Sani Lodge Backpackers and Drakensberg Adventures along with all their staff and guides are greatly saddened at the passing away of Ntate Thabiso Nkune, our partner in the Eastern Lesotho village experience tours to No. 10 Riverside. Our condolences to his family and community.
The Eastern Lesotho Village Experience can be done as either a 2 day or a three day tour. The three day option allows you to get totally immersed in the community and culture and will allow you to get into the pace of life in the mountains. You will feel like part of the community when it is time to leave!
You can also combine the 2 day village experience with the 2 day pony Trek in the 3 day Combination tour.
The tour starts at 9 am from Sani Lodge. We travel the spectacular 4×4 track up the Sani Pass and into Lesotho. From Sani Top, we drive about 50km into Lesotho, over Black Mountain Pass (at 3240m, the second highest road pass in Lesotho) and down the Sehonghong river valley, through rugged scenery. We have lunch by a set of lovely swimming spots in the river, and then head on into typical highland village country. See the picturesque Basotho rondavels, fields ploughed by oxen on steep gradients, shepherds with their flocks of sheep and goats and Basotho riders, blanket-clad on their sturdy ponies. By early afternoon, we arrive at Matsoaing village, the home of our hosts for a day, the Nkune family. This hospitable family will do their best to help you gain an insight into the unique culture of this mountain kingdom.
Tour itinerary at No. 10:
- Arrive at No. 10 Riverside. Get shown around, settle in.
- Go for a walk into one of the neighbouring villages. See how people live. Visit the artefacts house and see how the implements are used in daily life
- Visit the traditional healer (have a personal consultation if you like – small extra cost) – either in the afternoon or next morning.
- Evening dancing and singing at No. 10 with a ladies group and a shepherds group.
- Delicious traditional Basotho food prepared by ‘Me Nkune.
- After dinner, walk to the nearby “Shepherds’ School” and get a chance to meet and interact with the young boys and men who live the tough life of the Highlands Shepherd.
- Sleep the night at No. 10 Riverside. Accommodation is either in a 9 bed dormitory room or a 4 bed rondavel nearby. There is no electricity or running water at No. 10. A basin of water will be provided for bathing. The toilet is a “long drop” (pit latrine). All bedding is provided including warm duvets and hot water bottles.
- Day 2 has a variety of options. If schools are open, we visit one of the local primary schools who we support with a “levy” of R25 per visitor to No. 10. This money is used for educational projects at the schools and we recently financed and opened new classrooms at each of the two schools we partner.
- Another optional activity is horse-riding which costs R100 per person for a 2 hour ride plus R300 for guide and his/her horse divided between the group riding.
- A walk into the beautiful mountains and valleys is another option.
After lunch on, we take our leave of the Nkunes and start the journey back to Sani Lodge. We’ll stop off for a drink at the Highest Pub in Africa at Sani Top. Return to Sani Lodge by 5pm.
NOTE – ALCOHOL No. 10 Riverside is an alcohol free zone. We ask that you respect this and do not bring any alcohol on the trip. If you fancy an evening drink, our guide will drive you a few kilometres to a local outlet where you can purchase and drink your beverage. Thank you for you acceptance of this.
EASTERN LESOTHO VILLAGE EXPERIENCE OPTIONS:
2 DAY TOUR: Depart after lunch on day 2 and return via a drink at the Highest Pub in Africa to Sani Lodge by 5pm.
3 DAY TOUR – TOTAL IMMERSION: Spend an extra day with the Nkunes and have the time to really get a feel of the rhythm of life in the highlands. Climb a nearby peak, spend longer on horseback, help with the agricultural or cooking chores and become a part of the community!! There is also time to visit the highlands town of Mokhotlong.
3 DAY COMBINATION TOUR: Combine the 2 day Village Experience with the 2 day Pony Trek – a popular choice giving you the best of both tours!
YOU BRING: Please download the KIT LIST FOR VILLAGE EXPERIENCE.
Please have a look at our tour map.
If visitors take photos of any local people, we encourage them to print some of the best ones out and to send them to us at Sani Lodge. People in Lesotho do not own cameras, and absolutely love receiving actual printed photos of themselves. If you post them back to us at Sani lodge, we will take them into Lesotho on future tours and try and ensure that the photo reaches its rightful owner! Post photos to us at P.O. Box 485, Underberg, 3257, South Africa.
SEE HOW YOUR VISIT EMPOWERS LOCAL COMMUNITIES