Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Losper on February 10, 2020, 10:01:26 pm

Title: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 10, 2020, 10:01:26 pm
The idea for this trip started a few weeks ago when @JonW mentioned that he wanted to do the traverse from Sehelabathebe to Sani on the eastern side of Lesotho.
Ride report here:http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=245243.0

That would only be a two day trip so we (@Twister and myself) thought let's make it a proper 5 day trip since that area of Lesotho is extremely remote and we don't get to explore there that often.
The trip started early the Friday morning, we trailered our bikes from Bloemfontein to Thaba Thaka where we would leave the bakkie and trailer until we return 5 days later.

The plan was as follows:
Day 1. Thaba Thaka to Thamathu lodge in Sehelabathebe (south of Lesotho)
Day 2. Explore the National park and then do an enduro route towards Ramatseliso and then meet up with @JonW and friends at Thamathu lodge.
Day 3. Ride the traverse from Sehelabathebe via Rhino peak to Sani top and then from there over the Thabana Ntlenyena mountain (at 3482m the highest mountain south of Kilimanjaro) and then from there to Mokhotlong.
Day 4. Explore the area between Mokhotlong and Letseng mine.
Day 5. Head back to Thaba Theka and try and do as much as possible sections inside the Senqu river.
   
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho so beautiful?
Post by: Wolzak on February 10, 2020, 10:13:03 pm
 :sip: thanks  :ricky:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 10, 2020, 10:36:01 pm
Day 1: Thaba Theka via Matebeng pass to Thamathu lodge

We took a new unexplored route on the western side of the Senqu river all the way down to about 5 km south of Sehonghong. The plan was to try and cross thru the river and then continue to Matebeng pass. The river was unexpectedly high and after a few unsuccessful tries we headed north all along the river and crossed over at  the huge hanging bridge at Sehonghong. From there on to Matebeng pass. Now we have ridden this pass many many times over the last 10 years and every time we saw it in a worse state than before. This time was no exception and the northern side has been washed away in such a way that it would be almost impossible to do it on an adventure bike.
We got to the Chinese shop at around 5pm and filled the bikes with fuel and bought food for the night. From there it was a quick 10km to Thamathu lodge.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 10, 2020, 10:38:04 pm
.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: onderbroek on February 11, 2020, 07:08:41 am
sub
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: m0lt3n on February 11, 2020, 07:15:25 am
volg!
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Matewis on February 11, 2020, 07:16:58 am
SUB
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Kerritz on February 11, 2020, 12:34:17 pm
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: 0012 on February 11, 2020, 01:11:08 pm
sub    :sip:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: ButtSlider on February 11, 2020, 01:33:20 pm
Sub for this ride :sip: :ricky:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: stcomza on February 11, 2020, 01:59:55 pm

Yip, SUB...
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Tabasco on February 11, 2020, 02:13:14 pm
sub

Losper: can you get away on these routes with an unlicensed bike?
(or will Border control be the issue)
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 11, 2020, 02:17:02 pm
sub
Losper: can you get away on these routes with an unlicensed bike?
(or will Border control be the issue)
We trailered the bikes to a guest house in Lesotho, from there it was on gravel all the way(or like in this case very very deep in the mountains), so no problem.
If you cross the border with the bike then it has to be licenced. In our group all our 500's are licenced because we regularly cross the borders with them.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Black_Hawk on February 11, 2020, 02:18:53 pm
ek loer ook hier... dankie vir die deel sover  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Dirt Junkie on February 11, 2020, 02:23:01 pm
sub
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: caconcepts on February 11, 2020, 02:36:46 pm
River crossing could have been a bit tricky with all the rain of late....
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Tabasco on February 11, 2020, 02:58:36 pm
sub
Losper: can you get away on these routes with an unlicensed bike?
(or will Border control be the issue)
We trailered the bikes to a guest house in Lesotho, from there it was on gravel all the way(or like in this case very very deep in the mountains), so no problem.
If you cross the border with the bike then it has to be licenced. In our group all our 500's are licenced because we regularly cross the borders with them.
:thumleft:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 11, 2020, 10:23:29 pm
Day 2 Explore the National park and then do an enduro route towards Ramatseliso

After a quick breakfast and coffee we got on the bikes and headed up to the mountain to the cellphone tower. The views were stunning from up there and we followed an extremely steep downhill pass towards the Sehelabathebe National parks office to buy entrance tickets.
The park is most probably the most scenic area in the whole of Lesotho. We spend a good hour or two exploring the natural sandstone formations just east of the famous "Devils Knucles" mountains. From there we headed towards the waterfall and discovered an awesome single track over the mountains all the way to the Chinese shop for refreshments.
From there we headed west and joined an enduro track in Ramatselito's area. The Tsoelike river threw a number of very interesting river crossings our way and that kept us busy for the rest of the day. We returned to the Chinese shop to buy supper and back to Thamathu lodge.
The rest of the group (8 riders) joined up with us at Thamathu where we had a great braai the evening.   
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 11, 2020, 10:25:05 pm
.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Tom van Brits on February 11, 2020, 10:25:46 pm
 :sip:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 11, 2020, 10:29:29 pm
.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 11, 2020, 10:30:03 pm
.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Mr Zog on February 12, 2020, 05:25:26 am
I do so miss the incredible beauty that is Lesotho  :(
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Plaasseun on February 12, 2020, 02:10:07 pm
Shit dit lyk nou moer lekker :drif: :sip:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Roxtar on February 12, 2020, 02:40:26 pm
Has to make you wonder why people so eager to leave this beautiful country behind..... ;)
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 12, 2020, 09:59:21 pm
Day 3. Ride the traverse from Sehelabathebe via Rhino peak to Sani top and then from there over the Thabana Ntlenyena mountain (at 3482m the highest mountain south of Kilimanjaro) and then from there to Mokhotlong.

We were on the bikes at 7:30 and headed to the Bushmans lookout point. Originaly I did not wanted to waste time by going to the look out point but boy, was I glad we did. What an awesome view we had over Natal. The weather was perfect and you could see very very deep into Natal.
We headed back and met up with the other half of the group (they had to go back to the Chinese shop to refuel).

It was not long before we hid the technical section at the waterfall. On Google Earth it looks like a straightforward climb up next to the waterfall but in real life it was much more technical. It took almost an hour for us to reach the waterfall and the the second technical section hit us. The original path was to the left of the water stream but we saw and easier line (at that stage we thought so) to the right side of the water stream and 8 of us crossed over to the other side and tackled the steep ascend. We soon realized that this move might not have been the most clever move but we pushed thru and half an hour later 5 of us reached the top.

The total ascend was  approx 2km long and although we could hear the rest of the group battling their way up we could not see them. After waiting for about an hour we made the difficult decision to leave them behind and carry on. This decision was based on the fact that Dawie, Carel and Shaun still had to drive back to Pretoria and Rustenburg and me and @Twister still wanted to ride the path over Thabana Ntlenyana.

We reached the Rhino Peak lookout about 1 1/2 hours later and Sani top at 2:30. The rain clouds looks angry and we headed to Mokhotlong Lodge via the tar road.
The traverse between Sehelabathebe and Sani-top is not an enjoyable stretch simply because of the millions of grass bumps (tufts)  that tend to keep you busy and on your toes the whole day. If I compare it to the awesome riding we do in the rest of Lesotho this cannot compare but then I must admit that the views are absolutely out of this world. 
 
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 12, 2020, 10:00:10 pm
.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Xpat on February 12, 2020, 10:09:39 pm
 :thumleft:

Pitty, you couldn't do Thabana Ntlenyana, but to be honest after the traverse track it wouldn't match the scenery despite being the highest point far and wide.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: IanTheTooth on February 12, 2020, 11:53:43 pm
Pleased to see that you've had a chance to see this area. It is quite spectacular.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: alwyn_gs on February 13, 2020, 10:12:18 am
Losper : " Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?"

Me : Hell no! It is amazing!
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Swazi Phil on February 13, 2020, 10:21:15 am
Sub
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: MRK Miller on February 13, 2020, 05:57:10 pm
Sooooo much envy now. One day when i get my lighter bike i must book a tour with you. Love the mountains
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: shark_za on February 13, 2020, 06:47:44 pm
Looking good, will be there at the end of the month. Cant wait .
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 13, 2020, 10:29:04 pm
Day 4. Explore the area between Mokhotlong and Letseng mine.

We stayed at the Senqu hotel. It is more of a biggish guest house with a great restaurant and very good service in general.
There we a lot of rain the previous night and that made for a number of very interesting river crossings. The track was very interesting, a lot of serious river crossings, 2 spoor and off camber single spoor tracks. The deeper we went into the mountains the smaller and smaller the tracks got.

One of the goals of the day was to connect a previously ridden track of Xpat to the track that me and Xpat did a year ago when we were in search of the origin of the Orange river. We eventually got to a very very enjoyable single track and then we got to the point where there were no path anymore an the way up the mountain got incredibly steep and impossible to carry on. Just as we turned around and headed back it started raining. We were lucky to find an open church just when it started to rain very very hard. We hid in the church for about an hour and interestingly we could see the river lever rise substantially in that short time span.

After an hour in the church Twister became impatient and he eventually convinced me to get back on the bikes in the rain and head back to Mokhotlong.     
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Noneking on February 13, 2020, 11:32:41 pm
Baie mooi!
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Losper on February 14, 2020, 10:49:11 pm
Day 5. Head back to Thaba Theka and try and do as much as possible sections inside the Senqu river.

The plan was to ride inside the Senqu river as far as possible from Molhotlong to Thaba Theka but the river was in flood. So we took a new 2 spoor and single track (that I got from Xpat) and boy was this a highly enjoyable track.

The timing for this ride was just perfect out of a scenery point of view. I have never seen Lesotho as beautiful.
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: OFFROAD FANATICS on February 15, 2020, 10:09:42 am
Bliksem ... I would not mind living there!
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: Sheepman on February 15, 2020, 12:37:49 pm
Beautiful :thumleft:
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: billy-joe on February 15, 2020, 09:21:38 pm
more please!   And its so far from Cape Town!  keep it coming pls!
Title: Re: Have you ever seen Lesotho this beautiful?
Post by: big oil on February 16, 2020, 04:07:46 am
.