Lesotho December 2019 Trip





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  1. #1
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    Question Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Hi guys,
    In the early stages of planning a December trip through Lesotho.
    I've never been before so a bit unsure of the road conditions & travel times between places as have read a couple different accounts


    Currently the plan is as follows:

    Day 1: PE > Rhodes, (staying at Campsites)
    Day 2: Rhodes > Sehlabathebe National Park via Ramatsiliso's Gate. (Cannot find contact details that work for the park to book) Any suggestions? or can you just pitch up and camp/get a chalet/room?
    Day 3: Spend the day in Sehlabathebe
    Day 4 Sehlabathebe > Katse Dam (Is this doable in a day? or a bit over ambitious?)
    Day 5 Katse Dam > Bokong Nature Reserve (Again any suggestions on contact details here? Have tried multiple numbers that are longer available)
    Day 6 Bokong > Clarens via Fouriesberg

    Open to any other suggestions/tips for the trip

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    I made a reservation at SEHLABATHEBE with Whatsapp 0026663026594. That was Feb 2019. The response was good.
    Enjoy the trip.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by WaltertheJimny View Post
    Hi guys,
    In the early stages of planning a December trip through Lesotho.
    I've never been before so a bit unsure of the road conditions & travel times between places as have read a couple different accounts


    Currently the plan is as follows:

    Day 1: PE > Rhodes, (staying at Campsites)
    Day 2: Rhodes > Sehlabathebe National Park via Ramatsiliso's Gate. (Cannot find contact details that work for the park to book) Any suggestions? or can you just pitch up and camp/get a chalet/room?
    Day 3: Spend the day in Sehlabathebe
    Day 4 Sehlabathebe > Katse Dam (Is this doable in a day? or a bit over ambitious?)

    It could be possible but I always give ''dependent on weather and road conditions'' as a caveat. An early start would increase your chances of doing it comfortably. Keep an eye on weather conditions/reports, there are few ''streams'' to be crossed which, in a down pour, might become impassable


    Day 5 Katse Dam > Bokong Nature Reserve (Again any suggestions on contact details here? Have tried multiple numbers that are longer available)
    Day 6 Bokong > Clarens via Fouriesberg

    Open to any other suggestions/tips for the trip
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by WaltertheJimny View Post
    Hi guys,
    In the early stages of planning a December trip through Lesotho.
    I've never been before so a bit unsure of the road conditions & travel times between places as have read a couple different accounts


    Currently the plan is as follows:

    Day 1: PE > Rhodes, (staying at Campsites)
    Day 2: Rhodes > Sehlabathebe National Park via Ramatsiliso's Gate. (Cannot find contact details that work for the park to book) Any suggestions? or can you just pitch up and camp/get a chalet/room?
    Day 3: Spend the day in Sehlabathebe
    Day 4 Sehlabathebe > Katse Dam (Is this doable in a day? or a bit over ambitious?)
    Day 5 Katse Dam > Bokong Nature Reserve (Again any suggestions on contact details here? Have tried multiple numbers that are longer available)
    Day 6 Bokong > Clarens via Fouriesberg

    Open to any other suggestions/tips for the trip
    Rhodes as in Rhodes uni?
    I was very impressed with that campsite last year (by Gray Dam, just on the outskirts of Gtown), I studied there for years and never thought anything of it, but individual camp sites, own ablution blocks and grassy camp ground, also mostly empty so pretty quiet.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Sethlabathebe to Katse can be done in a very very long day, and assuming no troubles along the road. I would if at all possible break this over 2 days. If you must do it in a day, I suggest leaving Sethlabathebe before sunrise.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Shout if you don't come right with a contact at Bokong, and I'll put you in touch with a mate who works near there.

    Bokong/Katse to Clarens is about 4h, on good roads. If you want you could consider taking a detour via the Monontsha border post and then getting to Clarens from the other side. It's a very pretty detour on the Lesotho side of the Caledon's River border.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2019
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    Thumbs up Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Karrooseun View Post
    I made a reservation at SEHLABATHEBE with Whatsapp 0026663026594. That was Feb 2019. The response was good.
    Enjoy the trip.
    Thanks very much for this. Responded immediately and made a booking via whatsapp.

  8. #8
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    Port Elizabeth
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by RPiet View Post
    Sethlabathebe to Katse can be done in a very very long day, and assuming no troubles along the road. I would if at all possible break this over 2 days. If you must do it in a day, I suggest leaving Sethlabathebe before sunrise.
    Splitting it over two days is probably a better option. As we aren't in a rush. Is Bob Philips Campsite Worth staying at?
    But will probably push a bit further though depending on accommodation availability in the area
    Last edited by WaltertheJimny; 2019/10/31 at 09:45 AM. Reason: additional info forgotten

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by WaltertheJimny View Post
    Splitting it over two days is probably a better option. As we aren't in a rush. Is Bob Philips Campsite Worth staying at?
    But will probably push a bit further though depending on accommodation availability in the area
    Bob Phillips is not much more than an open space under a tree. I'd rather leave Sehlabathebe early and go to Katse. January this year I drove 5 hours from Sehlabathebe to Thaba-Teska with many photo stops on the way. I didn't go to Katse, but on a previous trip in 2012 it took 2.5 hours from Katse to Thaba-Tseka. As always, the weather can change everything completely. NOTE: Thaba-Tseka is the only place you'll be sure to get fuel, so fill up there.

    I'd also recommend doing the tour of the dam wall at Katse. When we tried visiting Bokong the place looked deserted except for a man who wanted money to let us see the waterfall. Given the choice, I'd rather spend an extra night at Katse. Use the day to relax, do the tour and take a walk through the botanical garden. Then perhaps just stop in at Bokong on your way to Clarens.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Last December we ( 4 jimnys) did Sani Lodge to Sehlabathebe in 2 days , slept over at Mahai (very rough) - stopping for photos and enjoying the scenery and vistas etc. we would have struggled to do it in a day.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by OffTheHamsterWheel View Post
    Bob Phillips is not much more than an open space under a tree. I'd rather leave Sehlabathebe early and go to Katse. January this year I drove 5 hours from Sehlabathebe to Thaba-Teska with many photo stops on the way. I didn't go to Katse, but on a previous trip in 2012 it took 2.5 hours from Katse to Thaba-Tseka. As always, the weather can change everything completely. NOTE: Thaba-Tseka is the only place you'll be sure to get fuel, so fill up there.

    I'd also recommend doing the tour of the dam wall at Katse. When we tried visiting Bokong the place looked deserted except for a man who wanted money to let us see the waterfall. Given the choice, I'd rather spend an extra night at Katse. Use the day to relax, do the tour and take a walk through the botanical garden. Then perhaps just stop in at Bokong on your way to Clarens.
    Did you go via Matabeng Pass?
    Or the newer raod that has been put in?

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by vstromPE View Post
    Last December we ( 4 jimnys) did Sani Lodge to Sehlabathebe in 2 days , slept over at Mahai (very rough) - stopping for photos and enjoying the scenery and vistas etc. we would have struggled to do it in a day.
    Are you revering to Mashai lodge about 4km south of Mashai?
    Do you have any contact details please, and what was the "lodge" like?

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    Are you revering to Mashai lodge about 4km south of Mashai?
    Do you have any contact details please, and what was the "lodge" like?
    Yes Mashai Lodge, it is not a lodge as far as our understanding. I emailed on a link I found online but it really isnt necessary. It's basically a shabeen type of place with some rondavels ( where the thatch and beds have long ago seen better days - hole in some of the roofs) - there is an old house with rooms, but we didnt sleep there as ceilings at the time where full of kittens. So we rather pitched our tent. The bathroom is the old houses bathroom which is also very basic. Suppose it depends what you used too. If you dont mind bush camping then rather stop at Bob Phillip's camp.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    Did you go via Matabeng Pass?
    Or the newer raod that has been put in?
    Ride Matabeng if you can, it's a great high altitude pass, but avoid if very wet, then rather take the new road.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by vstromPE View Post
    Ride Matabeng if you can, it's a great high altitude pass, but avoid if very wet, then rather take the new road.
    Thank you Vstrom.

    I asked about Matabeng as to establish the time it took, 5 hrs from Sehlabathebe to Thaba-Teska via Matabeng Pass?
    Would love to camp at Bob's but I will not be carrying any camping gear with me. Was looking for possible stop overs should things take longer than planed.

    My plan is to enter at Sani in the morning early and get to Sehlabathebe before dark.

    Route planned is Wartburg, Underberg, Sani, Rafolatsane, Mashai, Sehonghong, Molao, see Bob's camp, Matabeng Pass, Sehlabathebe, Exit at Ramas gait, Underberg, Wartburg.

    I basically need to do this in two days, one night. (it's a work trip and not a holiday)

    Any suggestions?

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    Did you go via Matabeng Pass?
    Or the newer raod that has been put in?
    From Lotheni I went up Sani and slept at St James Mission. Then to Sehlabathebe using the new road. From Sehlabathebe I went over Matabeng Pass and slept at Roma.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Lesotho December 2019 Trip

    Hi, we also entered through Ramatseliso gate and camped at Sehlabathebe National Park. We did not book in advance, we just showed up. We made a video of our trip where you can see the road conditions etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9aoOolWbMQ&t=1s

    Enjoy your trip!!! It's a beautiful country to explore. We really enjoyed our time in the park, couldn't find the waterfall though.

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