Underberg to Katse Dam





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  1. #1
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    Wink Underberg to Katse Dam

    Hi guys and gals! We are planning a short trip into Lesotho from Durban during the week after Christmas, to stay at Katse Lodge. Looking at Google maps the road seems very meandering and in some places steep and possibly slippery. Quite a few river crossings by the looks of things. Anyone been on this road lately? We need some info about road conditions, petrol stations, things to watch out for, local population do's and don'ts, sightseeing and interesting stops along the way. etc. What about taking fresh food etc into Lesotho?

    We will be travelling in a 2.5 Xtrail Automatic 4x4. This vehicle has not done much off road work, and is running on new Yokohama Geolanders. Are these tyres suitable?

    Thanks for any advice. It will be most appreciated.

    Baggie
    Last edited by Baggie; 2016/09/30 at 08:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Hi Baggie

    See a few of the recent threads below. Went there in June in ice and snow, no problem. There are no rivers to go through, a few bridges, some really first world ones. You will fine petrol in Thaba Tseke on the main road on the right hand side. It is just two Engen pumps in the dirt next to the road. A little hut behind it serves as 'corporate headquarters' . Look carefully, or you will miss it - I did on the way in. If you can, do the dam tour at either 9 am or 4 pm, about 1.5 hours, worth every bit of your R5. If interested, a visit to the botanical garden close to the lodge is great.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    I would venture that correct tyre pressures are more important than tyres - in the greater scheme of things. Not to diminish the value of good tyres, though. Do you have a compressor and tyre guauge ready and packed for the trip?
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Maybe I should qualify my previous post a little better.

    Crappy tyres at correct pressure for the terrain beats awesome tyres at the incorrect pressure. Not to say that your tyres are crappy. I have no experience with Geolanders. Just saying that pressure really matters.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by mattk View Post
    Hi Baggie

    See a few of the recent threads below. Went there in June in ice and snow, no problem. There are no rivers to go through, a few bridges, some really first world ones. You will fine petrol in Thaba Tseke on the main road on the right hand side. It is just two Engen pumps in the dirt next to the road. A little hut behind it serves as 'corporate headquarters' . Look carefully, or you will miss it - I did on the way in. If you can, do the dam tour at either 9 am or 4 pm, about 1.5 hours, worth every bit of your R5. If interested, a visit to the botanical garden close to the lodge is great.
    ...... Thanks Mattk - appreciate the comments - the excursion on the dam sounds good. We will definitely do it. I am one of those travelers who stops at anything interesting much to my daughter's chagrin! It takes me 3 days to drive from Durban to Cape Town . so the Botanical Gardens will be on my list for sure!

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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by albertvl View Post
    Maybe I should qualify my previous post a little better.

    Crappy tyres at correct pressure for the terrain beats awesome tyres at the incorrect pressure. Not to say that your tyres are crappy. I have no experience with Geolanders. Just saying that pressure really matters.
    Hi Albert. Thanks for this. I have used these tyres in thick mud conditions around Lions River with 4x4 engaged. They did a good job down and up hills. But I have not done much on sandy/gravel conditions, hence my question. I will take my mini compressor (it has a pressure gauge) with on the trip. Would 75% on normal tyre pressure be about right, or is that too low?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    I have found that the gauage on my compressor is completely unreliable. Rather get a separate one. I deflate to 0.8 in the tough stuff. You will need to find out which pressures are appropriate for your tyres.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    We did in July . Sleep at Sanitops . After you turn left on dirt road before Mothoklong the first part is good , they was busy with road works. Then for about 25km very bad road but no problem for X Trail. The last part very good . From Thaba Tseka to Katse oraait. Took me 5 hours but was pushing it a bit would say plan on 6-7 hours. Worth it enjoy.

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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by Anjo View Post
    We did in July . Sleep at Sanitops . After you turn left on dirt road before Mothoklong the first part is good , they was busy with road works. Then for about 25km very bad road but no problem for X Trail. The last part very good . From Thaba Tseka to Katse oraait. Took me 5 hours but was pushing it a bit would say plan on 6-7 hours. Worth it enjoy.
    .............hi Anjo - we are looking to stay at Katse Lodge, but seem like it doesn't get goot reviews. How was Sanitops?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by albertvl View Post
    I have found that the gauage on my compressor is completely unreliable. Rather get a separate one. I deflate to 0.8 in the tough stuff. You will need to find out which pressures are appropriate for your tyres.
    ......Hi Albert - thanks for this. my gauge seems ok, but will put my pencil gauge in the cubby. Can't be too careful... LOL

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Hi all - Anyone else going to Katse dam tomorrow via Sani Pass? We hope to be through the border by about 9 to 10-ish depending! Weather seems to be OK.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by Baggie View Post
    .............hi Anjo - we are looking to stay at Katse Lodge, but seem like it doesn't get goot reviews. How was Sanitops?
    Top of Sani is always a winner, little expensive for what you get, but no price can take away the luxury of an icy wind outside and a nice fire place inside! In winter, just take the notice of turning your vehicle's butt to the wind seriously, I had trouble starting in July this year after that heavy snowfall! Enjoy the trip and let us know what the roads are like, we are thinking of running the Forester up Sani when we return from South Coast, have to do it with the Subie before they tar it!

    Katse Lodge is not so bad, we enjoy it, the food is always nice and they have self catering chalets as well!
    Last edited by Danie Joubert; 2016/12/26 at 03:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Thanks Danie - Will do. Will also try post some pics as we go.

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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by Baggie View Post
    Thanks Danie - Will do. Will also try post some pics as we go.
    Went through sani from Mokhotlong to underberg and back today. It was awesome. Saw the new Xtrails going through, no problems. Also had an x5 with low profiles go through without any problems.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Also planning a trip to Lesotho, but in mid-May. Can one travel from Underberg to Katse (not via Thaba-Seka) in one day? Has anyone done this route?

    Regards,
    Last edited by aNtZz; 2016/12/28 at 01:31 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Hi all. Just went through lesotho over 2 days. All main roads tarred. Speed limits 50 in rural area and 80 other roads. Went via Sani with my x trail in 4x4 mode no problem. In Lesotho road signage is non existant. Take a good road map. AA has a fair one. Towns and villages are not identified unless you see a shop with the name of the town on. People are friendly. If you go to Katse dam via Botha Bothe the mountain passes are magnificent. What a ride! Do stop at the " bus stop take away" for fresh chips, huge double portion for only R15.00 ( selected peeled and fried in front of you) I will post more later.
    Last edited by Baggie; 2016/12/31 at 07:11 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    The "bus stop take away" is in Ha Lejone. A tiny village.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Underberg to Katse Dam

    Yes if you go via Mokhtlong, Butha-Buthe & Hlotse, then down to Ha Lejong (or Lejong on some maps) its about 370km along excellent tar roads. Take a GOOD map. Very few road signsand none giving directions or town names.


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