Overlanding - Lesotho

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ra_01
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Overlanding - Lesotho

Post by ra_01 »

Overlanding - Lesotho

I have been to Sani-pass several times (4 I think), but always wanted to go deep into Lesotho to enjoy the magnificent landscapes. So we managed to do this in last week of December.
Trip route
Trip route
Map.png (1.7 MiB) Viewed 28300 times
Being an Indian national, I had to apply for a visitors visa “Online” to enter Lesotho. So Maseru was the only entry point for a 72 hour entry stamp and then we were supposed to go to Lesotho home affairs to get a visitors visa Stamp. Being Dec 22 office was closed. More on this later.

As we entered into Lesotho through Maseru; The first stop was at a campsite very close to the town. Darum link Campsite itself was nice with a view of the dam, but didn’t like the ablution. However, the management let us use the one of the Dorm’s bathroom as the rooms were empty. Funny thing is being December, I was expecting more people.
Maseru Campsite
Maseru Campsite
From here we started driving towards Ts’ehlanyane national park, hoping to explore this area and camp there. But there are no campsites and the accommodation was quite expensive, so we decided to wild camp outside the park next to a river. It was a beautiful spot I picked from Ioverlander (This app comes preinstalled in Garmin overlander, which is the main reason I bought an Garmin Overlander at the first place). After an hour or two we had local visitors. They just sat close to us, probably wanted some food. We decided to give them coke cans, but feared, they might bring more people. So we left and camped at Mamohase near Butha buthe for two days and this place was good with beautiful views of the mountains. Basic Ablutions but ok.
Butha Buthe 1.jpg
Butha Buthe 2.jpg
Butha Buthe 3.jpg
Butha Buthe Campsite.jpg

After spending 2 nights we started driving towards Katse. Plan was to camp at Umbrella guest house in Lejone town befor Katse, however, we got a room for almost the same price as camp. Then we visited Katse dam and returned to the lodge. Route to Katse dam from Butha buthe was excellent. Landscapes were magnificent. Highest altitude of this pass was 3101 on my GPS.
Nelson mandela road 1.jpg
Nelson mandela road 2.jpg
Nelson mandela road 3.jpg
Katse 1.jpg
Katse 2.jpg
Katse 3.jpg
Katse 4.jpg
Katse 5.jpg
Katse 6.jpg
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Rahul
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Re: Overlanding - Lesotho

Post by ra_01 »

Nelson mandela road 4.jpg
Nelson mandela road 5.jpg
Nelson mandela road 6.jpg
Nelson mandela road 7.jpg
Alt.jpeg
To be continued
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Re: Overlanding - Lesotho

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We started our trip backwards to Maseru, mainly for two reasons. Plan was to visit Maletsunyane falls near Semonkong. So only way was through Maseru and second, we had to get the visa sorted.
NM Road 1.jpg
NM Road 1.jpg
So we visited Kome caves first, this is a small detour to Maseru. This place had an interesting history. There is a guide at the booking office, she took us to the caves and explained everything about the cave.

Next stop was Maseru to sort the visa. It took us almost half a day at the home affairs office. Their process is so manual it literary took them till 8 to 1:30 pm to complete the process. They charged R1000 per person so had to pay R3000 in total. This was quite shocking, we visited Namibia last year and Botswana in September this year, they charged nearly R300 per person and their process was efficient. Anyway, instead of wasting time at the office, we stopped at Pioneer mall to stock up on supplies. There is a pick-n-pay, woolies here. However, the prices were higher than RSA.
Kome caves 2.jpg
Kome caves 3.jpg
Kome caves 4.jpg
Attachments
Kome caves 1.jpg
NM Road 2.jpg
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Re: Overlanding - Lesotho

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Visa was sorted and left to Simonkong. The route to this place was BEAUTIFUL, although max altitude was 2781 meters, the ladscape was totally different to Nelson mandela road (Katse route). Doesn’t matter where we were, there was rock slides on the road every pass. We stopped at Semonkong Lodge, they have a small campsite next to the river. The view was great. Following day we visited the falls with an entry fee of R350pp :redface:
Maletsunyane falls.jpg
Semonkong campsite 2.jpg
Semonkong campsite 4.jpg
Semonkong campsite 3.jpg
After visiting the falls, we wanted to drive towards Sehlabathebe national park and exit through Sani pass border. But the past two days it was raining constantly. So looked at the weather forecast for Qacha Neck it was getting worse. Road to Qacha Neck is fully tarred apparently, but from Sehlabathebe to Sani pass isn’t. We don’t know the road conditions due to constant raining. So we decided to return to Joburg, which was a huge DISAPPOINTMENT.
Sem 1.jpeg
Sem 2.jpeg
Sem 3.jpeg
Attachments
Semonkong campsite.jpg
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Re: Overlanding - Lesotho

Post by Peter Connan »

Thanks for the report Rahul

I also had a somewhat frustrating experience in Lesotho. Beautiful scenery though!
Mag ons ons kenniskry met lekkerkry aanhoukry.
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