Lesotho is a tiny landlocked country high up in the Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains (altitude 1800m – 3400m). What it lacks in overall size, it makes up for in sheer vastness and ruggedness. Rough dirt roads and natural trails makes this little country ideal for mountain biking. The Eastern Highlands tour is for regular mountain bikers who wish to get a taste of raw, natural trails in the rarefied air of Lesotho just up Sani Pass.
|TOUR GRADE||3: MODERATE
This ride is for regular mountain bikers, who have a degree of off road experience. Routes include some moderate to difficult technical sections.
|BEST TIME OF THE YEAR||SEPTEMBER TO APRIL|
|ADDITIONAL OPTIONS||This Eastern Highlands ride gives a great taste of Lesotho and is an ideal basis for groups of friends to customise using our ‘Design Your Ride’ plan, eg. Add a day to ride the challenging ‘Boot Camp Trail’ or some of the exciting All Mountain trails in the area, such as Car Wash, Nico Mullaly and The Ultimate. Contact us on email@example.com if you and your friends wish to do so.|
SUMMARY OF ITINERARY
|1||Transfer from Durban||–||–||–||D|
|2||Ride/Drive up Sani & Woolshed||30km||1000m||1200m||BLD|
|4||Ride/Drive Down Sani Pass||40km||600m||1900m||B|
Day 1: Arrival at Sani Lodge Backpackers
Meet in the afternoon at a central location in Durban for a bus ride to Sani Backpackers. The evening is spent around the braai chatting and getting to know each other while hearing more of what is in store, before retiring for a good night’s sleep.
Day 2: Up Sani Pass into the Eastern Highlands
Stats: 30 km, ascent 1000m, descent 1200m (These are for riders who choose to drive up Sani Pass)
Depart early from Sani Lodge Backpackers, driving up Sani Pass and Black Mountain (3200m) for the first exposure to Lesotho’s rugged mountains and steep valleys.
After arriving at the Molumong backpackers, our base for the tour, we’ll grab a quick lunch and gear up for the Woolshed ride. We’ll leave the backpackers and make our way on rough roads towards the Mafisoaneng Pass, climb the pass and then a pony trail to the ridge which is the start of the Super Woolshed descent. It’s sure to be one of the most fun flowy descents ever, down to Jawbone shebeen, our usual rest spot before riding the road back. A perfect introduction to Lesotho trail riding.
For anyone interested (and foolish) in riding up Sani Pass, it can be arranged. They will need to make a very early start so as not to delay the Woolshed ride.
Day 3: The Lofer Trail
Stats: 47 km, 1950 ascent, 1950m descent
The ride starts with a short descent out of the Backpackers grounds past the Molumong village onto the Senqu River (a drop of some 600m). Once at the Senqu, any semblance of ‘roads’ is gone and it’s typical Lesotho pony trails as the riders climb their way back out of the valley to the sprawling settlement of Ha Mofali.
Another few hundred meter descent on a rural trail and tough climb back to the main trail artery follows. For around 12km this trail has typical Lesotho ‘undulations’ of short sharp descents followed by equally sharp ‘stinger’ climbs to the highest point of the day at around 2650m. Here, while riding with some Austrians, we found a fantastic pony trail that contours along the Lofer ridge to Jawbone shabeen. After the customary beer stop, the ride back is a gentle undulating descent to the backpackers for some well-earned cold Maluti’s!
Day 4: Breakfast Run, James Trail and Sani Pass
Stats: 40 km, ascent 600m, descent 1900m
In order to pack in all the action, we’ll pack early and leave on the Breakfast Run to join the James Trail heading towards Black Mountain.
The support crew will meet the riders at the tar road to transfer the group to the top of Sani Pass. There’ll be time to grab some lunch and a beer (own account) at the ‘highest pub in Africa’ before the fun begins.
The helter-skelter dash down Sani Pass will be the cherry on the top of a few great days of Lesotho riding.
The riders will regroup at Sani Lodge for a quick shower and snack before setting off back home.
Expect to pay around R 6 500 (inc. VAT) per person sharing, there is a single supplement additional charge of 30% if you require a single room.
MINIMUM NUMBERS: 8
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This Eastern Highlands ride gives a great taste of Lesotho and is an ideal basis for groups of friends to customise using our ‘Design Your Ride’ plan, eg. Add a day to ride the challenging ‘Boot Camp Trail’ or some of the exciting All Mountain trails in the area, such as Car Wash, Nico Mullaly and The Ultimate. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you and your friends wish to do so.