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Offline McLovin

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Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« on: July 07, 2017, 06:35:42 pm »
So i'd like to plan a trip to Lesotho for me and a few friends. It will probably be between middle October and end of November.
Some of the guys have road only bikes so it will have to be a tar only trip.

So the questions are:
1 - Is it possible?
2 - Will it be worth it?
3 - How the weather there that time of the year?
4 - Any advice on must see places and cheap accommodation like backpackers. I'd prefer not to camp on this trip. Tented accommodation is fine, i'll just prefer not  to take any camping equipment with on this trip.

The plan will probably be to leave from Cape Town on a Saturday. Ride up in 2 days. Spend 4 or 5 nights in Lesotho and then ride a few days back to be home by the next Sunday (So 8 nights in total).

I've never been outside of South Africa so even a tar only trip would be exiting for me.  :ricky:

Looking forward to any help and advice. 
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:34:22 pm by McLovin »
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Offline Losper

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip. Advice Needed.
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 06:57:07 pm »
McLovin, if you want to strickly stay on tar then it is not possible to do a round trip inside Lesotho.
If you dont mind doing a 50km good gravel section in the middle of Lesotho (the rest will be all tar) then it would be possible to do a proper round trip with stunning scenery and you will be able to visit Katse dam and Maletsunyane waterfall.
If you prefer to stay on tar then the trip will still be possible but duplication of some sections is then unavoidable.
The rainy season starts middle Oktober but you will be ok if you check the long term weather forecast and plan around it.
There are guest houses all over with dinner bed and breakfast so you sorted.
If hovever you can do gravel, then boy o boy, Lesotho will blow your mind.
Btw, the tar roads in Lesotho are bike riding heaven.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 12:43:00 pm by Losper »
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Offline McLovin

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip. Advice Needed.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 08:31:13 pm »
McLovin, if you want to strickly stay on tar then it is not possible to to a round trip inside Lesotho.
If you dont mind doing a 50km good gravel section in the middle of Lesotho (the rest will be all tar) then it would be possible to do a proper round trip with stunning scenery and you will be able to visit Katse dam and Maletsunyane waterfall.
If you prefer to stay on tar then the trip will still be possible but duplication of some sections is then unavoidable.
The rainy season starts middle Oktober but you will be ok if you check the long term weather forecast and plan around it.
There are guest houses all over with dinner bed and breakfast so you sorted.
If hovever you can do gravel, then boy o boy, Lesotho will blow your mind.
Btw, the tar roads in Lesotho are bike riding heaven.

Hi Losper,

Thanks for the advice. I'll speak to my friends and see what happens. Otherwise i'll plan a gravel trip for beginning next year some time.
Photos looks great.
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Offline Ventana

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip. Advice Needed.
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 04:11:09 pm »
We did a mainly tar trip through Lesotho in March and, as the post above says - the most awesome tar roads are available, especially now that the Chinese have tarred a lot of it.  Our trip took us up Sani Pass (the only gravel on the trip).  From the top of Sani we went over Black Mountain to Mokhotlong, stopped for lunch at Afriski, looped north to Butha Buthe, and then the most fantastic tar pass I've ever ridden via Lejone up to Katse Dam where we stopped overnight at Motebong Lodge - which is basic but spacious and the beer is cold.  The next day we got out for an early start and took the tar twisties down to Katse Dam wall for breakfast at Katse Lodge (very expensive but lekker views).  As mentioned above its difficult to do a loop around Lesotho - so we doubled back to Motebong - nobody complained because the twisties are fantastic - Lejone, Butha Buthe and exited Lesotho at the Caledonspoort Border Post.  Late lunch in Fouriesburg and then back to Gauteng.

The roads are great, one sweeping bend after another.  one of our group got very tired and was praying for a stretch of straight road.  Only one caution - beware of taxi's cutting the corners when coming from the opposite direction - they killed a buddy of mine who was on this trip with us a few weeks later.

The border posts are very relaxed and the people really accomodating.  You're going to have a blast.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 04:12:05 pm by Ventana »
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Offline McLovin

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So i'd like to plan a trip to Lesotho for me and a few friends. It will probably be between middle October and end of November.
Some of the guys have road only bikes so it will have to be a tar only trip.

So the questions are:
1 - Is it possible?
2 - Will it be worth it?
3 - How the weather there that time of the year?
4 - Any advice on must see places and cheap accommodation like backpackers. I'd prefer not to camp on this trip. Tented accommodation is fine, i'll just prefer not  to take any camping equipment with on this trip.

The plan will probably be to leave from Cape Town on a Saturday. Ride up in 2 days. Spend 4 or 5 nights in Lesotho and then ride a few days back to be home by the next Sunday (So 8 nights in total).

I've never been outside of South Africa so even a tar only trip would be exiting for me.  :ricky:

Looking forward to any help and advice. 

Thanks for all the advice. I'll definitely do a Lesotho trip some or other time.

But now......

Some of my friends are now talking about maybe rather doing a Namibia, Botswana and back trip.

So i changed the topic to include both trips.

My one friend has a rough route made on Google without any planning. I'll ad the picture.
1) Not sure if this route will be doable all tar?
2) Any other options or advice about this route?

Any other type of advice on this kind of trip will also be appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:36:46 am by McLovin »
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Offline Xpat

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So i'd like to plan a trip to Lesotho for me and a few friends. It will probably be between middle October and end of November.
Some of the guys have road only bikes so it will have to be a tar only trip.

So the questions are:
1 - Is it possible?
2 - Will it be worth it?
3 - How the weather there that time of the year?
4 - Any advice on must see places and cheap accommodation like backpackers. I'd prefer not to camp on this trip. Tented accommodation is fine, i'll just prefer not  to take any camping equipment with on this trip.

The plan will probably be to leave from Cape Town on a Saturday. Ride up in 2 days. Spend 4 or 5 nights in Lesotho and then ride a few days back to be home by the next Sunday (So 8 nights in total).

I've never been outside of South Africa so even a tar only trip would be exiting for me.  :ricky:

Looking forward to any help and advice. 

Thanks for all the advice. I'll definitely do a Lesotho trip some or other time.

But now......

Some of my friends are now talking about maybe rather doing a Namibia, Botswana and back trip.

So i changed the topic to include both trips.

My one friend has a rough route made on Google without any planning. I'll ad the picture.
1) Not sure if this route will be doable all tar?
2) Any other options or advice about this route?

Any other type of advice on this kind of trip will also be appreciated.

Apart from the fact that you are going to die of boredom (I'm being serious - there is nothing interesting along that route at all - if you stick to tar that is), no that route is not all tar. Actually the section along Kgalagadi to Tshabong was an Amageza special section in 2015 and looks like this:








Offline McLovin

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So i'd like to plan a trip to Lesotho for me and a few friends. It will probably be between middle October and end of November.
Some of the guys have road only bikes so it will have to be a tar only trip.

So the questions are:
1 - Is it possible?
2 - Will it be worth it?
3 - How the weather there that time of the year?
4 - Any advice on must see places and cheap accommodation like backpackers. I'd prefer not to camp on this trip. Tented accommodation is fine, i'll just prefer not  to take any camping equipment with on this trip.

The plan will probably be to leave from Cape Town on a Saturday. Ride up in 2 days. Spend 4 or 5 nights in Lesotho and then ride a few days back to be home by the next Sunday (So 8 nights in total).

I've never been outside of South Africa so even a tar only trip would be exiting for me.  :ricky:

Looking forward to any help and advice. 

Thanks for all the advice. I'll definitely do a Lesotho trip some or other time.

But now......

Some of my friends are now talking about maybe rather doing a Namibia, Botswana and back trip.

So i changed the topic to include both trips.

My one friend has a rough route made on Google without any planning. I'll ad the picture.
1) Not sure if this route will be doable all tar?
2) Any other options or advice about this route?

Any other type of advice on this kind of trip will also be appreciated.

Apart from the fact that you are going to die of boredom (I'm being serious - there is nothing interesting along that route at all - if you stick to tar that is), no that route is not all tar. Actually the section along Kgalagadi to Tshabong was an Amageza special section in 2015 and looks like this:




Yea i was also thinking Namibia would be boring to stay on tar. I would think that if we have to do tar then Lesotho would still be a better option than Namibia.
Obviously i would prefer to do both off tar roads, but for now we'll have to make a plan that works for everyone in the group.

Thanks for you're input.
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Offline Xpat

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Quite frankly, if you want to stick to tar, your best bet is Western Cape and surrounds. You can even include dash to Lesotho - that connecting section Losper talks about is not that long and I have met there once guy on that big BMW cruiser thingy (the one with 17 inches cast wheels and electric screen and such) with passenger. Also - and I didn't read Losper's reply in detail, you can probably do smaller full tar loop through Lesotho like the map below (Losper, please correct me if there is tar missing somewhere - believe the road between Maseru and Semonkong is fully tarred now, as well as south of Semonkong) - I have included two options exiting/entering Lesotho in Telebridge in the south west or in the Quacha's Nek in the south East (if you want to include more of Eastern Cape as well).



« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 01:44:31 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline McLovin

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Quite frankly, if you want to stick to tar, your best bet is Western Cape and surrounds. You can even include dash to Lesotho - that connecting section Losper talks about is not that long and I have met there once guy on that big BMW cruiser thingy (the one with 17 inches cast wheels and electric screen and such) with passenger. Also - and I didn't read Losper's reply in detail, you can probably do smaller full tar loop through Lesotho like this (Losper, please correct me if there is tar missing somewhere - believe the road between Maseru and Semonkong is fully tarred now, as well as south of Semonkong):

OK thanks. I'll show this to my group to discuss.

We did a Trip all tar last year from the West coast up around Lesotho through Clarens and then back down the East Coast stopping at Coffee Bay and Hogsback and a few more places before returning back home. I did 4250km on that trip in 11 days. Mostly camping (which id prefer not to do this time).

The idea i have and want to speak to our group about is to leave from the West Coast on the Saturday and do about 900km to Orania. Stay there the Saturday and Sunday night (We've been to Orania before and we said last time we'd like to spend a night or 2 there some or other time, but it doest have to be Oranie).
Then leave for Lesotho the Monday morning. I want basically split Lesotho in 2 (If you can picture that). First go Somewhere in the top half for 2 nights like katse dam area somewhere (Monday and Tuesday night). Then go somewhere in the bottom half for 2 nights like Maletsunyane Falls area somewhere (Wednesday and Thursday night).
That will give us time to go do some exploring on the off days and see stuff.
After that the Friday morning we leave Lesotho and have Friday to Sunday to get back home.

But none of this has been researched yet to see what is possible and where we can stay and so.

The attached picture is just something i quickly made on Google maps now. The route is not close to final and has not been researched to see what is tar and so yet. Its just a very rough idea.
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Offline McLovin

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OK so we scrapped the Namibia trip for now. I think when it comes to a tar only trip then Lesotho is a much better choice than Namibia.

I would like to get the route sorted by end of August hopefully. The trip will hopefully happen in the second half of November. 9 day Trip.

So like i previously said we'd probably do 2 days up to Lesotho, Spend 4 nights in Lesotho and then have 3 days to get back to home in the West Coast.

Unfortunately we will have do tar only. Some of the guys will be going on SV650's and R6's. Luckily the other half will be on S10's and maybe a 800gs or so, maybe take some routes of our own here and there and meet up again with the tar guys.

Any advice on tar only routes in Lesotho and maybe some routes where the group can spit into tar and off road groups and meet up again.

Places to stay (Cheap, mainly backpacker type places) and must see places/things. Stuff to do.
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Offline ThomTom

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 10:02:26 pm »
ish, there must be more scenic  and fun alternatives than the N1 North!
 

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 10:08:29 pm »
ish, there must be more scenic  and fun alternatives than the N1 North!

We did a SA Road Trip last year so we'd prefer to get up to Lesotho as quick as possible. The plan is maybe do like 1000km day one and spend 2 nights there (wherever there is). And then enter Lesotho day 3.
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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 07:46:29 am »
I dont completely agree with Xpat this time - Namibia on tar is only boring compared to other places off the tar - if you havnt been, then this could be the best trip you can have - from a view point of viw (sic) - but I also think going east throught the cape to Lesotho is a better idea....
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Offline Losper

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 11:16:25 am »
McLovin,  here is a possible all tar trip for you:

1.  Wepener to Semonkong Lodge  (red)          285km   ( last 1km is gravel)
     Semonkong to Waterfal              (green)      13km      (last 8km is gravel)
2.  Semonkong  to Katse Lodge      (yellow)      324km
3.  Katse to Fouriesburg                  (blue)         168km

I have attached the gpx files ( If you need to convert them to gdb to work on your gps than make sure to switch "auto recalculation mode" to off )

I have also attached a file with all the fuel points in Lesotho. Fuel are never guaranteed in Lesotho,  if you can get fuel then you must fill up. Most of the fuel stops are small little stores where you buy fuel in 5litre plastic bottles.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 03:47:40 pm by Losper »
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Offline McLovin

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 12:14:42 pm »
McLovin,  here is a possible all tar trip for you:

1.  Wepener to Semonkong Lodge            285km   ( last 1km is gravel)
     Semonkong to Waterfal                        13km      (last 8km is gravel)
2.  Semonkong  to Katse Lodge                324km
3.  Katse to Fouriesburg                            168km

I have attached the gpx files ( If you need to convert them to gdb to work on your gps than make sure to switch "auto recalculation mode" to off )

I have also attached a file with all the fuel points in Lesotho. Fuel are never guaranteed in Lesotho,  if you can get fuel then you must fill up. Most of the fuel stops are small little stores where you buy fuel in 5litre plastic bottles.


Thanks for all the info. Will have a better look when i get home.  :thumleft:
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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 03:27:34 pm »
ish, there must be more scenic  and fun alternatives than the N1 North!

We did a SA Road Trip last year so we'd prefer to get up to Lesotho as quick as possible. The plan is maybe do like 1000km day one and spend 2 nights there (wherever there is). And then enter Lesotho day 3.

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Offline McLovin

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Re: Lesotho Tar only trip?? (No more Namibia and Botswana)
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 05:10:19 pm »
ish, there must be more scenic  and fun alternatives than the N1 North!

We did a SA Road Trip last year so we'd prefer to get up to Lesotho as quick as possible. The plan is maybe do like 1000km day one and spend 2 nights there (wherever there is). And then enter Lesotho day 3.

Is Chuck Norris going along on the R6?

I told my friends that i'm planning a road trip again this year and he is one of them who is interested. So if he decides to come, he'll just have to handle it same as the friend on the SV650 did last year.  :ricky:
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