Our 4th day “in” Lesotho actually turned out to be all around Lesotho… We weren’t aware of a new road that had just been built and therefore left the country where we entered it, and ended up driving aaall the way around it – all the way to Underberg, South Africa, not far from the border to Lesotho. That night, we were so tired from an entire day spent in the car, that we immediately went to bed.
We stayed at Sani Lodge Backpackers as we heard they did day trips up Sani Pass and into Lesotho. As we were warned not do it ourselves and that we also probably wouldn’t be allowed in without a 4×4, we decided this was our best option. Although I’m always a bit sceptical about anything that is already organised, I have to say that I really enjoyed this tour. We were a fairly small group and had a lovely guide who knew so much about Lesotho and answered all our questions.
First of all, we drove up through the Drakensberge on the South African side. It was incredibly beautiful. The mountains had an amazing green colour, tiny flowers grew everywhere, and the shadows were playing on the mountains. We stopped at a waterfall to fill up our bottles with fresh mountain water (which has to be my favourite kind of water).
Our guide made us get out of the car at some point so we could take pictures of the windy road he had just driven us up – but also so that we could walk across the border.
looking into South Africa
This is what the border looked like. The fence was basically on the ground and I don’t think it would have been too hard to just cross it. Which is fair enough if you consider the road we had just driven up and that this is one of the highest points in Lesotho.
While we were waiting for our passports to get stamped, we sat outside the Immigration office and made friends with the really adorable ice rats.
Our guide explained that this is a region of Lesotho where, usually, people wouldn’t live all year round as it was simply too cold in Winter. In Summer, they’d come live in the stone houses they built here, and we had the privilege of visiting one of them and, most importantly, meeting its owner. A lovely woman who showed us what her life is like and who baked fresh bread especially for us. It was so delicious we all bought an extra slice for the way home!
She also handmade these amazing dolls that look like a typical Basotho woman. They even carry a baby on their back, wrapped up in their traditional blanket.
This is what the stone house looked like from outside, featuring a man playing the accordion.
We were also shown the highest point in Lesotho, walked up to it, and sat right there eating our packed lunches and taking in the landscape.
After that, it was time to visit the Highest Pub in Africa, right back on the border. It had some European ski chalet vibes going on (could just be me to be honest), which was a bit strange, but also really, really cool. It was almost hard to imagine they’d really get a lot of snow every winter. But to be fair, although it was Summer when we visited, it was already pretty chilly outside!
Enjoying Maluti, a beer from Lesotho, while looking into South Africa.
Sadly, our day trip had thereby officially come to an end. I spotted some antelopes grazing on the mountains on our way back (which is apparently quite rare!) so we stopped one last time to take some more pictures.
I also managed to take a picture of our ride for the day which I thought was super cool. The landscape didn’t look too bad in that direction either.
That was it for our time in Lesotho. Way too short, once again.
If you’re interested in what we did for the second part of our trip, check out my post on our five days at the Wild Coast, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.