Lesotho trip report...

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Lesotho trip report...

Post by kingshaka » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:30 am

Ever since going up Sani pass on a mountainbike (mostly pushing!!) in November 2008 during the annual MTB race, I wanted to do it in a 4x4. So after I aquired a 4x4 earlier this year, this was one of my priorities. I decided to do it after winter (definately no snow) and before the summer rains started, so we did it this last weekend.

The route was as follow:
Thursday evening Pretoria -> Van Reenen
Friday Van Reenen -> Sani Top
Saturday Sani Top -> Katse dam
Sunday Katse dam -> Pretoria

It was just me and my wife, in the Navara. The first night at Van Reenen was quite pleasant, except for an almost gale force wind, and some rain that worried me. However, the next day was clear and we reached Sani pass at about 13.00. Going up presented no problems, and we reached Sani Top just after 2.00, going at a leisurely pace and stopping a few times. The pass was in good condition in my opinion, and there were very little traffic. At the top, there was once again a gale force wind howling, and it turned coldish the evening. Later the afternoon a cloud cover filled the pass area below the summit, and I was glad we were early enough to do it in clear weather. Sani Top chalet was very enjoyable, and also quite full of people. Saturday morning we left Sani Top at about 8.30, and after reading the reports on this forum about stone throwing on the road to Mokhotlong, I was rather worried that we may encounter trouble. However, everything went OK, but we had a minor incident on the road between Mokhotlong and Thaba Tseka, when we passed a group of young children. As all of them do, they rushed to the side of the road and shouted for whatever we should give them (they seem to be doing this in a rather demanding way!). We just drove pass, and then one youngster, must be about 6 or 7, let fly with the piece of wood he had in his hand. Luckily it missed us, and we had no further events. It does however leave a bit of a bad taste. This road from Sani Top - Mokhotlong - Thaba Tseka - Katse dam offers spectacular views, but it took us 7.5 hours to do the approximately 200 km, and I was a bit tired that evening. The accomodation at Katse Lodge was good, but unfortunately we did not have time the next morning to do a dam tour. Once again there was a very strong wind blowing most the time. Sunday morning we left for Pretoria after a very nice breakfast, and drove home past Leribe, Caledonspoort border post, Clarens, Villiers and then the N3. Reached home about 17.00. Overall it was an awesome experience, I never realised just how mountainous Lesotho is!! Apart from the incident mentioned earlier, it was a wonderfull weekend. Pity about the strong wind, at one stop next to the road, it actually blew the coffee from my mug! This made sight seeing a little less enjoyable.

The Navara performed flawlessly, and handled the roads well. Total distance travelled was 1509 km, and diesel used 150.7 litre, so consumption came to 10km/l, which I think is quite good, considering the long streches of low range driving, and the mountainous terrain.
source: 4x4community
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