A Journey to Lesotho

I’m sure many of you have never heard of a country named Lesotho. We traveled 73k from Creighton, South Africa, along a rock road, to visit this country. Sure, we could have taken the lovely paved road, but that wouldn’t have been any fun. Plus, that would have added several hours to our trip. So, let the fun and the rocky road begin.

We traveled along the Sani Pass through the Drakensburg Plateau. This area is rich with bird life, plants and some of the most beautiful views in South Africa.

The country of Lesotho is landlocked in the middle of South Africa. They have a population of a little over 2.2 million for the entire country and most of them live in two large cities. We visited a rural area that has an abundance of sheep, grasses, a variety of birds known only to this area and the highest bar in Africa!

We rode in vans from Creighton, South Africa, until we reached the small town of Himeville (next to Unterberg). At Himeville we met our local birding guide, Stewart McClaine, and piled into four-wheeled drive vehicles for the next part of our journey. Only four wheeled vehicles are allowed to transverse the Sani Pass.

The scenery through this area is unbelievable. Beautiful basalt peaks, green mountains and valleys and crystal clear streams. The entire pass is 33 k in length but the last 8 k (4.8 miles) is the toughest. It took us a little over an hour to climb this section with a gradient of 1:3 (for every kilometer climbed, it took us 3 kilometers to reach it). In other words – ITS STEEP!

Yes, Jeff had a beer at the highest Pub in Africa and Yes, we saw many great birds.

Below you will find some pics we took along the way. We hope you enjoy!

We stopped for birding and a quick pic before hitting the rock section of the road.
Steep, rugged basalt blanketed in velvet green.
At the Sani Pass we took COVID tests before heading into Lesotho.
The green mountains and valley goes on forever.
The scenery was just unbelievable.
The steepest and rockiest part of our climb to the top.
At the border of South Africa heading into Lesotho.
At 2784 meters in the sky, it’s the highest pub in Africa.
A baby Drakensburg Crag lizard sunning himself.
At the end of the day, the shepherds bring their sheep into this pen and sleep in these huts.
A young shepherd keeping an eye on me and his sheep.
Lesotho is known for its birding. This Sentinel Rock-Thrush put on quite a show for us.
4×4 is mandatory on this road. We now know why!
Malachite Sunbird. Disappointingly, he was not being photogenic. He certainly blends in well with his environment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s