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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by Leeubok View Post
    Holy sheeet that is cold!
    Jy sal twee gazebo's moet saam vat, een vir elke kant

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    For those traveling to Lesotho via Calendons port towards Afriski and beyond...

    We have lots of rain in last few weeks and more forecast. A couple of landslides around Oxbow which closed the road temporarily, but more landslides are expected, so please take it easy on the passes.

    Road to Kao is wet and slippery but reasonable. Beyond Koa towards Halejone I don't know the condition but before the rains it wasn't recommended, so can only expect it to be challenging.

    Take care, Lesotho is beautifully green at the moment with rivers and streams flowing strongly. Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #23
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    Post Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Hi. Thank you Chris for sharing your experience!
    My name is Steyn and I am new to the site. We live in Brackenfell. I am driving a BMWx5 2010 model. We are planning to travel through Lesotho (from Sani to Maseru) at the end of September 2021. It will be 4 people with my BMW and a Pajero SWB.
    We plan on leaving early on the 29th Sept from Underberg via the Sani to some place halfway to Maseru. There we plan to stay overnight and then to Maseru the following day.
    I have a few questions:
    1. Will my BMW be up to the task? Will the officials permit a BMW to travel through the border post,i.e. up the Sani?
    2. Will we make the planned trip in the planned time? (Providing for a stop here and there)
    3. Does any one have a suggestion as to where to stay somewhere around halfway? (Self catering with two bedrooms)
    4. As we plan to return to Brackenfell we intend a sleep over somewhere outside Lesotho en route. Will we be able to reach the Gariep dam before dark?
    I will be much obliged.

  6. #24
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Why hurry ?
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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  7. #25
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Why hurry ?
    Good question. Makes me think twice

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  9. #26
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyets View Post
    Hi. Thank you Chris for sharing your experience!
    My name is Steyn and I am new to the site. We live in Brackenfell. I am driving a BMWx5 2010 model. We are planning to travel through Lesotho (from Sani to Maseru) at the end of September 2021. It will be 4 people with my BMW and a Pajero SWB.
    We plan on leaving early on the 29th Sept from Underberg via the Sani to some place halfway to Maseru. There we plan to stay overnight and then to Maseru the following day.
    I have a few questions:
    1. Will my BMW be up to the task? Will the officials permit a BMW to travel through the border post,i.e. up the Sani?
    2. Will we make the planned trip in the planned time? (Providing for a stop here and there)
    3. Does any one have a suggestion as to where to stay somewhere around halfway? (Self catering with two bedrooms)
    4. As we plan to return to Brackenfell we intend a sleep over somewhere outside Lesotho en route. Will we be able to reach the Gariep dam before dark?
    I will be much obliged.
    Chris is away and gets back next weekend.
    Just follow up with him after the 17th Jan.
    Gavin.

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  11. #27
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Hi Steyn, and welcome here to the forum!

    I am assuming your planned route will be Sani, Rafolatsane, Mohlanapeng, Thaba-Tseka, Roma (well next to) and Maseru?

    1. Yes, most defiantly, there shouldn't be any dramas there, just watch the low profile tyres if you are running some. Worst part of the road will be from

    S 29°25‘59,38" E 028°57‘48,51"
    to
    S 29°27‘34,23" E 028°56‘10,90"

    Especially in the wet the bottom section can get a bit muddy, I am assuming the X5 is an AWD vehicle?

    2. Two days from Sani to Maseru should be just fine, it will be long days but worth the drive and the scenery. It's about a 10hr drive, if I had to guess, with out stops depending on the road condition. I haven't been that way for a while now, but those main roads are normally quite good.

    3. I don't have any suggestions for a half way stay over, half way would be Thaba-Tsek, maybe google Thaba-Tseka accommodation. Katse would have been nice, but quit a way off of you planned route. I would also look at Mohale Dam as a stop over, not half way I know, but very nice accommodation.

    Don't over think it to much, just get out there and drive it, you will be just fine. More importantly, take pictures and share them with us!

    There are a few good fishing spots just before the Mashai turn off, not sure if you will have time to wet a fly tho.

    If you need any more "advice" , if we can call it that, not that I know much, please feel free to contact me for a chat. 071 475 3577

    I hope that this helps.

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  12. #28
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyets View Post
    We are planning to travel through Lesotho (from Sani to Maseru) at the end of September 2021.
    Oh, and be carful of late September, up there normally good chance of snow fall or a cold snap. Please pack accordingly and check the weather forecast before your trip.

    Don't be put off by this, it's just a word of caution.

    September is also some of the best weather up there but can change in a heart beat.

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  14. #29
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    Oh, and be carful of late September, up there normally good chance of snow fall or a cold snap. Please pack accordingly and check the weather forecast before your trip.

    Don't be put off by this, it's just a word of caution.

    September is also some of the best weather up there but can change in a heart beat.
    Thank you so much. I appreciate your input!

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  16. #30
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyets View Post
    Hi. Thank you Chris for sharing your experience!
    My name is Steyn and I am new to the site. We live in Brackenfell. I am driving a BMWx5 2010 model. We are planning to travel through Lesotho (from Sani to Maseru) at the end of September 2021. It will be 4 people with my BMW and a Pajero SWB.
    We plan on leaving early on the 29th Sept from Underberg via the Sani to some place halfway to Maseru. There we plan to stay overnight and then to Maseru the following day.
    I have a few questions:
    1. Will my BMW be up to the task? Will the officials permit a BMW to travel through the border post,i.e. up the Sani?
    2. Will we make the planned trip in the planned time? (Providing for a stop here and there)
    3. Does any one have a suggestion as to where to stay somewhere around halfway? (Self catering with two bedrooms)
    4. As we plan to return to Brackenfell we intend a sleep over somewhere outside Lesotho en route. Will we be able to reach the Gariep dam before dark?
    I will be much obliged.
    Hi Steyn, did you get to go on this trip, and if so, how did it go?
    Looking back at the weather I see that the last weekend is September was very wet, 29 Sep - 02 Oct

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  17. #31
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    So our next trip is planned and will take place next month, 16-19 Feb

    We will enter at Qacha's Nek and make our way to just SW of Sehonghong all off the main roads covering two main passes on our way. The one pass climbs 650m in altitude with in 3km and the second pass climbs 303m in altitude with in 900m, quit steep. To give you a idea, Sani climbs 923m with in 5.6km

    On the way there, there is a few possible tracks just east of Lebakeng Air Port leading down to the Senqu river that I would like to go see and try get down into the deep gorge if possible.
    There are some very nice tracks on the Senqu river to do, and even some Bushman rock art if one knows where to look in the cliffs.

    Here we will make camp for the night and will be sure to try our hand at some yellows and trout.

    The next day will see us heading East over Matabeng Pass at a altitude of just over 10 000 ft and ending up at Sehlabathebe. Matabeng is in no great shape at the moment, washed badly over the last 3 seasons above average rainfall in the area. It will most probably take most of the day to do the 40 odd km to Sehlabathebe.

    Sehlabathebe will be our camp for the next two days. From here we are heading to Tsoelikanyane Falls and one or two caves on the Bushman's Nek side.
    And of cause Devils Knuckles not to be missed!

    We will be returning via Rama's Gate.

    Really looking forward to this trip and spending some time with a great bunch of guys!

    A video on the condition of Matabeng Pass

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeSqyzDTEYU

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  19. #32
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    So the day has arrived, eventually.

    We will be leaving tomorrow morning early. The wet weather and big rains over the last week, and forecasted rain for the weekend, is going to make for a interesting trip over those passes

    Will let you guys know how we go.

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  21. #33
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    So the day has arrived, eventually.

    We will be leaving tomorrow morning early. The wet weather and big rains over the last week, and forecasted rain for the weekend, is going to make for a interesting trip over those passes

    Will let you guys know how we go.
    Ons verwag niks minder as n ordentlike trip report!
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  23. #34
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Ek sal my uiterste beste probeer om jou nie teleer te stel nie

    En net vir die rekord, ek het van die crossings eers geloop, nie baie nie, maar ek het wel

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  25. #35
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    A short trip report for those interested.

    With all the big rains and wet weather, we experienced over the last 10 days we knew that we were going to be in for a wet muddy one, we just didn’t realize how wet it would actually be!

    It has been raining every single day and rain was forecasted for the next 5 days with thunder storms every afternoon. That evening before the trip started, we again had a big storm. We were hoping that the clouds would empty themselves before our trip.

    The next morning, we left early and headed for Qacha’s Nek. We stayed off the main roads wherever we could and enjoyed the scenery.
    On the road between Swartberg and Matatiele we came across thousands of Lesser Kestrel’s sitting on the fence lines like swallows. I have never seen so many of them in my life.
    It was evident that there had been big rains all over, roads washed, bridges flooded and every single low laying area covered in water. But we were not put off by all of this, we were out to enjoy ourselves.

    We reached Qacha’s Nek Border and without any hassle and friendly service had our vehicles checked and passports stamped. Off we went, turning off the main road before even exiting the town of Qacha’s Nek.
    We headed towards the Tsoelike weir, if one doesn’t know where to turn off you will surlily miss it, even with a GPS mark the turn was not visible and we had to split up just to find a way down through the small village to the weir. From the Tsoelike river to the top of the hill is under 1km and one climbs 290m in altitude.

    From here it was off to the Senqu river, hugging its banks as best we could all the way to Matsaile and Bob Phillips Camp. We reached the campsite at 5pm, covering 430km in 13 hrs on the first day.

    Up to this point road conditions were fairly ok, plenty of water and mud holes around every corner with rain on and off during the day. As soon as camp was set up the rain started falling nonstop the entire night. It was so heavy that at one stage that we thought the river might push up and flood our camp site.

    We got up early the next morning and packed up camp in the wet and mud, it wasn’t much fun at all. With high spirits and excitement, some uncertainty too, we headed direction Matabeng Pass.

    As some of you might know, Matabeng Pass is not in use any longer, there is a newer road built and obviously the pass is not maintained anymore.
    Not knowing the condition of Matabeng Pass and considering the high rainfall of the last 3 seasons we knew that we were in for a long day.
    Most of the day was spent driving in water, the very rocky track was basically a river but surprisingly not as bad as we initially thought it was going to be. With a bit of 4x4 experience the pass is doable for anyone wanting to attempt it. I wouldn’t take a unmodified vehicle up the pass, it will need to be lifted so not to get damaged, also don’t go up alone, you will need help being recovered should you get bogged down.

    The top of Matabeng peaks out at just over 10 000ft and this obviously goes together with some amazing views.
    The 40km over Matabeng to Sehlabathebe took us just over 7hrs to complete.

    One can just arrive at the Sehlabathebe National Park office and pay your entrance fee and camping fee, no arrangements need to be made. The New lodge is really stunning but one can see that it doesn’t see many visitors. The old lodge, Jonathan’s Lodge, is just walls and half a roof falling apart, there are no ablutions or water anymore at this site.

    Camping fees was R100 pppd and to enter the park was another R50 pp

    There are some amazing hiking to be done in the park and one is spoiled camping with Devil’s Knuckles as your view.
    Again, it rained on and off for most of the day followed by a massive downpour that afternoon.

    I wanted to go see the hidden Tsoelikanyane Falls and fish for some trout. A fishing license should be bought from the park office when entering.

    Just an interesting fact, did you know that one gets a Maluti Minnow, also called the Sehlabathebe Minnow, up in the Tsoelikanyane stream? This minnow, which is technically not a minnow, can only be found in a few streams up in Lesotho and they are getting fewer and fewer due to habitat loss and predators, small mouth yellow fish and Trout are the culprits.
    They were first found in 1938 in KZN and have been extinct since 1940. This minnow was rediscovered in Sehlabathebe in 1971

    Day 3 saw us heading out of the park and home via Rama’s Gate. This stretch of road is being worked on and it was dump trucks, excavators, TLB’s and mud the entire 40 odd kms to the border post. They have been building that road since 2018 and there is no end in sight.
    361km and 8 hrs of driving

    All and all it was well worth the wet, we had a amazing time with a great bunch of guys.
    Thank you to everyone for joining us on this trip, we are looking forward to the next one.

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  27. #36
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Some photo's of day 1
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  29. #37
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Day 2
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  31. #38
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Few more
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  33. #39
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Great pics, thanks for sharing!

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  35. #40
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    Default Re: Traveling Lesotho

    Day 3
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