Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

Winona Griggs

Discover the Adventurous Side of Lesotho with a 4X4 Getaway

Are you craving a thrilling escape to the unknown? Then you must explore the beautiful southern saddle of Lesotho!

Lesotho, a small country nestled within the geography of South Africa, is famous for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and warm-hearted people. This hidden gem offers an unforgettable experience for adventure enthusiasts.

With its rugged terrain and varied landscapes, Lesotho is a paradise for any off-road enthusiast. From picturesque mountains to serene valleys, this country is a playground for 4X4 enthusiasts like you and me.

But why should you choose Lesotho for your next getaway? Well, let me tell you. The southern saddle is a region filled with countless wonders that will leave you in awe.

One of the key highlights of this region is the awe-inspiring Sani Pass. As a daring off-roader, you’ll get to experience the thrill of conquering this treacherous mountain pass. The steep ascents and descents, combined with breathtaking vistas, make for an unforgettable adventure.

As I traveled through Lesotho’s southern saddle, I was captivated by the beauty of the Katse Dam. This monumental structure, nestled amidst the mountains, offers a breathtaking sight. Imagine cruising along the dam’s winding roads, surrounded by towering peaks and crystal-clear waters.

The culture and heritage of Lesotho also add to the charm of this region. As you explore the local villages and interact with the friendly Basotho people, you’ll gain an appreciation for their way of life. Their warm smiles and welcoming nature make you feel right at home.

While venturing through Lesotho, I discovered remote and untouched places that were a paradise for photographers. From dramatic sunsets over the Maloti Mountains to vibrant wildflowers carpeting the rolling hills, Lesotho offers photographers a feast for the eyes.

Your 4X4 getaway to Lesotho’s southern saddle wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. From hearty stews to savory potjiekos, the Basotho culinary delights will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

So, get ready to embark on a thrilling and soul-stirring journey through Lesotho’s southern saddle. The adventure awaits you with open arms! Hop into your 4X4 vehicle and set out to explore this hidden gem. Brace yourself for heart-pounding moments, breathtaking vistas, and unforgettable experiences.

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

Have you ever heard of the incredible route that spans both South Africa and Lesotho? It’s a must-do for any adventurer! This route has so many mountain passes, you won’t believe your eyes.

There are a whopping eight mountain passes to conquer along this route, showcasing the beauty of both South Africa and Lesotho. It’s like getting a taste of the best of both worlds!

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

In the new Toyota Fortuner, I had the incredible experience of conquering all of these breathtaking mountain passes.

The Southern Saddle

Rhodes to Rhodes
Difficulty: 3/5 – A challenging adventure that requires a 4X4 vehicle and some off-road experience.
Duration: 4 days

If you want to make the most of these passes, start by taking Naude’s Nek from Rhodes in the Eastern Cape all the way up to Tenahead Lodge and Spa (S30° 42.573′, E28° 8.186′). From there, embark on the TTT (Tenahead – Tiffindell Traverse) which follows the high-altitude border, offering incredible views of the Southern Drakensberg.

READ  Explore the Helderberg Wine Route and go a little greener

Hey there! So, if you’re looking to explore Rhodes, I’ve got a great route for you. It’s a four-hour journey that offers plenty of opportunities to appreciate the beautiful scenery, go for a quick hike, and even grab some lunch at Tenahead. And hey, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also go skiing or mountain biking at Tiffindell in the afternoon. Cool, right?

Now, here’s how the route goes. From Tiffindell, you’ll be taking the Volunteershoek Pass to get to Wartrail. Then, it’s Lundean’s Nek that’ll lead you to the village of Upper Telle. It’s an exciting journey that will let you soak in the charm of Rhodes and discover some hidden gems along the way.

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

As I travel from Upper Telle, I follow the gravel road that runs alongside the Tele River towards the Telle Bridge border post. It’s an hour’s drive on a smooth tar road from the border post to Ha Liphapang (coordinates S30° 17.375’, E27° 51.035’), and the scenic journey continues on a gravel road that takes me to the campsite. The drive itself is truly breathtaking, with charming villages adorned with fluttering white flags along the way. These flags serve as markers to show where you can find local beer. As I descend towards the campsite, I sense that I am entering a magical place, nestled on the banks of the Merataleng River.

The entire trip from Tiffindell usually takes about six hours, but it’s well worth it. When I finally arrive at the campsite, I’m greeted by the soothing sound of the gurgling river and the majestic valleys of the Drakensberg Mountains that stretch out before me. It’s a serene and tranquil setting, a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Hey there! Let me tell you about a cool place to visit. So, if you take the same gravel route back to the tar A4 and head up to Mount Moorosi, you’ll come across something pretty interesting. Just a short while later, there’s a turn-off on the gravel road at S30° 15.213′, E27° 52.962′, and that’s where things get really exciting. See, this turn-off will take you up Devil’s Staircase Pass!

Now, here’s a funny thing – a lot of maps actually mark this pass as being on the tar A4 road, but that’s not quite right. The Devil’s Staircase Pass is actually on this gravel road I just mentioned. But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. In fact, it’s more about wonder than fear.

As you drive along this pass, you’ll be treated to some amazing sights. You’ll be following the Quthing River, and there are even a couple of low-level bridges where the river crosses. How cool is that? Eventually, you’ll make your way east and reach Lake Letsie.

So, if you’re up for an adventure and want to discover some breathtaking views, don’t miss the Devil’s Staircase Pass. Trust me, it’s totally worth it!

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

When you’re on the lookout, you’ll spot a junction (S30° 18.223’, E28° 7.904) that will lead you right and through a gate (S30 18.293, E28 7.983) towards the lake. And let me tell you, the view that opens up in front of you is absolutely breathtaking. It’s like stepping into a whole new world, where untamed horses roam freely alongside other animals on vast plains. It’s almost like being in a Serengeti that’s been tamed just enough. After you’ve taken in the beauty of Lake Letsie, that’s when the real adventure begins. Ongeluksnek Pass is something else entirely. As you start your descent down the rocky terrain, you’ll feel the excitement building up. It’s a challenge unlike any other, and it’s way better than going through Sani Pass. Trust me, when you reach the top of that escarpment and start making your way towards the South Africa border post, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment like never before.

READ  Dk villas Dwarskersbos a breath of fresh air

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

To reach Ongeluksnek Main Camp, head down the gravel track and look out for a junction just behind it (S30° 19.745’, E28° 21.987’). Take a right turn at this point and continue on the gravel road towards Mount Fletcher. Be prepared for a slow journey here, as the road can be bumpy and studded with tough stones.

At the next junction (S30° 23.175’, E28° 23.130’), make sure to keep left. This will lead you to the tar R56 road that passes Mount Fletcher. Once you cross the Luzi River, you’ll discover a hidden gem – a secret gravel track (S30° 45.715’, E28° 31.384’) that will take you to Elandshoogte. Taking this route is highly recommended, as it offers a breathtaking way to return to Rhodes, passing through the magnificent Pitseng Pass and Naude’s Nek.

Map of the Mohale Dam route

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

Hey there! Just wanted to let you know that if you want a closer look at the map, all you have to do is click on it. Easy, right?

Here’s the lowdown on road conditions:

The road from Rhodes to Tenahead is nice and solid, made of good gravel. Now, the stretch from Tiffindell to Wartrail can only be tackled by a 4×4 vehicle, but once you’re on the road to Wartrail, it’s smooth sailing. From Telle Bridge to the Ha Liphapang turn-off, you’ll be on a solid piece of tar, but watch out for that final bridge—it got washed away. Now, from Mount Moorosi to Lake Letsie, you’ll encounter some decent gravel, while Ongeluksnek is strictly for those with a 4×4. The road to Mount Fletcher is a bit rough with some bumps, but you’ll find smooth sailing on the tar R56, and the Elandshoogte gravel road is in tip-top shape.

Got any driving tips? Sure thing!

When you come across a ditch or ridge, you should take it slowly and approach it at an angle. This means putting one wheel in the ditch or on the highest part of the ridge before moving the next wheel. By doing this, you increase the chances of having at least three wheels on the ground, which gives you better traction. It also allows your vehicle to handle steeper angles when it comes to going up or down slopes.

Remember this

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

If you’re looking for a place with old-world charm and a cosy bar, then you’ll love Walkerbouts Inn in Rhodes (S30° 47.901′, E27° 57.712′). It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a magnificent pizza. You can stay from just R765 per person, which includes dinner, bed, and breakfast. Contact them at 0459749290.

If you’re planning a visit to the Eastern Cape, make sure to check out Tiffindell Ski Resort (S30° 39.220′, E27° 55.460′). They have a variety of accommodation options, including comfortable Mountain Suites with stunning views. Prices start at R395 per person. Give them a call at 0117812620.

For a truly beautiful experience, head to Ha Liphapang Camp (S30° 27.840′, E28° 0.021′). It’s located on the Merataleng River and offers gorgeous surroundings. While the ablutions are being upgraded, you’ll still have access to hot water from a donkey boiler. They also have Basotho huts that can accommodate two people each. The facilities are basic, so make sure to come prepared. Prices start at R200 for a hut and R50 per person for a campsite. Contact them at +26658407186.

READ  10 reasons why World of Birds is still amazing MzansiBride

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you won’t want to miss Ongeluksnek Main Camp (S30° 19.779′, E28° 21.957′). This camp is situated at the bottom of the famous Ongeluksnek pass. They offer a 12-sleeper lodge, double rondavels, and camping options. Prices range from R130 to R550, depending on your choice of accommodation. Reach them at 0437054400.

Fun Things to Do

Hey, are you searching for some fun activities to try out? Well, look no further! I’ve got you covered with a bunch of exciting ideas that are guaranteed to make your day unforgettable.

1. Go on a Nature Adventure

One awesome activity you can try is going on a nature adventure. Whether it’s hiking in the mountains, exploring a nearby forest, or visiting a serene beach, spending time in nature can be incredibly refreshing and enjoyable.

2. Have a Picnic

Why not pack a delicious picnic lunch and head out to your favorite park or garden? You can lay out a blanket, enjoy some tasty treats, and soak up the sunshine. It’s a perfect way to relax and have a good time with family or friends.

3. Get Creative with Art

Unleash your inner artist by engaging in some creative art projects. You can try painting, drawing, or even sculpting. The possibilities are endless, and you might discover a hidden talent or create a masterpiece!

4. Explore a New Hobby

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, cook exotic dishes, or try your hand at photography? Well, now is the perfect time to explore a new hobby. You never know what passion you might uncover!

5. Organize a Game Night

Gather your friends or family for an entertaining game night. Whether it’s classic board games, card games, or even video games, the laughter and friendly competition will make for a memorable evening.

6. Have a Movie Marathon

Grab some snacks, pick your favorite movie series, and settle in for an epic movie marathon. Whether you’re a fan of action, comedy, or fantasy, there’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a captivating story.

7. Volunteer for a Good Cause

Make a difference in your community by volunteering for a good cause. Whether it’s helping at a local animal shelter, cleaning up a park, or assisting at a food bank, your efforts can bring joy to others and make the world a better place.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick an activity that excites you and go have some fun!

Getaway 4X4 Guide to Lesotho the Southern saddle

Ready for an adventure in Lesotho? Let’s explore some thrilling activities you can try during your visit.

Mountain biking at Tiffindell Ski Resort. This is a must for all the adrenaline junkies out there. With its high elevation, Tiffindell Ski Resort offers the perfect terrain for an exhilarating downhill bike ride to Rhodes. Prices start at R600 for four people, and they even provide a pick-up service in Rhodes. Contact them at Tel 0117812620.

Hiking in the Tenahead Mountain Reserve. Nature lovers, this one’s for you. Tenahead Mountain Reserve offers a variety of hiking routes, ranging from short and leisurely walks to half-day adventures. Keep an eye out for the stunning birdlife along the way. Best of all, it’s completely free! For more information, call Tel 0499718901.

Fishing at Ha Liphapang. If you’re a fan of fishing, this is the spot for you. Ha Liphapang offers great trout fishing opportunities when the river is at its peak. Overnight guests can fish for free, but make sure to bring your own gear. For inquiries, dial +26658407186.

Remember, these activities were specially selected in partnership with Toyota for an unforgettable Lesotho adventure.

Leave a Comment