thrilling adventure we’d been party to.

Day 7: After breakfast we say our goodbyes, perhaps to meet again another time. For those needing a transfer back to Johannesburg, we’ll be waiting in the wings! Hambe Kahle, travellers.

Tour Dates:

17-23 March 2018

PLEASE NOTE: a valid passport is required for entry into these countries. If you are not in possession of a valid passport, application for this can be done at your department of home affairs at least six weeks in advance. Please also note that South African travel regulations for minors have changed and you have to obtain specific travel documentation available from the Office of Home Affairs.

The Lesotho Tour Package Prices

Per Person (Sharing)

R 14450

Single Supplement

R 18785

Per Child (under 12) (Sharing)

R 7225