Lesotho Trip

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Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:44 am

I am driving through Lesotho in April, going through Fouriesburg border post, to Katse Dam, do the wall tour and camp for the night. I will then drive to Semonkong. Staying two nights, will spend the whole of the next day exploring the area. The following day I want to drive from Semonkong through Qacha’s Nek Border post into the Eastern Cape. Want to find out the following, as I cannot seem to get the info.

1. From Katse Dam is it possible to drive to Thaba-Tseka, on my map shows it is a 4x2 gravel road, and then to Masero to Semonkong? It looks shorter way to drive.
2. Then is it easy to drive from Semonkong to Qacha’s Nek border then into Eastern Cape in a day, relaxed driving? Anyone know how long this would take in hours?
:taunt: going to be awesome trip just not sure about these points, otherwise i will just take the main roads and be safe, but that wont be fun
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:57 am

John, after a couple of trips into Lesotho all that I know is that the road conditions change from the one trip to the next.

Tar roads turn to broken tar. Broken tar turns to terrible gravel and terrible gravel is suddenly tar.

In short you really need to expect the unexpected. But the trend does seem to be going towards more effort in maintaining roads in Lesotho and I have found more roads being graded a bit more regularly. I've now calculated for own travel an average of 70km/h as rather reliable and do-able.
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:36 am

Hi txs yip that why taking full day to drive from Katse and then full day to drive from Semonkong, take it easy enjoy the scenary. I am going to go to explore not race through. Cant wait to see for myself all the places i have seen on the trip reports.
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:35 pm

From Katze why not rather drive to S29 52.253 E29 04.027 Sehlabathebe Natational Park? There is a border post nearby also and accommodation?

If you want I can post some pics?

Semonkong is nothing to write home about.....
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:53 pm

Sehlabathebe is something to experience with amazing sandstone structures. But the closest border post is a day of punishing driving not due to distance, but due to the road itself. And you need to be 100% self sufficient while in the park. Going there you will never forget it.
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:54 pm

Hi John

When in April are you going?

Regards, :thumbup:
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:07 pm

Sehlabathebe National Park

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/lesotho/eas ... ional-park" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Lesotho’s first national park is remote and rugged – this sense of separation from the rest of the world is the main attraction. There are relatively few animals other than the rare Maloti minnow (thought to be extinct, but rediscovered in the Tsoelikana River), rare birds such as the bearded vulture, and the odd rhebok or baboon.

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Hiking (and horse riding from Sani Top or the uKhalamba-Drakensberg) is the main way to explore the waterfalls and surrounding areas.

This is a summer rainfall area and thick mist is common. Winters are clear but cold at night, and there are sometimes light falls of snow.

For bookings contact the National Environment Secretariat (2231 1767, 2232 6075). Park management seems to change quite regularly, however.
map_of_lesotho.jpg
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Half way along this route there is a beautiful spot under LARGE oak trees you can camp at next to the Senque river :dance1: :dance1: :dance1:
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:31 pm

hi already booked and paid for my accomadation. Have read about the park and seen trip reports. JUst did not think it was in my reach. I arrive morning 18th April Katse Dam, stay one night, camping, The 19th and 20th stay http://www.placeofsmoke.co.ls/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, then got untill 22 to get to East London. So thinking staying some place in eastern cape no booking just go till sunset. Then sleep.
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:40 pm

Oh OK, Maletsunyane Falls are awsome :thumbup:
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:50 pm

Thanks and nice trails that are around there, so gave myself a day to explore area. :taunt:
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Fri May 06, 2011 11:09 pm

18/04/2011.I left Boksburg 01h45, 3h22 in the Free state encountered 30min stop/go roadwork’s, 3 stop n go to Frankfort, arrived 5h41 Fouriesburg Caltex, 349km 34.92 liters, 10L/km, 9.9km per liter. I went through the border no hassles and had cell signal until I started the Maluti pass. Arrived 09h25 visitors centre at Katse dam. I miss the induction but was in time to join for the tour of the dam wall. The dam was 98% full. I paid R20 to camp at the Katse dam site. There was no one else at the campsite except the old visitors centre had a guard. I drove around the area taking pics, as it was still early in the day. The radio antenna on top of the hill looked enticing so I drove up the hill to the antenna and had a good view of the dam and Katse village. I made potbrood form the pack I bought form Camp World. Was very good with sweet corn. I had few beers that I bought form the local shebeen. R12 a quart. As soon as the sun went down it got very cold, I decide to sleep in the visitors centre instead of camping out in my Hilux. I slept from 19h00 until 5am. My sleeping bag was warm enough. I made bacon and eggs for breakfast, sharing the security guard. I then packed up and left for Thabo Seki around 7 am. The drive was gravel road but in good graded condition, just some places the hairpin bends were washed out. I arrived Thabo Seki 8h20, I filled up Thabo Seki. 277.7km 41 liters, 14.76 L/KM. 08h40 I left Thabo Seki, expecting easy tar road, but although tar was steep gradients and hairpin bends. The road was being repaired and was gravel in some places. I had to equalize allot up and down passes, I turned off and drove through Roma, outside Roma reached a T-junction, turn off to Semonkong. The was very bad gravel road with super steep passes and hairpin bends. This road took one and half-hours to drive 60km. The town of Semonkong id more a village outpost. The centre of town was crowded with people, donkeys, horses and everything that was being traded. I turned off on little gravel road and drove to the lodge, as you cross the bridge u see the lodge which is modern compared to the village. I arrive 13h30 at the lodge. The chalets I stayed in were the bunker type but fortunate no one else was staying so I had it to myself. I went to Fraser’s trading post and put in R200 diesel to explore the area the next day. I got some more quarts castle and headed back to the lodge. I made a curry potjie, at 4pm; I watched the sunset and ate potjie. The only sound heard is the bird nesting and the river. Next day I, got map of the area from the reception woman and asked her about driving through Quachas Neck pass form the lodge. She told me is not possible, as before the last rains took bikers six hours to get through the pass, and now the rains had made it worse., So I decide not going to do it. I explore the falls and drive up the last trade post before the pass. The road very bad so can imagine how bad the pass would be. I got back to the village and noticed my bumper was hanging lopsided at the back. The bolts had vibrated loose from the bad roads. I tightened them up. I ate leftover potjie for supper. I was in bed early and woke up 1h30am and decide to drive to East London. I drove to Maseru border. The road to Roma was even worse after the rains we had yesterday and took almost 2 hours to drive the 60 km. The screws from my sunvisers all shook loose! Filled up in Aliwal North, 648km, 55.41Litres, plus the 20L I put in Semonkong.11.64l/km and 8.59km/L. Very impressed overall with consumption
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Campsite Katse.jpg
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frasiers trade post6.jpg
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falls.JPG
John
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Sat May 07, 2011 11:35 am

Thanks John, it is very interesting inside the damwall ne (Katse dam). The locals referred me to the garage for diesel. I end up at a general shoppie were they fill 20l drums from a bit bigger drum. Needless to say I didn't fill the tank - drums were not that clean. Interesting place though.
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Sun May 08, 2011 10:53 pm

Thanks John, interesting and now you also have a better idea of the area and road conditions :thumbup:
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Sun May 08, 2011 11:28 pm

Nice, John! :thumbup: Memories! ;-)
I assumed you would be coming down to the Eastern Cape through the Transkei .... what a pity I didn't know that you would be coming down through Aliwal North. I saw that you would be coming through to East London on the 22nd but knew that I would be away on the Hogsback otherwise I would have suggested a 'hook-up'. Had we known you were coming down thru Aliwal / Queenstown / Cathcart I would have suggested you come and stay with us at Hogsback (Mark - OOOMS was with us for that weekend). Really sorry that we missed you! :(
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