Departure at 9:00 from Underberg to the World Heritage Site of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, following the Mkomazana River up the scenic Sani Valley to the South African Border Post (border formalities). We continue up the Sani Pass, which was built by David Alexander between 1948 and 1954 viewing the Hodgon’s Peaks and the Giant’s Cup. Climbing to an altitude of 2.874m and zigzag upwards beneath towering cliffs, buttresses, past waterfalls and unique flora and bird life. After having completed the border formalities at the Lesotho Border we arrive at the Sani Top Chalet and the Highest Pub in Africa (2.874m) for refreshments. Thereafter we proceed to the village and the Basotho culture will be explained. Ascending the Black Mountain Pass up to 3.280m, following the Mkomazi River. Nearby the highest mountain in Lesotho Mountain BikingSouthern Africa, Thabana Ntlenyana with 3.482m, meaning ” the little mountain which is nice”. Picnic lunch on route. Arrival at our self-catering accommodation in the afternoon. Dinner at the guesthouse in fully equipped kitchen.
After breakfast at the guesthouse, departure on dirt road towards Mashai. Watch the majestic Cape Vultures in flight and beautiful butterflies in summer. Thaba Tseka (meaning “the mountain with blaze”) houses a stud farm for breeding Basotho Ponies and a tree nursery. Cross the Koma-Koma Bridge, which is flooded when the sluice gates of the Katse Dam are opened. Refreshment stop and picnic at the shabeen (pub) at Taung village. Travel the windy road, along the sides rocky mountains and hills, patches of maize fields where Basotho’s work on their land with loving care. Everyone gets involved to prepare dinner.
Overnight: Camping at Mashai River Basin, Mashai
Day 3: B, L, D (total 77 km)
Enjoy home-made breakfast. At 08:00 we leave the highlands of Lesotho towards Marakabei. A pleasant down-ride on a windy mountain road, pass donkeys heavily loaded with goods or shrubs, Lesotho Mountain Bikingherded by horsemen in their colourful blankets. Picnic lunch on route. Awesome views, lonely herd boys on the mountain slopes and the gentle sound of their “Lesibas” floating in the wind. Descending the Tsheshe Pass (2.560m) and crossing the Senqunyane River also known as the Little Orange River. Dinner at the lodge.
Overnight: Marakabei Lodge or Camping on the premises
Day 4: B, L, D (total 86 km)
After breakfast we depart at 08:00 on a long curving road through the Senqunyane River Valley. We descend the pass on dirt road, dotted with low shrubs and wild flowers, inclusive the Red Hot Pockers. Our Guide will take care of the security check point entering the dam area. Passing the Mohale Dam, which was constructed 1998 – 2003 in a joint venture of Germany, Italy and South Africa. Leaving the dam area we have to check out at the security post. Picnic lunch on route. Climbing up the Blue Mountain Pass (2.620m), reaching the tar road, driving pass Peach Trees and mountains of white sand stone. The city of Roma is the principal center of the Roman Catholic Church in Lesotho and since 1964 the site of the National University of Lesotho. Dinner at the guesthouse.
Overnight: Trading Post Guesthouse, Roma
Day 5: B, L (total 31 km)
Breakfast at the guesthouse. We are leaving at 09:00 for Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho. The ride is on tar road through the lowlands of the country. At lunch time Thaba Tours Guide with Escape Cycle Tours vehicle will meet the group at the Information Centre “The Hut” in the centre of Maseru. Bicycles will be secured on the trailer. Transfer in Sprinter to Johannesburg.