Into The Kingdom of Lesotho
We aim for a tiny border and are quickly stamped out of South Africa and into Lesotho with a minimum of fuss. The six month Temp Import Permit for the Jeep is good for Lesotho too, so I don’t even need to talk to Customs crossing this International Border. Talk about easy!
Immediately I see Lesotho is less Developed than South Africa, and I feel more at home. Life is once again on the streets – people are cooking street meat and partying during the day, prices are cheaper and everyone smiles warmly as I pass.
After a very cheap street meal of chicken and chips (fries) in the Capital of Maseru we make out way inland on a spectacular new paved highway. I have to assume Chinese interests here, and I wonder if it’s mining or some other resource that triggered this road to be built. For hour after hour we wind up, over and down down enormous mountains through seemingly endless wilderness. As soon as we leave the city behind it feels like we have stepped back in time 100 years. The many shepherds are on horseback and wear colorful blankets, houses are simple round stone buildings with thatched roofs and electricity does not appear common.
After a beautiful drive through the mountains we arrive in the beautiful mountain town of Semonkong and pitch up camp at the Lodge of the same name. Downstream on the river lies the extremely impressive Maletsunyane Falls – at 630 feet it’s one of the biggest single-drop falls on the entire continent.
Over the course of a couple of days we hike around the rim of the enormous canyon to spot the falls, we walk along the river to stand at the very top of the falls and we even hike down to the base of the falls to take a swim and get soaking wet from the spray whipped up by the wind. Locals are extremely quick to smile and laugh, and we feel extremely welcome in this magical little village.
It would be easy to stay three weeks in this one place!