Lesotho Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 27th April 2016

    The Drakenberg is South Africa’s second proclaimed world heritage site and this is one of the many reasons we visit the majestic mountains on day and multi day tours.

  • 17th February 2016

    Drakensberg day tour

     

    Our Drakensberg day tour began in Durban where I collected my clients and we began a great day under the African sun exiting South Africa over the Drakensberg mountains into Lesotho a landlocked country in South Africa.

    The Kingdom of Lesotho is on average the highest country in the world and South Africa’s second proclaimed world heritage site.

    The Drakensberg mountains have been a place of great peace yet many struggles have be fought in the area over land and control. Whats new….

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Drakensberg Sani Pass

    Drakensberg tour; Drakensberg Sani Pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Draksenberg mountains are home to many species of animals including Eland, Bush buck, Nyala, Reebuck and many more. As we changed over vehicles into a 4×4 we managed to come across many raptors and some lovely Rock Hyrax.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Rock Hyrax sits on a rock

    Drakensberg tour; Rock Hyrax sits on a rock

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way higher up the Drakensberg mountains to about 2874 meters which in near on 9000 feet as you reach past the South African boarder post and you get you passports stamped there is 8 Kilometers with 3000 feet or 1000 meters of climbing in the 4×4 to go to the summit.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; South African boarder post

    Drakensberg tour; South African boarder post

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No mans land belongs to South Africa and is maintained by them and the last 8 or so bends to reach the summit of the Drakensberg mountain into Lesotho is very steep and very windy!

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Drakensberg treacherous sani pass

    Drakensberg tour; Drakensberg treacherous sani pass

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we reached the Lesotho boarder post we felt the drop in temperature and the cool mountain breeze as we enjoyed the scenery of one of the poorest parts of Lesotho.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Lesotho boarder post

    Drakensberg tour; Lesotho boarder post

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Aside of the new tar road the Chinese have constructed from the Lesotho boarder post to the nearest town 50km away this area is very baron and devoid of much life. If you are luck you will see a Ice Rat otherwise it is just the Marino and Angora sheep which was the reason Sani pass was built in the first place. South Africa wanted the wool and the Basotho people wanted the food and building material of there huts from South Africa.

    We visited the poor village and entered one of the ladies homes to learn more and sample the fresh Basotho bread.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Basotho homes

    Drakensberg tour; Basotho homes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These amazing homes are constructed or stone, poles from South Africa, grass, cow dung, mud and soil. All these natural materials make the homes warm in Winter which has dropped one your below 20 degrees Celsius and cool in Summer which can still reach 30 degrees.

     

    After this experience we ventured to the Highest pub in Africa near the boarder post and it was here we would have a lovely lunch.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Drakensberg Highest Pub in Africa

    Drakensberg tour; Drakensberg Highest Pub in Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After lunch at Sani pass we popped out to enjoy the views down the Drakensberg mountains and spotted these young Basotho Shepherds and there sheep. It was a lovely picture as they looked down into South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Basotho Shepards on top of Sani Pass

    Drakensberg tour; Basotho Shepards on top of Sani Pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then began the bumpy drive down the Sani pass and the Drakensberg mountain enjoying the amazing views from a new angle.  We had some lovely sightings again of the Rock Hyrax and then of a Malachite sun bird (Male) on a Protea which is South Africa’s national flower.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Malachite sun bird sits on a Protea flower

    Drakensberg tour; Malachite sun bird sits on a Protea flower

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been an amazing day tour in the Drakensberg mountains and we were all pretty tired but happy all the same with how wonderful the tour had gone.

    It is always a pleasure to show off the Drakensberg mountains to my clients and the amazing diversity we have in South Africa.

     

     

  • 22nd July 2015

    Drakensberg tour – 20th July 2015

     

    We began our Drakensberg day tour just outside Durban from my home as I was taking my cousins and wife up the Sani pass into Lesotho.

    It had been 13 years since I had seen my cousin so I was pretty happy about showing off my beautiful country to them and having my wife come with us as well.

     

    I did the usual covering some of the history of the area of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa before we arrived in Underberg and changed over vehicles into a 4×4 to go up the Sani pass.

     

    Lesotho is an amazing country with the Drakensberg mountain as its border. In Zulu we call it Ukhahlamba which means the barrier of spears and the word “Drakensberg” means dragons peak!

     

    The view up the Sani pass in the Drakensberg was lovely today as it was a clear day.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a very lucky day on our way up to Lesotho and in Lesotho itself, we spotted a host of Jackal Buzzards and Pied crows… As well as Dassies(Rock Hyrax), Eland antelope and Reebuck. We even spotted some Ground Woodpeckers.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Ground Wood Pecker

    Drakensberg tour, Ground Wood Pecker

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Eland are the Bushmen or San peoples totem animal and these people were the original South Africans that were sadly killed out by every other group of people that are in South African today.

    The Eland had special powers for the San people and they would use it to communicate with there ancestors.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Eland

    Drakensberg tour, Eland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On route up the Drakensberg on our day tour into Lesotho we came across a small waterfall up Sani Pass called Lovers Cascade. It is believed that here the San people would come to drink the fresh water and which would give them eternal life…

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Lovers cascade!

    Drakensberg tour, Lovers cascade!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then stopped at the South African border post before we continued the 8 kilometers to Sani top the highest pub in Africa and of course the Lesotho border post.

    We got the passports stamped and I got a picture of my cousins.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, My cousins at the South African border post

    Drakensberg tour, My cousins at the South African border post

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we made our way into Lesotho we noticed that there was snow in the mountain and some of the hairpin bends were which has waterfalls were frozen over. It was about 9 degrees up the sani pass but mostly due to to cold breeze.

    It was now time for us to visit the Basotho village and to enter one of the huts to learn more about the Basotho people and taste some lovely home made bread.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Snow in the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, Snow in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the great hospitality we continued our Drakensberg tour and made our way to the Highest pub in Africa, Sani Top. It was here we had some lunch and enjoyed the great views as well as the warmth of the Pub as it was so cold.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Highest pub in Africa

    Drakensberg tour, Highest pub in Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After lunch it was time to begin the journey down the Sani pass and enjoy the spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountain leaving Lesotho behind us.

     

    It was a beautiful decent down the Drakensberg mountain and we arrived back at the bottom at about 15:30.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View down Sani pass in the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, View down Sani pass in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we got to the bottom we stretched our legs after the “African Massage” on the bumpy dirt roads and made our way back home after what turned out to be a very long but enjoyable day.

     

    Our Drakensberg day tour ended back at our home where we enjoyed some food and a special drink my cousins brought for us. It was a special day!

     

    If you would like to do this tour into the Drakensberg click the below link:

     

    Drakensberg day tour

  • 2nd July 2015

    Drakensberg private day tour

     

     

    I met my client in Umhlanga north of Durban for his Drakensberg private day tour and it was an early start. I was there at 05:30 for 6am and we then drove to Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg and where the temperatures dropped to 0 Degrees Celsius. It was going to be a cold day!

     

    When we arrived in Underberg to swap over into a 4×4 vehicle to go up the Sani pass (the only way you can get up) we had some coffee and noted that the top of the mountain had snow on it which was great!

    As we began up Sani pass we stopped along the way to enjoy the views and this beautiful Durban day tour in the Drakensberg mountains.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; View up Sani pass

    Drakensberg tour; View up Sani pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sani pass is an old trading route between Lesotho and South Africa on the eastern side of Lesotho which is a land locked country and on average the highest country in the world. The lowest point is about 1300 meters and the highest is 3500 meters.

     

    The views as you can imagine are amazing and well worth a visit. 

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Second view up Sani pass

    Drakensberg tour; Second view up Sani pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Aside of stopping for the great views we stopped at the South African border post to get our passports stamped as we entered into 8 kilometers of No mans land which actually belongs to South Africa before the hair-bends which rise us up into Lesotho the mountain kingdom.

     

    Yes Lesotho is a Kingdom and has a King who thankfully only has one wife and a few kids but is slightly involved with the running of the Country although there is a prime minister.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; South African border post to Lesotho

    Drakensberg tour; South African border post to Lesotho

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After getting up into Lesotho and passing the boarder post we stopped to look the the amazingly baron land that this small village on the Eastern side of Lesotho has and must still survive.

    A Drakensberg tour of this nature is always interesting and makes you realize what you have back home as these people really battle and with the little tourism that they now have they are starting to get some help.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Snow in Lesotho

    Drakensberg tour; Snow in Lesotho

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to visit one of the ladies in the village and enter her hut to learn more about the amazing culture of the Basotho people as well as taste the lovely Basotho pot bread!

    The bread could be my favourite part of the tour!

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Basotho village

    Drakensberg tour; Basotho village

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This baron land is no good for growing of crops as it is the highlands of Lesotho and very rocky. This means the people in this area have to travel either into South Africa to get food or 56 kilometers to the nearest town.

     

    They do have a Pig with piglets and of course the Basotho Shepherds have meat from the Angora goat or the Marino Sheep that they also sell to South Africa.

     

    Our next stop was Africa’s Highest Pub at 2874 meters above sea level which is high. I always get a headache up here but it is worth it. The food is good and the views amazing.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Sign at the Highest Pub in Africa

    Drakensberg tour; Sign at the Highest Pub in Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I snapped away and also got a picture of James in the bar on this Drakensberg day tour.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; James at the bar of the Highest Pub in Africa

    Drakensberg tour; James at the bar of the Highest Pub in Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing experience we made our way down the Sani pass still looking for the Eland antelope which we did not see but non of us really worried about it as we had seem so much.

     

    On the animal front which was a bonus we spotted Baboons, Rock Hyrax as well as a Spotted Eagle own on the the way down which was really odd as it was just after 3pm! They are supposed to be sleeping! I always love seeing animals out of normal routine as it just shows even if you read all the books on them they will surprise you!

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour; Spotted eagle owl

    Drakensberg tour; Spotted eagle owl

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had an amazing time on our Drakensberg day tour and had so many memories to take home with us. We just had the drive back to Umhlanga left and it wasn’t to bad even though we were pretty tired our Durban day tour had really been worth it.

    If you would like to join the Sani Pass Drakensberg day tour you can check out the itinerary and the pricing on the below link:

     

    Sani Pass day tour from Durban