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Back Into Lesotho with Khotoso

I mention Steve, the owner of Khotso is a fascinating guy who is simply awesome to be around. Steve invites us to tag along on a trip into Lesotho to re-supply the lodge he has there.

I leave the Jeep behind and we pile into Steve’s Land Cruiser for a couple of days bouncing along mountain roads. Steve speaks Zulu and a bit of Sesotho (The main language in Lesotho), and he knows almost everyone around by first name, so it’s a great way to get a feel for the community, and how genuinely warm and friendly everyone is.

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Steve, owner of Khotso Lodge and extremely friendly guide

Steve really wants to give back to the local community and help with development in Lesotho, he loves it so much. He helps to organize hordes of high school kids who come out from Europe and work on the local elementary and high schools.

After crossing into Lesotho at yet another tiny border crossing we stop repeatedly at schools to talk to teachers and organize what needs to be done. From building fences to water tanks and painting, Steve and the volunteers can do it all. He points out the schools he has worked on in the past and it’s clear the headmasters and students have really benefited from the work he has put in. All the teachers we meet are extremely happy to see Steve, and all are eager for him to work on their schools.

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Steve locking in another school for work

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Kids in the classroom

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon as we hop through the mountains, stopping at more and more picturesque mountain-top schools.

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This is the view from their school!

Later in the afternoon we drive the dead-end road past the mighty Sehlabathebe National Park. The entire area is remote, rugged and beautiful, and it’s here we find the beautiful lodge Steve maintains for his horse trips. In no time we have a fire going and Steve whips up a loaf of local bread in the makeshift oven.

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Kids lining up to enter school for the morning

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A typical school building in Lesotho

It’s surprisingly cold overnight, though I’m being spoiled sleeping in an actual bed in the beautiful round-houses that make up the lodge (called a rondavel locally).

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The little Khotoso Lodge in the mountains of Lesotho

Everywhere we go people wave and stop to chat with Steve, and inevitably we give everyone a ride in the pickup Land Cruiser. I ride in the back as often as possible, happy for the wind in my face.

It feels like home as we roll back into Khotso Lodge after a huge couple of days in the mountains.

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Putting the Land Cruiser to good use

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The mountains are made for exploring

Again, I am utterly enthralled by Lesotho.
Maybe I should come back?

-Dan

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